FaCoTxCC 6/13/2024 – Benefits, Budgets & Salary Requests Discussed

It was a very nice and productive meeting today, beginning with public comments on Juneteenth and the windmill farm. Subdivision regulation via enforcement gets a boost today, there is a lengthy EMS report covering billing issues and scholarships, and the Muldoon Park and the airport construction project and were discussed. The main event, however, was the discussion on employee benefits, the budget and payroll. Don’t miss the last few minutes.

FaCoTxCC 5/23/2024 – Employee Insurance, Subdivision Regulations & Budget Amendments

Today in Commissioners Court, Emancipation Day was declared, and the employee insurance renewal was discussed. The new subdivision ordinance received its first test since adoption and survived. We hear reports from the Grant Specialist and EMC, the EMS director, Chief Deputy Noviski and the Court approved a new part time animal control officer. The most interesting thing, however, were the budget amendments. Precinct 2 Commissioner Sternadel asked for a half a million dollar budget amendment to build a bridge which will vastly diminish Precinct 2’s reserve funds. No word on why it was not approved in last year’s budget or why it can’t wait until next year when it can be budgeted and collected from taxpayers.

Wedge Log Splitter Divided Splintered

FaCoTxCC 5/2/2024 – Divided Court Approves SB22 Budget

The tension in the Courtroom today was palpable as the SB22 budget was narrowly approved by a 3/2 vote. While the simpler and generally smaller requests made by the Constables and County Attorney’s Office received little scrutiny, the request by the Sheriff’s Office drew criticism and ultimately divided the Court. At issue was the overall use of the funds, the size and distribution of the pay increases, the approval authority and the audit trail. Some things can’t be reported on, you just have to hear it for yourself. This is one such occasion. It’s only 16 minutes.

La Grange ISD Logo

FaCoTx LGISD 3/18/2024 – Budget Workshop Considers Maintenance Tax Note

LGISD “Budget Workshop” meeting 3/18/24 to discuss taking out a “Maintenance Tax Note”, which would be a loan of $2,000,000 at 4.75% for 15 years. The purpose of the note is to tackle maintenance and construction projects “now” rather than at the rate of the yearly amount budgeted for capital outlay — approximately $285,000 per year.


FaCoTx Com Court 9/14/2023 – Max Tax Increase (4.7%) Approved By 3/2 Vote

There have been no changes to the 2024 budget, and it was adopted today by a 3/2 over the objections of the Court’s two [apparent] fiscal conservatives. Le sigh… They increased the property tax rates as much as they could this year (4.7%) and increased spending by 8.9%. There were many public comments related to increased spending and dwindling fund balances and members of the Court finally responded. Also, don’t miss my response to being removed from Commissioners Court on 8/24, the comparison of the libertarian, liberal and conservative perspectives, it’s Constitution Week in Fayette County and watch a bonus video explanation of tax rates.

Public Hearing

FaCoTx Com Court 8/30/2023 – Court Divided Between Fiscal Conservatism vs Liberalism

It was refreshing to see so many in attendance at and participating in the public hearing on the budget today and to hear so many comments. Nearly all were critical as the sustainability of the increased spending was questioned repeatedly, given uncertain and limited future revenue growth and low fund balances. Commissioners McBroom and Berckenhoff deliver lengthy statements with great commentary as they defend their positions.

Elephant in the Room

FaCoTx Com Court 8/10/2023 – Debate & Dissent But No Cuts, What Elephant?

Finally, a meeting with some meat in it. After weeks of mild discussion without debate, the budget finally gets some much needed scrutiny and criticism. Unfortunately, the response of the Court was not to cut spending (at 9.3%, the largest increase since 2012), but to increase revenue projections to more or less balance the budget. A lot of things were discussed, but the elephant in the room was clearly the salary contest during the discussion on elected officials’ salaries. Awkward doesn’t begin to describe it. In fact, written words can’t do it justice, you must listen to the entire conversation and judge for yourself.

Budget Deficit

FaCoTx Com Court 8/03/2023 – No One Calls Bluff, Judge To Get 10%?

It was another very short meeting at just over an hour. Beyond the routine, there were three primary topics covered: certified tax rate (with explanation), budget fund balances and deficits (which contained an error on my part) and Senate Bill 22, which will bring new “perpetual” funding from the state for local law enforcement. The big story? They are proposing nearly a $1 million deficit and there was no discussion about making any cuts.

Pot of Gold Rainbow

FaCoTx Com Court 7/27/2023 – Judge Goes All In With 10% Bluff?

Shock & awe is the order of the day! There were the usual routine matters but don’t miss the budget workshop. The Sheriff bet 7%, EMS raised it to 9% and the Judge went all in with 10% raises for those two departments (just 5% for the rest). It’s generous but is it affordable, or good policy? You be the judge. The discussion was very pleasant and informative, again, learn about your government. Remember those sky high property taxes? The clock is ticking as all decisions will be made in 7 days, on 8/3, so that the proposed budget can be approved on 8/10.

Money Tree

FaCoTx Com Court 7/13/2023 – St. Mark’s Revival, Budget Requests & Another 5% Raise?

It was a crowded courtroom today with a revolving door for a marathon meeting. Sam & Diana Wilson, of Hospital Center of Excellence (HCEO), lead off with public comments related to St. Mark’s. There was interesting discussion related to road bonds, our uniform company and especially the bids for property left over from a property tax sale, but without a doubt, the jewel of this meeting was the budget workshop. Private orgs requesting community assistance had detailed written and oral presentations, listen & learn about your community. The smaller county departments followed with their requests, stay up to date. And the last item? “That subject”, another 5% pay increase?