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.

SB22 SnapShot 20240430

FaCoTxCC 4/29/2024 – Sheriff’s Office Salaries Increase 30% In One Year?

The first order of business was to approve the language of the amendment to the subdivision regulations. I support most of the changes, but the court went too far by setting the minimum lot width of 170’ when 150’ would do. The second topic covered the use of the SB22 grant funds. There was no information available to the public at the meeting and no presentation was made. All they said was that they wanted to use 100% of the grant funds for salary. After getting official copies of the spreadsheets, I can see why there is so much secrecy as the proposed raises would represent a total increase in overall compensation of 30% or more on average, in one year! The final decision will be made Thursday 5/2.

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.