Follow by Email

Friday, September 28, 2018

Notes on Marfa City Council Meeting Thursday Sept 27, 2018, 6:00 PM

Notes on City of Marfa Council Meeting Thursday September 27, 2018, 6:00 PM, Casner Room, Marfa City Hall.

Councilmembers present: Buck Johnston, Natalie a Melendez, Irma Salgado, Brit Webb, Mayor Ann Marie Nafziger. Absent: Manny Baeza
City Manager Brechtel and City Atty Todd also present.

Meeting convened at 6:00 PM.

Citizen Comments:
Question about furniture so that council can face audience. Mayor says that city needs some new furniture. Will be considered this year.
Question about citizen comments during agenda items, can it be clarified before a motion is made that the citizens have given input? Some discussion. Wanted is an opportunity to discuss before decisions are made.


Mayors Report:
HOT fund grant process committee is dedicated to the process and is successful. Formalizing grant process has made things more clear. Transportation and car rental system discussed as well. City administrator and city Atty are looking further into it. Will be studied more and corrections to any mistakes can be made or other methods can be adopted.
Buck Johnston asks if the city management feels comfortable with the existing system. Mayor says that no rental vehicles are being used by city official or staff, only by tourists who are renting them. Previously that was not always the case. Occasionally were used by city staffers and elected officials. There will be a car budgeted for administration. Melendez says she is happy to hear that. Buck Johnston asked the original question.
Mistakes in transportation systems will be remedied going forward to be in perfect compliance with rules. Teresa Todd has reached out to all the major stakeholders and hotels asking for input on the program. Is it worth it and is it serving the tourism industry properly. Buck says thank you, this is good. Teresa also say they are looking into alternative solutions as well for the transportation issues in the city.
HWY 67 corridor study. Mayor and city administrator participated.
She took the bus tour from alpine to Presidio. Chief Marquez presented about the four way stop issues.
Most conversation revolved soured safety issues. Had lunch at the PAC in Presidio. Larger meeting and had work groups. Short term outcomes. David Alice from TXDOT was on the bus. Striping on four way stop a result of this. More signage between Alpine and Marfa. Next meeting Nov 7 at USO building in Marfa. Please spread the word.
Sen Rodriguez had a town hall. Councilmembers Johnston and Mayor attended. Went well.
Parks board meeting last week discussed the budget and Coffield Park playground equipment. $55,000 budget. Agenda item in this meeting on TPW grant for park project.
Talk about future council meeting dates.
During budget process website was discussed. Dan Shiman, web designer I’ll present next meeting.

Police Chiefs report
Steve Marquez- Aug-Sept update.
School zones, school walk-throughs. Enforcing traffic laws in school zones.
Security checks for residents upon request.
Thirteen courtesy rides for tourists and locals getting them home safely.
Will do security for upcoming Roseanne Cash Chinati concert
Neighborhood meeting at Bldg 98 occurring and Chief will answer questions and take comments. 7-8 pm onOct 12(?)

Received RGCOG training on new reporting software.
Public safety: three officers attended Active Shooter training in Alpine at Sul Ross. Very good training session. Followed up with  Civilian Response to Active Shooter. Marquez, Hernandez and Carrillo are now certified instructors and can teach citizens on this issue.
130 officer requests for service.
21 new cases ranging from assault, vandalism, theft, hit and run. DWLI, internet scams.
Job offers, cloning actual businesses and get info.
Arrests: 7
69 traffic stops, 48 citations in Aug.
More in Sept. Three in-city vehicle collisions.
Vehicle unlock requests: 21
Police are locking the restrooms at night at Coffield Park. Open during the daytime now.
Sonora has had bad flooding, have requested assistance from Police. On days off chief and one officer are going to go down to assist.
End of report.

Item 7: City manager report:
Grant status. Waco St improvement project expected to complete by Oct. work can start after that.
Alamito Creek project grant was not approved. Will pursue in the future with better information.
City audit is complete.
Oct 10 flu shots will be available to city employees, elected officials and family members.
Roseanne Cash concert conversations. TXDOT wants to extend road closure to HWY 17. Everyone ok with that.
City has been billed for fewer dumpsters than are actually being picked up. Republic/Duncan has conducted some audits on our dumpsters. City has not in years. City manager wants to have an extensive audit of residential and commercial accounts.
Republic had been billing for commercial when it was residential and city was not billing all commercial businesses for commercial rate and dumpster tipping rates. Republic billing city for dumpsters that are not being billed for by the city. City will not try to receive retroactive payments from customers but will contact customers to inform of adjustments.
Republic has agreed that fault is with them and city booth and wants to work in good faith to fix the problems. Will have audit completed and accounts adjusted by the end of this year. Patty O’Brien and Lori Flores have been heading up this effort.

Councilmembers Comments:
Brit Webb apologizes for being absent last meeting. Appreciates those who have come to his defense for being out of town for family business. Had a great time with family. Glad that the Mayor got to vote to break a tie.

