Blanco County Commissioners held a Special meeting on Tuesday, October, 23, 2012. All four county commissioners were present. County Judge Bill Guthrie asked the Court to consider acknowledgement of the fiscal year 2012 Chapter 59 Asset Forfeiture Report by Law Enforcement. The report showed a beginning balance of $82,242 and an ending balance of $74,106. Sheriff Morgan presented the report to the Court, and was asked by Judge Guthrie if there were additional questions to address. There were none, and County Commissioner James Sultemeier asked for a motion to acknowledge FY 201 Chapter 59 Asset Forfeiture Report by Law Enforcement. The motion was seconded by County Commissioner Paul Granberg and was approved by the Court.
Sheriff Morgan addressed the Court regarding the purchase of two security cameras. According to the Sheriff, “liability is an issue here, and it is a necessity to install these cameras for safety reasons. Prisoners may cause injury to themselves and others, and jailers are required to do checks when there are no cameras for surveillance.” The cost for installation of the two cameras would be $2,525.00.
Judge Guthrie asked the Sheriff for a proposal for the line item expenditures. Sheriff Morgan replied “we are not purchasing the cameras, just using existing cameras. We would need to move, reroute, install, and re-wire to get the equipment up and running. I believe the cost to purchase new cameras would be $8,000 to $10,000.” Additional discussion followed regarding the maximum occupancy rate of the jail. Sheriff Morgan indicated the maximum number is 27 inmates, full occupancy is 20, and that number is down at the present time.
Following the discussion period Judge Guthrie asked the Court for a decision on the matter. Commissioner Chris Liesmann offered a motion to purchase the two security cameras for labor for a total cost of $2,525 from the Sheriff’s budget. This motion was seconded by Commissioner John Wood, and the motion carried.
The Blanco County Commissioner Court had received a letter of resignation from Kelly Dowdy as director of the South Blanco County Emergency Services Board. Mr. Dowdy indicated he was no longer able to serve because of health issues. Commissioner Granberg called for a motion to accept the resignation and Commissioner Wood provided a second motion; the Court accepted Kelly Dowdy’s resignation.
The Commissioners Court received a proposal from Jack Allen to consider appointing Wayne Dworaczyk as the new Director to the South Blanco County Emergency Services District Board. This appointment would fill the unexpired term of Kelly Dowdy through December 2013. Commissioner Granberg presented a motion to accept the appointment of Wayne Dworaczyk to fill the unexpired term of Kelly Dowdy through December 2013 to the South Blanco County Emergency Services District Board. Commissioner Wood seconded the motion, and the motion passed.
In other business the Commissioners considered a resolution designating the County Judge as Program Director and the County Treasurer as Financial Officer for the 2013 Indigent Defense Grant. According to Judge Guthrie, “these are housekeeping measures and business as usual.” Commissioner Liesmann made a motion for the Court to approve the measure and Commissioner Granberg provided a second motion. The Court approved the resolution for designation of the County Judge as Program Director and the County Treasurer as Financial Officer for the 2013 Indigent Defense Grant.
Judge Guthrie asked the Court to consider action on GovDeals bid for a 2002 green Crown Victoria. According to Judge Guthrie, the NAV value of this vehicle is approximately $4,600. A discussion followed, and Judge Guthrie recommended relisting the vehicle for a bid of $2,500. Commissioner Sultemeier proposed a motion to relist the Crown Victoria at a bid of $2,500 and to reserve at $4500. Commissioner Liesmann seconded the motion and the Court approved the motion.
The Court considered payroll matters after hearing discussion from Blanco County Auditor Cindy Lent, Blanco County Treasurer Camille Swift, Sheriff Morgan, and several deputies. The goal is to adopt a standard Blanco County timesheet. This timesheet would include established “cut off” dates with an established work period for the purpose of overtime calculations.
Sheriff Morgan explained that “deputies need an exemption from the seven day schedule because their shifts are not consistent. We do not work 8 to 5, Monday through Friday.” Auditor Lent indicated that according to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Board “you must establish a minimum and work up…you must establish a base.”
A lengthy discussion followed, and Sheriff Morgan said he was concerned about the issue of overtime for law enforcement. The Court’s position was that nothing had changed except there needed to be consistency with the payroll and timesheets because “the issue is the budget.”
Commissioner Liesmann suggested perhaps a new timesheet that included the seven day work week might work for everyone, and Judge Guthrie recommended all concerned parties meet within two weeks to review the matter. Commissioner Sultemeier offered a motion to table resolution of the payroll matters until the Blanco County Auditor, Blanco County Sheriff, and Blanco County Judge could meet, and Commissioner Granberg seconded the motion. The motion was approved.
Kathy Green, Senior Director of Advocacy and Public Policy for the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas addressed the Commissioners Court. Kathy explained the scope of the Food Bank of Texas, and described how the program is serving Blanco County citizens.
The Food Bank serves a 21 county area in Central Texas and works closely with the Blanco Good Samaritans, Johnson City Ministerial Alliance, and the Mobile Party in Johnson City. Others who network with the Food Bank of Texas include faith based groups, area grocery retailers, individual donors, national manufacturers, and the USDA. The Food Bank of Texas aids a variety of individuals, and 41% of these are children. Many others who receive aid are elderly, disabled, and veterans.
According to Green, nutritional education is an important part of the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. Educational programs focus on enabling people to “move out of food stamps and make healthy choices. Healthy choices include shopping, cooking meals, and stretching those food dollars.” The Food Bank offers programs for the elderly, summer food programs for children, the after school Kids Café, and programs for victims of disaster relief.
Green ended her talk by explaining what the term “food insecure” means. Green said “food insecure does not mean people are emaciated or starving. However, these people may not know where their next meal is coming from.” Green added that after the 2007 recession the Food Bank is continuing to experience serious donation shortages. High costs of fuel and the drought have increased the shortages.
Judge Guthrie told Green “it is a privilege to work with you, and how can we help with the Hunters for Hungry Program? We have lots of deer here…not a lot of money, but we do have a lot of deer.” Green replied “there was definitely a possibility to participate in that program and the information would be forthcoming.”
The final item of business for the Special meeting was approval of payment of outstanding bills in the amount of $143,861.32. Commissioner Granberg made a motion to approve the outstanding bills, Commissioner Sultemeier seconded the motion, and the action passed. At this time the meeting was adjourned.