During a Special Meeting of the Blanco County Commissioners Court in Johnson City, Blanco City Councilwoman Rebecca Howerton made a special presentation of a framed piece of artwork to the Court.
The artwork, created by local artist Suzette Connell to honor the Sesquicentennial celebration of Blanco County, is a hand painted rendition of the artist’s illustration that is being used extensively during the County’s 150th year. The artwork will be on permanent display at the Courthouse.
“While working in the artist’s booth, Leaning Tree Gallery, at the Lavender Festival, I realized that the art should be shown at the County Courthouse,” said Howerton. “After mentioning this to Suzette, she immediately donated the piece I bring to you now.”
“It has been an honor to have been chosen to create this symbol of our County’s 150th anniversary,” said Connell. “It is my pleasure to give you this artwork.”
Commissioner Wood made the motion to accept the framed artwork and to hang it on the Courthouse wall. Commissioner Sultemeier seconded.
In other business, Judge Guthrie moved to reject the Blanco County Appraisal District Budget for 2009 due to projected pay raises and issues regarding an upcoming move to a new building.
Regarding the budget, Sultemeier said that “I’ve been looking at the County Budget and there are a couple of problems, in my opinion. There is nothing in the budget regarding their move and their employees are all being given a 5% pay raise.”
“While there is no argument that they have good employees,” said Sultemeier, “we have good employees too and are not capable of giving the same type of pay raise.”
Wood spoke in favor of the budget, saying “I feel that a 5% pay raise is not excessive. I believe that the County employees should also receive the same type of increase.”
Guthrie agreed with Wood in theory but questioned where the money would come from for all the expenditures. “Where is the 67K going to come from for the upcoming move as it’s not currently in the budget? Also, I am not necessarily opposed to the 5% pay increase, but I just wonder where exactly is the money supposed to be coming from?”
A bid for a used ’97 Mac dump truck to be purchased from Owen Smith for $35,000 was accepted by the Court.
Guthrie recommended accepting the resolution stating that the roads platted in the C.P. Lester Subdivision in Pct. 3 are not county maintained roads. The Court agreed, giving Guthrie the authority to sign the resolution.
Continuing education hours for Wood and Sultemeier were approved.
The Court discussed the addition of a staircase for the district courtroom with Guthrie saying “At times we are in violation of a fire code due to the number of people in our building. A staircase is in our Master Plan and sooner or later something’s going to have to be done.” The Court gave Guthrie the ability to pursue an investigation with an architect and the Historical Commission.
A bid was accepted for Courthouse lawn service and janitorial service for the budget year 2008-2009. Guthrie thanked the Court saying, “Thank you, gentlemen, this works real well as now I know going into the year how much to budget.”
The Court authorized the Judge to sign a new lease agreement with Pitney Bowes for a postage meter with Guthrie pointing out that the county will actually save $1.20 per piece as the new meter includes an electronic return receipt.”
The Judge has also been the authority to sign a contract with CL Electric from Round Mountain for $18,563 (plus 10% if ordered after April) to replace the generator at the jail under a CAPCOG grant.