San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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December 16th, 2008
Commissioners decide on further study before appointing Sheriff

The Hays County Commissioners Court did not reach a final decision Tuesday regarding the Sheriff’s position left vacant by the death of Sheriff Allen Bridges. As the majority of the court was not prepared to make an immediate decision, they agreed to discuss the matter further during a session scheduled for Monday, Dec. 22.

The court said they had been inundated with phone calls and e-mails with names of possible candidates for Sheriff.

County Judge Liz Sumter suggested going into executive session to discuss the possible candidates. Special Counsel Mark Kennedy said in order to discuss any candidate in an executive session the candidates in question needed to be notified of their consideration for the post 72 hours before the executive session.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley said he did not feel the need to go into executive session because he thought the public should see the Court’s process and reasoning behind their decision.

“I believe all, if not the overwhelming majority of discussion needs to be in the eyes of the public,” Conley said.

Conley said he had spoken with many members of the law enforcement community and said the consensus is to appoint someone from within the department.

Conley added that he was in support of appointing Chief Deputy Sheriff Sherman Brodbeck to fill the position for the next 24 months. He said that Brodbeck would be appointed as an independent and not seek election to office in 2010. He added that Brodbeck was close to retirement and might make the decision to retire in 2010, either way leaving the position open for election in 2010.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Karen Ford said she would prefer to hold off on making a decision in order to make sure the Court was in a calm emotional state.

“Good decisions are rarely made in a highly-charged atmosphere,” Ford said. “We want to honor Alan’s (Bridges) legacy. We want to honor his family. I think the court needs time to deliberate and come back.”

Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe agreed that they needed more time, and added that regardless of who is chosen to be the new Sheriff, there will always be people who will be unhappy with the decision.

A time for Monday’s session has yet to be determined and will be posted before the weekend.

At the beginning of today’s session, retirement and service award plaques were presented to members of the Hays County law enforcement.

In another agenda item, the court approved the Texas Tuition Promise Fund as a payroll deduction. The fund offers a savings plan for four-year and two-year college programs in the State of Texas. Payment options are divided into lump sum, installment plans or a pay-as-you-go-plan. The Fund’s Web site has a college tuition calculator to help determine how much savings is needed for a particular college.

Hays County Treasurer Michele Tuttle introduced the agenda item to the court and said it was a good way to help parents save money for their children’s higher education.

“This is something that even grandparents can invest in,” Tuttle said. “It’s a program that will help parents save and pay a lot less for college tuition in the long run.”

The Court will meet again Monday, Dec. 22 and Tuesday, Dec. 23.

by Rasmi Hunt
Correspondent

Photo by Sean Wardwell

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0 thoughts on “Commissioners decide on further study before appointing Sheriff

  1. “Conley said he had spoken with many members of the law enforcement community and said the consensus is to appoint someone from within the department.”

    “Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe agreed that they needed more time, and added that regardless of who is chosen to be the new Sheriff, there will always be people who will be unhappy with the decision.”

    The point is how that decision is made. It is not up to members of the law enforcement community to choose an elected official. Nor the grieving widow of the deceased Sheriff. It is up to the electorate to express their wishes to the Commissioners Court and the Court to then make the best decision under the circumstances. In this case it would seem that putting it to a vote in a special election is the most prudent action. This is certainly a test of our Commissioners mettle. It will be interesting to see how they perform.

  2. Hey clandestine writer **** *****, might want to check the laws {Commissioners DO have to obey the law}: can’t call special election—unfortunately. Falls to them to appoint someone until 2010. BUT, that doesn’t keep citizens from exercising their voice/vote by contacting the County Judge and Commissioners to express whom they would like chosen and in that sense, to vote for a new Sheriff.
    And to insist that Commissioners do this in OPEN session not behind closed doors!!!

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