All four County Commissioners and Judge Bill Guthrie were present for the Regular Meeting held on Tuesday, September 10th at 9:00 a.m. in the Commissioners Courtroom of the Blanco County Courthouse. Blanco County Clerk Karen Newman read the minutes of the August 27, 2013 Special Meeting. Blanco County Commissioner Paul Granberg made a motion to accept those minutes as read and Blanco County Commissioner James Sultemeier seconded. The motion carried, and the minutes were approved as read.
Judge Guthrie asked the Commissioners to consider authorization for the County Judge to sign the regional auto theft task force interlocal agreement. According to Judge Guthrie, this is an agreement of many years standing. He asked if there were any questions and said he would do his best to answer them. There were no questions, and Commissioner John Wood gave a motion to authorize the County Judge to sign the regional auto theft task force interlocal agreement. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Sultemeier, and the motion carried.
The Judge asked Commissioner Sultemeier if it was necessary to advertise for a road and bridge employee for Precinct Two. Commissioner Sultemeier replied, “Yes, that is correct.” There was no further discussion and Commissioner Sultemeier proposed the motion for authorization for a road and bridge employee for Precinct Two, and Commissioner Chris Liesmann seconded. This motion was approved by the Court.
Judge Guthrie told the Commissioners Court, “Mr. Baker’s bond is in place, and he has asked us to accept his signed official bond. Mr. Baker is ready to take over the duties of the county surveyor.” Commissioner Liesmann made a motion to accept the official bond for the county surveyor, and Commissioner Granberg seconded; the motion carried.
The next item for discussion was consideration of the countywide burn ban. Judge Guthrie told the Commissioners the burn ban had expired at 9:00 a.m. today. He asked what the Court wanted to do regarding the burn ban. Commissioner Wood spoke up and said, “I would like to see it kept until the next Regular Meeting in October…that is my motion.” Commissioner Granberg seconded the motion. Judge Guthrie called for discussion, and Commissioner Liesmann asked if the date of the next Regular Meeting was October 8th. Judge Guthrie answered, “Yes, it is. All in favor?” All four Commissioners voted to extend the burn ban until the next Regular Meeting on October 8th.
The Judge told the County Commissioners, “You should have a copy of the administrative order in your packets, and like most District Court orders we receive we need to acknowledge it and enter it into our minutes. The administrative order from the 33rd/424th Judicial District Courts is regarding setting the compensation and expenses of court reporters.” There was no discussion of the administrative order, and Commissioner Sultemeier gave a motion to acknowledge the order and Commissioner Liesmann seconded. The Court approved this action.
The County Commissioners were asked to consider the appointment of Clayton Young to the Blanco County Child Protection and Family Advocacy Board. Judge Guthrie told the Commissioners, “There are some vacancies on the Board. Clayton Young desires to be appointed, and he will be one of two male members on the Board if he is approved.” A motion to accept the appointment of Clayton Young to the Blanco County Child Protection and Family Advocacy Board was given by Commissioner Liesmann and seconded by Commissioner Sultemeier. The Judge asked for discussion and there was none. The appointment of Clayton Young was approved by the Commissioners Court.
Blanco County Commissioners were asked to consider amendments to the personnel policy regarding the definitions of employee status and use of County owned vehicles for County authorized activities. According to Judge Guthrie, “Most of these changes are precipitated because of the rules and regulations of Obama care. A full-time employee is regarded as an employee with a regular 30 hour schedule and who is eligible for benefits. A part-time employee is one who works a normal work schedule of 29 hours or less with no benefits.” Judge Guthrie was given clarification that the cost for employee health insurance is approximately $710 per month. Commissioner Granberg asked if the amendments to the personnel policy would be effective immediately, and he was told by Judge Guthrie the effective date would be October 1st.
The Commissioners Court also discussed usage of county owned vehicles for County authorized activities. Judge Guthrie told the County Commissioners, “Only county employees are covered by the county auto insurance policy, family members are not covered.” Elaine Cross asked if this meant no family members were allowed in County vehicles. Judge Guthrie answered, “That is correct, they are not covered in our insurance policy. The County is liable is there is an accident and a family member is injured.”
Judge Guthrie asked if there were additional questions, and there were none. Commissioner Liesmann made a motion to approve the amendments to the personnel policy regarding the definitions of employee status and usage of county owned vehicles for county authorized activities effective October 1st. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Wood. The Judge called for further discussion and there was none. The Commissioners all voted in favor of the amendments.
The County Commissioners went on to approve the estimated September 2013 payroll in the amount of $247,919.14. Commissioner Wood presented a motion to approve and Commissioner Sultemeier seconded. The September payroll was approved by the Commissioners Court.
Judge Guthrie asked if all official reports were in, and he was told that they were. The Court approved the official reports with Commissioner Liesmann giving a motion for approval and Commissioner Granberg seconding.
The last item of business for the Regular Meeting was approval of the outstanding bills for $73,369.98. Commissioner Sultemeier gave a motion for approval of the outstanding bills, Commissioner Granberg seconded, and the motion carried. At this time the Regular Meeting adjourned.
The County Commissioners and Judge Guthrie also conducted a Special Meeting at 10:00 a.m. The Public Hearing included discussion of the Proposed 2013-2014 Blanco County Budget. Following the Public Hearing the Commissioners Court met at 1:30 p.m.to consider ratifying the tax increase of $72,269, adoption of the Blanco County Budget for FY 2013-2014, setting the tax rate for FY 2013-2014 as the effective rate of $0.357400 of which $0.063600 is for debt service, consider setting the homestead exemption at 1% of the appraised value with a minimum exemption of $5,000, and consider setting early discount payments as follows: 3% for payments made in October 2013, 2% for payments made in November 2013, 1% for payments made in December 2013. A report on these meetings will be published next week.