July 3, 2007- A Special Meeting of the Blanco County Commissioners Court convened at 9:12 A.M. in order to discuss contemplated litigation, a settlement offer, and a pending claim by the Texas Historical Commission (THC) against the Court regarding the installation of what the THC determined to be historically incorrect vinyl windows. This meeting was an opportunity for the Court to consult with an attorney regarding these matters. The attorney for the consultation was running late.
After calling the meeting to order, and in accordance with Texas Government Code Section 551.071, Judge Bill Guthrie announced that the Court would immediately proceed into an Executive Session for the consultation. The Executive Session began at 9:15 A.M. with a ten-minute break at 10:15 A.M. The Executive Session ended at 10:48 A.M.
In Open Session, Judge Guthrie called for discussion and possible action regarding any matters related to the THC litigation and settlement offer with a vote on any action.
Commissioner Sultemeier opened the discussion asking for verification that if the county signed the agreement with THC as offered that the county would then be released from all liability. Commissioner Granberg made the motion to accept the mediated settlement agreement as offered by on June 25, 2007. Granberg suggested that the county take the option within the settlement agreement wherein Blanco County agrees to pay an administrative penalty in the amount of $80,000.00 to THC in order to resolve claims under the Texas Government Code Sections 442.008, 442.011, and 442.012 concerning the installation of vinyl windows in the Blanco County Courthouse. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Sultemeier. A unanimous vote from all commissioners carried the motion.
The meeting was adjourned.
Commenting on the meeting, Judge George E. Byars, Jr., Blanco County Historical Commission Chairman, (and former Blanco County Judge), said that he is “unaware of the terms of the fine that THC imposed, or even if they did impose one” then added that “I totally supported the Commissioner’s Court in their replacement of the broken and hail tattered windows in the 1916 Blanco County Courthouse with new, modern, energy efficient windows (things that every Conservationist should applaud).
“Our beloved Courthouse is not Stonehenge, Pompeii, or anything of that nature,” Judge Byars continued. “It is only 15 years older than I am.”