Court declines to name HR Director, Interim Assessor

By Kathi Bliss

Editor/POST-REGISTER

During an uncharacteristically brief meeting of the Caldwell County Commissioners’ Court on Monday, the Commissioners performed several acts of routine business, but failed to reach decisions on two pertinent personnel issues.

After spending time behind closed doors in executive session, the Commissioners opted to table further discussion on the hiring of a potential candidate to fill the controversial position of Human Resources Director.

Presumably, the discussion was tabled due to the absence of Precinct One Commissioner John Cyrier, who had announced during the Court’s last regular meeting that he would be unable to attend this week.

The discussion will be brought back to the forefront during the Court’s Dec. 12, 2011, meeting.

Additionally, the Court did not appoint a candidate to fill the unexpired term of Tax Assessor-Collector Mary Vicky Gonzales, who resigned in October. The position of Interim Tax Assessor-Collector is currently being filled by Joy Pardo, who is a candidate for the semi-permanent appointment, which will last until next year’s November General Election.

While Commissioners Neto Madrigal and Joe Roland threw public support appointing Pardo to fill the position until next November, Precinct 2 Commissioner Fred Buchholtz and County Judge Tom Bonn suggested they would rather review the pool of applicants and make the decision at a later time.

Bonn initially suggested that members of the panel responsible for interviewing for the Human Resources position could interview the potential candidates for the Tax Assessor-Collection, as well, and then present a recommendation to the Court. He also noted he felt compelled to appoint the new individual from within Gonzales’ declared political party, because the same courtesy had  been extended to him when he resigned his Commissioner position to run for Judge in 2010.

Roland and Madrigal both balked at turning the responsibility over to a panel, and instead, the Court agreed they would be responsible for interviewing the candidates and making the decision about the appointment.

That action is expected to be taken at the Dec. 12 meeting, also.

In other business, the Court approved the purchase and increase of surety bonds for several elected officials, clerks and other individuals who handle money on behalf of the County.

Those changes come at the request of County Auditor Larry Roberson, who has been reviewing the existing bonds for several county offices.

Of note, one of the bonds purchased was for Pardo, and will be transferred to the new appointee in the Interim Tax Assessor-Collector position, should she not be tapped to fill that vacancy.

They also discussed appointing Alton Williams to serve on the Board of Directors for the Luling Foundation Farm.

The Caldwell County Commissioners meet on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in the Conference and Training Room at the L.W. Scott Annex, 1403 Blackjack St. (FM 20E) in Lockhart. The meetings are open to the public and citizens, taxpayers and stakeholders are encouraged to attend.

kathibliss@post-register.com

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