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Section A: General News


Auditor revises county budget




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Wilson County News
July 24, 2013 | 2,672 views | 30 comments

Wilson County -- like other area taxing entities -- awaits the certification of its 2013 tax roll by the Wilson County Appraisal District. Preliminary estimates are, however, that the amount of available new revenue might not be as much as previously thought. The Wilson County Commissioners Court, during its July 22 meeting, held another workshop ahead of crafting the county’s 2014 fiscal year budget.

State law only allows taxing entities such as the county to increase the maintenance and operation side of its tax rate by a maximum of 8 percent in any given year, before triggering a rollback election.

Wilson County Auditor Verna Gorzell estimates that an 8-percent increase only would yield an additional $900,000 in revenue. During a July 8 budget workshop, a budget that included earlier wish-list items -- such as salary increases of $250 per month for employees of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and a 5-percent, across-the-board raise for other county workers -- would have required an estimated $1.3 million increase.

With regard to the proposed salary increases, Gorzell said following the meeting that she is unaware of the county ever having performed a compensation and classification study to determine adequate wages for its workers according to their job duties. Floresville Electric Light & Power System recently completed such a study and she said Karnes County currently is performing one.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Gorzell, who pledged that she would consult the Texs Association of Counties for advice on the matter.

The commissioners reached a consensus that Gorzell, upon receiving more conclusive numbers from the appraisal district, will offer recommendations of what items should either be included or excluded from the coming year’s spending plan. Likely considerations will include an estimated 19- percent increase in health- insurance expenses. The auditor said she is budgeting approximately $866 per month, per employee, for individual health-insurance coverage. The county currently spends $850 per month for individual health insurance to cover its approximately 150 workers -- a cost of more than $1.5 million for the year.

Gorzell said the county has no control over rising health insurance rates. It also cannot control rising budgets for the 81st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, district and county courts, and juvenile prosecution expenses. She also reminded commissioners that the state recently concluded that the Wilson County Tax Assessor/Collector’s Office needs to hire two additional employees.

Also during the meeting, commissioners:

•Voted unanimously to approve the Wilson County Appraisal District’s 2014 fiscal year budget.

•Appointed and swore in Quinton Kiolbassa as the newest member of the Wilson County Emergency Services District No. 1 board of commissioners. He replaces Tommy Terry, who resigned earlier this year.

•Voted to accept a recommendation from the interview committee to solicit bids from two firms that responded to a recent request for qualifications from companies wishing to perform renovations to the Wilson County Courthouse and the Wilson County Courthouse Annex III. Members of the committee include Wilson County Pct. 2 Commissioner Paul Pfeil, Gorzell, Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney, Wilson County Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Richard “Dickie” Jackson, and architect Lyndsay Thorn.

•Approved an agreement for an oil lease with the Wilson County Historical Commission, the Remschel Trust, and a firm identified as “Vista.” The agreement would allow Vista to lease five acres on the grounds of the Dewees-Remschel house, for which it would pay the county -- which owns the property’s surface rights -- a one-time payment of $2,200 per acre. The funds then would be given to the historical commission.

•Heard a presentation from Gage Bush and Steven Fisher of the Stockdale 4-H Club, related to their proposed improvements to the Jackson Nature Park near Stockdale.

•Voted to publish a legal notice related to the proposed 5-percent, across-the-board salary increases for the county’s elected officials.

In attendance: Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney and commissioners Albert Gamez Jr., Paul Pfeil, Ricky Morales, and Larry Wiley; County Clerk Eva Martinez, County Attorney Daynah Fallwell, County Auditor Verna Gorzell, Library Director Nicki Stohr, Assistant County Auditor Kristin Labus, Lisa Eberhardt of the Wilson County Auditor’s Office, Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Jim Burdette, Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Richard “Dickie” Jackson, Kaitlyn Eberhardt of the Wilson County Clerk’s Office, Wilson County Emergency Services District No. 1 board President Roberta Ensor; and Floresville Mayor Diana Garza, City Manager Andy Joslin, and City Secretary Sherry Pollok.

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Your Opinions and Comments

 
Chief Noetall  
Wise, Texas  
July 31, 2013 7:15am
 
New Guy......Ask not what the Tea Party can do for you, but what you can do for the Tea Party. :) The bell tolls for thee.......

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
July 31, 2013 6:37am
 
Eric......Years ago they called that practice "non appropriated use of government property" In the federal realm, it was and still is a criminal offense. If the local officials were subjected to the same standards, they ... More ›

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
July 31, 2013 6:30am
 
Eric.....Years ago, they label

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
July 31, 2013 6:26am
 
New Guy.....And what have you done for your county today ???

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
July 31, 2013 5:30am
 
All county employees should contribute to the cost of their health care insurance. Taxpayers on Medicare pay about $1200.00 a year for their Plan B coverage. They also pay for the 20 percent not covered by Medicare. In addition, ... More ›

 
Eric  
Floresville  
July 31, 2013 3:01am
 
The deputies work private events providing security when they are off duty at the church halls and community centers around the county like wedding receptions, birthday parties, etc etc. They use a taxpayer owned car and equipment ... More ›

 
New Guy  
Wilson County  
July 29, 2013 3:51pm
 
Still waiting for the Wilson County TEA Party meeting on this issue. If a salary increases of $250 per month for employees of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and a 5-percent, across-the-board raise for other county workers ... More ›

 
Michael Abbott  
Sutherland Springs, TX  
July 27, 2013 11:19pm
 
Sign up locations & times: Stockdale- Sylvia's Restaurant Sun. 28 11am-2pm Poth- Farmers Gin Sun. 28 10am-12pm Floresville- Mata's Cafe Sun. 28 8:30am-2pm

 
Untrue Resident  
Floresville  
July 27, 2013 8:00pm
 
I signed the petition this morning at Farmer's Gin. Not very many signatures. Tell you family and friends. I spoke to folks while I was there and they signed. Time is running out.

 
Michael Abbott  
Sutherland Springs, TX  
July 26, 2013 10:19pm
 
Petition sign up dates, times & locations In Stockdale: Sylvia's Restaurant on Hwy 123 Sat. 27th 8am-2pm In La Vernia: Busy Bear Restaurant Sat. 27th 8am-2pm In Poth: Farmers Gin Sat. 27th 7am-5pm

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