“It is not an easy decision for me because I have absolutely enjoyed serving the county for 11 years,” Aduddell said.
The commissioners will advertise for applicants. Should the court choose to appoint someone to fill the job, the elected position will appear on the ballot in the general election in November.
Judge Rene Mascorro said the applicant selected by the court may or may not choose to run for the position. Each party will select the candidate to represent their party.
The court also agreed to continue the burn ban. Though rain showers have fallen regularly in some parts of the county, the precipitation has been spotty. Some parts of the county remain dry with dead vegetation.
“We need to get the information out to the people,” said Commissioner Stanley Tuttle. “Just because we have had a little rain, people think they should start burning.”
The judge said prescribed burns by ranchers and farmers can continue through the ban; however, applications must be submitted through his office.
Chief Deputy Sheldon Wiginton advised the court to “let the burn ban run itself out until August.”
In matters regarding a public road in Tivoli, the commissioners once again tabled a request from a landowner to reroute River Road. The road is on Larry Landraf’s property and provides access to property owned by other people near the Guadalupe River.
Landgraf told the court that the traffic has increased 10-fold with kayakers, canoers, and birdwatchers creating a safety hazard for his family.
In addition to stirring up dust in his home, Landgraf also claims that the traffic causes security problems that include illegal immigrants using the roadway. He also said shots have been fired.
“I think security is the sheriff’s problem,” said Commissioner Gary Bourland.
Commissioner Rod Bernal estimated that the limestone aggregate required to move the road will cost $18,916 plus another $2,100 for a concrete culvert. Landgraf said he has stockpiled the dirt required for the road plus dirt from the ditches can also be used.
At a previous meeting, the commissioners suggested that Landgraf should pay for the materials.
“I don’t see where I should pay for aggregate going on a public road,” Landgraf said.
The property owner said he has leased the land to the Natural Resource Conservation Service and access to U.S 35 is required.
“This is the first we’ve heard of the NRCS deal,” Mascorro said.
Commissioner Ann Lopez said more information was required including the impact on other landowners who use the road. She also suggested that the NRCS might help with the expense.
Because of the lease with NRCS, a survey of the land is already underway, Langraf said.
Tuttle told the court other landowners in his precinct face the same problem; however, the county cannot afford to move all those roads. Tuttle said he was not opposed to using county machinery and labor.
In matters pertaining to a Coastal Impact Assistance Program Grant administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Martha Drake of GrantWorks said a two-day workshop had shed light on what records will be required on all purchases through the grant.
Drake suggested that projects and proposed uses of the money granted as early as 2007 should be revisited. Under the guidelines, all purchases proposed by the county using CIAP funds, from microscopes and computers for the schools to an oil spill response unit, must be tracked and inventoried annually. When the usefulness of the items expire, they must be turned over to the Fish and Wildlife Service for recycling to another entity, according to Drake. Each item must be sufficiently marked to show it was purchased from CIAP funds.
The county will be responsible for the audits, inventory and reporting, Drake said.
The deadline for submitting the pending applications is Dec. 13. Drake suggested holding a workshop to review possible “reshuffling” of non-construction projects to construction projects with school district superintendents, the Fennessey Ranch and other entities included in the CIAP grant.
“This is a lot of information to take in,” Lopez said.
The commissioner requested a written report of Drake’s findings.
In other matters, the court:
• Approved a request from Veteran Service Officer Richard Sanchez to apply for a grant with the Texas Veterans Commission
• Agreed to review funding for CASA during the budget process
• Approved the appointment of Lorraine Lopez to the county’s Historical Commission
• Acknowledged a change for Joe Pena from class 1 roadhand to class 3 roadhand for pct.3 effective July 16 with a salary change from $35,409 to $31,086.