So
Skip to Item 11:
Mandy Roane presents.
Naming library addition community room after donor Cecilia Thompson. Also family that donated the land to the city.
Mandy says that money came with the understanding that Cecilia would be acknowledged in the project. Her lawyer discussed this with city, previous admi understood this.
Library committee raised additional funds, not city or county tax funds.
Plan for plaque on the wall and recognition wall as well. Individuals and foundations gave donations, large and small.
Large plaques are very expensive. Aluminum signs for outdoor use more affordable.
Foundations $3000 and up. Larry Doll, architect who passed away and designed the project will be recognized.
Buck Johnston says that she was one of Cecilia’s best friends and was her medical power of attorney. One a personal level she is thrilled, as a councilmember she cannot vote for this. She does not think it’s right to single out a person for donations. Mandy says that the Atty, Ron ...., sends donations every year and he is adamant that the building be named for her. Buck asks if this could affect future donations.
Melendez says she thinks it’s a nuanced matter and she ultimately agrees with Buck but if it puts future funding in jeopardy then we have to take that into consideration. Webb says he does not feel either way about it. Salgado says she feels like naming is unnecessary but honoring the donors is a good thing.
Question as to whether honoring her inside the library. Mandy says that according to the information she has that this is what would have worked and what was appropriate given the donations and the expectations.
J.D. DiFabbio was on the board and explains that in the early discussions not the entire space but just the community room building would be named after Cecilia. Mayor asks for clarification. Buck says that yes, the estate wanted this, but she was not the architect of this plan. She goes on to see that she does not think Cecilia would support this, not that she wasn’t vain.
J.D. says that the board really wanted to represent all the contributions from everyone who participated. This was a good faith negotiation with Ron Summers, Atty and Cecilia’s estate. No members believed this was anything but acknowledging the great help of this generous donation that allowed the space to be built properly. It was the heart of the beginning of the project. Mandy says the plan is to honor everyone. The community room, though, would  be.
Mandy says this donation propelled the project to success. Helped matching fund contributions and got foundations and other donors attention.
This building was not built with public funds. Teresa Todd reminds public. No public funds at all, all fundraising.
Mandy says in no way are they trying to diminish other donors but the board feels like this is appropriate.
Brit Webb compliments the opening of the facility. Says it’s great, beautiful.
Grand opening ceremony Oct 23. They want all recognition in place.
Three week turnaround on plaque production.
Genevieve Bassham, former Mayor and councilwoman says the she believes Cecilia should be honored for her donation and as an admirable person.
Elbert Bassham says that there is plenty of precedence in buildings being named for people.
Mayor agrees with Atty Todd’s point that the library board did all of the work to fund this project and it should be their preference to honor their donors.
Mandy says yes, this has been a seven year plus project and we are ready to be done with the plan we have.
Patrick Chavira asks about the future funding issue, is it a worry? Mandy says maybe, they have had such a good working relationship with Ron Summers. Patrick says he would like for the city not to jeopardize future donations.
Melendez doe not like the idea of naming a building after a person but she does not want to jeopardize any funding from donors.
Discussion about how the land was transferred from the family for $8,000 to the city for library purposes. Beebe says that at the time the donation was given it gave the city impetus for a project where there was nothing before. Transformational moment.
Buck says she is torn about it. Peter Stanley elaborates on the progress of the concept from courtyard to storage shed to community space at that time.
Silence from council. Salgado motions to honor the donors and Cecilia on a plaque but not on the building itself. Second by Webb.
Vote. Buck and Natalie vote no, Mayor breaks tie and votes no. Motion fails.
Mayor says she thinks that when you look at the history of the funding the library board has been in charge and they are requesting a specific proposal. She thinks that the council should accept the library crowds recommendation.
Melendez moves to accept the library board’s recommendation.
No second. Dies for lack of second.
Buck Johnston motions to postpone to next meeting for input from Councilman Baeza. Unanimous.

Item 9: Appoint members to planning and zoning board.
Candidates:
Jamey Garza and Hilary Scruggs.
Comments
Hilary: new resident to Marfa. Has a lot of experience in building in Sam,l municipalities and in San Antonio with her design business.
Jamey: lived here for fifteen years. Have run design build contracting service and now furniture design. Has worked in town on various projects and navigating and recognizing how each property within an area has its own set of conditions and circumstances. Thinks he can bring a helpful perspective to the board. Also having owned and operated a business in this town he has additional perspectives. Marfa fifteen years later, what’s the next fifteen look like. It’s an interesting time for service.
Buck Johnston says both candidates are excellent and would be great.
 Says there are two architects on the board already. What can she bring that adds and is different
Hilary says that the experience she can bring is defined from her educational background and value of functioning processes.
Buck asks both candidates about a potential new zoning ordinance. She thinks this is one of the most important committees in the city.
Hilary asks for clarification about hat she means. Jamey says it seems like the city is at the point where property values are up and more rental options are one thing to keep the community viable for new commercial businesses to open.
These days just getting property to have a business is a tough proposition. Uncertainty of leases and prohibitive costs. Wants people to open businesses and stay, and it is very hard.
Thinks a new ordinance would be important. Bigger employers don’t have housing options for their employees.
P&Z members here have no recommendation between the two qualified candidates. Five members of planning and zoning commission. This position would begin November 1st.
Spot had been occupied by Meghan Gehraty.
Josef Ben-Yehuda and Peter Stanley are present, other members are Steve Raybourn and Scott May.
Motion by Buck to appoint Jamey Garza based on his time in the community. Unanimous.
Thank both candidates.

