A final public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday in the district courtroom on the second floor of the Goliad County Courthouse. The final public hearing for the proposed tax rate is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Commissioners could adopt the proposed budget and tax rate after each public hearing.
Commissioners removed three budget cut recommendations by County Judge David Bowman at their last meeting Monday.
Bowman had recommended the commissioners no longer be given $10,000 per year in mileage expenses. Bowman recommended each commissioner document mileage and hand in expense reports on a regular basis. Precinct 1’s Julian Flores, Precinct 2’s Alonzo Morales, Precinct 3’s Jim Kreneck, and Precinct 4’s Ted Long all voted against the proposed change.
“I proposed that it become just a travel allowance and they document their mileage and get reimbursed,” Bowman said. “They didn’t go for that.”
“I kept records from time to time of the driving that I do,” Long said. “Consistently, I use more than 20,000 miles in a year. Usually, during the last two months of every year, I drive on my own nickel.”
The commissioners also voted against cutting $40,000 of AFLAC supplemental insurance per county employee and reducing the county clerk’s office personnel from five full-time employees to four full-time and one part-time.
“We had given any raises in two years and I don’t feel like cutting the employees more and more,” Kreneck said.
“The county clerk (Mary Ellen Flores) said she needed her five people,” Morales said. “She had already lost one and and another left voluntarily a while back. She only had five positions left, anyway.”
Bowman recommended $550,000 in budget cuts as the county awaits the result of a lawsuit filed Aug. 16 against the county by Coleto Creek Power, which generates approximately 40 percent of the county’s tax revenue. The power plant is contesting the county’s appraised taxable value of the plant and seeking to lower the its value by approximately $100 million.
“It’s hard to shoot at a moving target in the dark,” Long said of developing a budget with the pending lawsuit. “I believe we don’t need to look at employees to get additional funding. We need to look at other things to cut.”
Bowman recommended $50,000 in cuts from the Goliad County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Kirby Brumby said last week he doesn’t anticipate any personnel cuts.
Also among the recommendations was a cut of $157,375 in road and bridge budgets.
Flores refused comment when contacted by the Advance-Guard.