The court appointed Stan Upton, who currently serves as the emergency management coordinator, as a code enforcement officer. He is charged with investigating complaints from county residents.
“He is someone who fits the criteria,” Mascorro said. “He’s a certified police officer and can enforce the ordinances.”
Commissioner Stanley Tuttle asked if Upton would be receiving compensation.
“When we do receive complaints and he does have to look at them and has to drive 70 or 80 miles, is that going to be in his personal vehicle?” Tuttle asked.
Mascorro said Upton will not receive compensation, other than his salary as EMC, and will not have a vehicle to make inspections.
“He will keep records of his out-of-pocket expenses,” Mascorro said.
“I’d like to see a report on his activity,” said Commissioner Ann Lopez.
With a Dec. 15 deadline to implement fireworks restrictions, the court also adopted an ordinance to prohibit the sale or use of skyrockets with sticks or missiles with fins.
The recent rain brought the drought index well below the critical level so the county’s hands were tied in banning all fireworks in areas other than those with high grass or other dangerous locations.
“Every year we ban them and every year we see aerial fireworks in the air,” said Judge Rene Mascorro. “How do we enforce this?”
“We’re in the best shape we’ve been in 16 months,” said Chief Deputy Sheldon Wiginton. “But we’ve still got pastures that have been dead for 12 months.”
Wiginton said there is a huge fireworks lobby at the legislature.
Judy Garrison, who operates the fireworks stand near the bowling alley, said she does not sell any illegal fireworks.
“I don’t carry them; if they have them, they didn’t get them from me,” she told the court.
Garrison said she does sell mortars which are legal. She also offered to send workers to clean up the fairgrounds or any other spot designated by the county to pop the fireworks.
“I have a stand in Port O’Connor and I send people over there to pick up the beach,” she said.
However, her offer fell on deaf ears.
The court also agreed to ask TxDOT for road materials through the Rider 30 Program, which requires TxDOT to assist counties with the maintenance of their roads.
However, the county was only offered rap.
“They’re not going with the letter of the law; they’re going with the spirit of the law,” said Commissioner Gary Bourland.