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Section A: General News


Eagle Ford drives county budget talks


Eagle Ford drives county budget talks
Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. (from left) pleads with Wilson County Auditor Ray Wolff and commissioners Larry Wiley, Ricky Morales, Paul Pfeil, and Albert Gamez Jr. June 7 to allocate additional funds for more sheriff’s deputies in the 2013 fiscal year budget.


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Wilson County News
June 13, 2012
4,486 views
8 comments

Wilson County, although on the edge of the oil and natural gas exploration activities associated with the Eagle Ford shale, is changing at a rapid pace. These changes were at the heart of the Wilson County Commissioners Court’s first fiscal year 2013 budget workshop June 7.

Wilson County Clerk Eva Martinez said her office has filed 9,155 different documents in the past year, mostly related to the exploration of oil and natural gas. She said the office now averages 118 visitors per day and collected $265,852 in copy fees over the past year.

Because of this activity, Martinez said one of two copy machines has broken down. Because of the machine’s age, she is unable to obtain parts, so she is requesting a new one.

Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. said his deputies are scrambling to keep up with the area’s increased population. Yet again, he is requesting four additional patrol deputies and at least one investigator. Commissioners in years past have not honored this request.

“We are in dire need of more officers because of the oil field traffic,” Tackitt said.

The sheriff said the four investigators he currently has send approximately 40 cases per month to the county’s grand jury. They also are struggling to keep up with a surge in sexual assault cases. In the past two weeks, the sheriff’s office has opened nine new investigations.

In addition to the sheriff’s office and the county clerk’s office, the commissioners also heard from Dennis Hale of the Wilson County office of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. He said that the office recently lost former Extension agent Dustin Biela, who accepted an oil industry job that “more than doubled his salary.”

Biela’s replacement will not be in place until at least Aug. 1, said Hale, who himself is retiring Aug. 31. Hale believes it could take as long as six months before his replacement is hired.

While Hale is pleased with the current level of funding, he is asking the county to consider hiring a part-time 4-H program assistant, who would be paid $15,000 per year. The position, he said, would be supervised by the county judge, and would help meet the needs of the county’s growing number of 4-H members -- which Hale said has risen from 129 to 700 in just four years.

Other petitions heard by commissioners included:

•Tackitt is requesting salary increases for his employees. Currently, jailers and dispatchers start at approximately $21,000 per year, which is the lowest among area counties. Deputies in Wilson County receive a starting wage that is $6,000 lower than their counterparts in neighboring Karnes County.

•Martinez, in addition to salary increases for workers in the county clerk’s office and elections office, is asking that one full-time position be changed into two part-time positions, which could be filled by school students. She also said the clerk’s office needs an additional telephone line for a computer room, a collapsible dolly for moving files, a document scanner, and a larger bulletin board for public notices. The elections office needs electrical system upgrades and a barcode reader for voter registration cards.

•The Wilson County Tax Assessor/Collector’s Office is asking for pay raises for its staff and a new computer to handle automobile registrations.

•Pct. 3 Constable George Scoggins submitted a large list of items, including a pay raise and increases for fuel, training, shirts, and baseball caps.

•The Wilson County Emergency Management Agency is requesting a salary increase for its clerk, a digital scanner, an external hard drive, a fireproof safe in which to store the hard drive, and a part-time employee to work a minimum of 20 hours per week at $10 per hour.

•The Sam Fore Jr. Wilson County Public Library is asking to hire computer instructor Diane Berger as a part-time county employee for 30 hours per week at $10 per hour, after grant funding for her position runs out in July 2013.

•The Wilson County District Clerk’s Office is asking for salary increases and a $3,000 increase in its office supply budget.

In other county business, Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney said personnel from Thorn+Graves will meet with county officials at 9 a.m. on June 18 to discuss the status of its study of the Wilson County Courthouse. He said preliminary findings reveal that the building is 1/3-foot off plumb on the front.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Its Me  
Over Here  
June 15, 2012 9:00pm
 
Scoggings all of you constables do nothing but mooch a free ride from the county at the taxpayers expense. I think the gravy train needs to come to an end for these guys and give the money where it will actually be put to good ... More ›

 
Eric  
Floresville  
June 13, 2012 10:34pm
 
Scoggins you asked to be elected knowing the job conditions if you didnt like the conditions why did you seek office? Be a man, do the job you asked for and quit whining, resign from office or don't run again. Simply put, we ... More ›

 
gotcha  
sa  
June 13, 2012 7:21pm
 
william r he was right. you do have more than one name on here. you still blame him and everybody else for not towing for the county anymore. well have fun with yourself

 
what tha  
floresville  
June 13, 2012 7:00pm
 
good luck on getting this budget approved go get a real job and stop sucking off us taxpayers

 
George Scoggins  
June 13, 2012 6:05pm
 
So that people do not have to go anywhere but here to see my request, I will post a copy here for them. It is a far cry from paying for 1 deputy let alone 2 or for a new car. I am not saying that the county doesn't need more ... More ›

 
thankful to be here  
floresville  
June 13, 2012 5:14pm
 
i forgot if you want to see what pct 3 constable budget is, go to his facebook site to view WOW for what hes asking for could pay 2 new deputies with a little left over to go toward a new patrol car . he runs his office out of ... More ›

 
thankful to be here  
floresville  
June 13, 2012 4:53pm
 
I still say use these lazy constables look at scoggins asking for raise so he can stay home and play facebook cop and chase bad guys. Commissioners and quinney do something about this asap to help out the sheriff. all you have ... More ›

 
Something else to say 2  
June 13, 2012 10:37am
 
Really, commissioners the Sheriff has to "plead" to get more patrol out there? That is ridiculous!! There should be no question as to why the county needs them. As more oil people (and people in general) move in; ... More ›

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