The Sheriff’s Department was a hot issue in the Commissioner’s Court.
Commissioner Will Conley requested and sponsored a proclamation recognizing the 160th anniversary of the Hays County Sheriff’s Office. “Today the Sheriff’s Office works diligently to meet it’s commitment to bring the community and law enforcement together in a combined effort to combat crime,” stated the proclamation. “The Sheriff’s Office is proud to have professional deputies and employees that strive to serve and protect the citizens of Hays County every day. ”
Hays County Sheriff Allen Bridges on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department received the honor with great applause. He thanked the court for recognizing the efforts of his office and all of those involved. After a lunch recess, the Sheriff’s Office had some requests of its own.
Bridges presented the court with a list of requests that would further their success in combating crime in Hays County. Among those were, an extra officer to deal with visitation, GPS device plus its annual usage fee, time stamp, riding lawn mower, a $3500 network printer and a fax machine, and the purchase of a Honda motorcycle whose approximate cost is $15,000 and the necessary equipment to accommodate it. The Sheriff’s Department would sell the Harley-Davidson currently in their possession to alleviate some of the cost of the new bike and equipment.
The court took in the requests and will further look into them on Friday, when they are scheduled to meet and allocate budgetary funds. Commissioner Conley wanted an immediate vote from the court to decide the pay increase for the Sheriff’s Department. Hays County Judge Liz Sumter advised that would not be wise, given that the court was not in consensus as to the amount of the increase, as well as, some of the court members, Commissioner Karen Ford, Commissioner, Debbie Ingalsbe, and the Judge herself, were not presented with and/or had not seen all of the necessary information. Conley objected and articulated his disagreement with the Judge.
“We’ve taken care of the other employees in our county, I think its time to take care of our law enforcement,” said Conley.
Commissioner Jeff Barton supported Conley in his motion to take a vote, but also said he would not be opposed to delaying the vote until Friday so that the other court members were allowed sufficient time and review of the information.
The Transportation Advisory Bond Committee presented the court with a preliminary report. The committee is in the process of constructing a transportation bond designed for road improvements in Hays County. Several public hearings have been held to take in the comments of the residents. Hays County citizens will vote on the bond in the November election. The bond is still in the beginning stages and the committee expressed to the court that they need more direction. The court explained to the committee that a priority list is needed.
“Financial Costs needs to be looked at,” said Conley. “Prioritize based on the comments from public hearings and the committee.
Sumter wants a tighter package with priorities and costs.
“If putting a road on the bond, make sure it’s fully funded,” said Sumter.
Sumter wants the citizens to be assured that if they pass the bond, all the roads outlined will be fixed. She said the committee needs to provide the court with a list of all the roads and their costs, thus allowing the court to come up with a bond with specific roads and sufficient money.
By ANDY SEVILLA