Item 10
Alley behind Basshams’ house to abandon and sell.
Currently being used as part of the property, not being used as an alley. Appraised value is $3400. Signature from neighbor Katy Rose Elsasser saying no issues, this is Food Bank property. Motion is to schedule public hearing for this. Salgado makes motion. Unanimous. Could be considered at Nov council meeting, says Atty Todd.

Item 12: paining and repairs of water tower. MacGuire iron.
City manager said there were three proposals. Recommends accepting this proposals for 63,900. Much lower than other bids and the only firm to come out and do a visual inspection.
Three year contract. Michael Brackman presents.
Family owned business out of Sioux Falls. Working with Alpine,  asked in San Antonio. Pecos tower. 25 years in Texas.
Most tanks do not receive good maintenance. TCEQ monitors, American Water Works Association creates standards for portable water storage. OSHA as well.
Standards change. This standpipe was built in 1939 and is in good shape considering.
Dan Dunlap helping with presentation. Computer has gone into Windows update mode. Brechtel recommends moving forward to next item. Working on computer, pics are important, according to city manager.
Presentation: includes company background.
Limited service program for Marfa.
One stop shop for maintenance, repair and replacement.
Each tank has a separate contract.
Colony cannot drop the city contract. City may drop MacGuire.
Marfa water tank condition assessment.
Purple tower, 100000 gallon standpipe: 1939. Built by Chicago bridge and iron. Worth between 700,000 and 800,000. New tank would cost more. Exterior coating is in poor condition. Near end of service life. Work will be recondition and paint, coat. Shows photos of some damage to exterior.
 Chalking of paint. Need a new finial ball. Rust on roof fairly severe.
Ledge replacement. Need new roof ladder compliant with regs. New man way. Antenna ring will be updated. They recommend a railing system as well.
Antennas would be attached to exterior of railing. Better for safety and health of the tank, not as great for aesthetics. Verizon has a new plan for nw equipment. Will be coordinated.
Interior ladder will be removed. Unnecessary and they rust into the water.
Will have dual aviation light instead of single.
Interior coating: will be redone in three years. No contract now. Needs to be removed, replaced and epoxied.
Interior tie rods need to be removed. Corrosion into water from them. Magnesium and iron staining on walls. Pitted areas as well.
Three years for the city to install various variable water flow devices so that this tower can be shut down and entirety of city can still have water.
Potable water tank will be installed temporarily to serve wells next to this tank during the repair period.
Several weeks. How will it affect the fire Dept. Says there is enough capacity to serve Dept needs.
Repair overflow weir.
Install ladder gate to prevent illegal access.
If city locks into seven year agreement prices will be locked in for inflation, etc. city can break contract and pay whatever is owed. Opportunity to lock in at today’s prices.
Good presentation, informative.
Johnston motion to accept seven year contract.
Johnston asks city manager if she recommends seven year deal. Yes.
Unanimous.

Item 13- Affordable housing advisory committee. Councilmember Melendez speaks to citizens. Purpose is to work in conjunction with city leadership, organizations and citizens. Big concern with many parties. Formation of an advisory committee is a good way to start this dialogue.
Has an outline of how a committee oiled be set up and desired expertise in membership.
Johnston asks if this would be policy driven. For establishing policy. Yes, she says, initially.
Johnston is in support.
Teresa Todd recommends having an odd number of members on a committee for practical voting purposes of avoiding ties.
Mayor asks if council members might be involved. Johnston says she would love to do it. Todd says they could be non-voting.
Go to seven members, including two council members.
General agreement.
Process moving forward is to advertise openings for membership.
Motion to create and advertise for members of an affordable housing committee by Salgado with seven members including two council members. Unanimous.

Item 14: city records retention offer. Salgado motions to table at Mayor recommendation. Unanimous.

Item 15: Court security committee as required by the Texas Govt Code.
Teresa Todd says that Lege passed this in 2014. Must include the municipal court judge, a police officer and a rep from the city.
Recommendations to council for usage of designated funds from certain court costs collected in traffic tickets.
Salgado. Options to approve and establish court security committee. Second by Melendez. Discussion as to who to have represent the city. Cherry Torres, clerk of court, recommend additional. Part of motion
Unanimous.

Item 16: rainy parks and Rec board to install new playground equipment at Coffield Park. Description of additions, cost approx $55,000.
Old slide and merry go round will be removed and offered out for bid sale to citizens.
Item 17 deals with grant application for same.
Verena Zbiden says that Marfa Rotary Club has prepared a Rotary grant application for assistance. City council is thrilled. Mayor says this will help in getting TPW grant most likely. Unanimous.
Item 17: Mayor presents. Due Oct 1. Mayor will try as hard as possible to get this match grant. Possible to maybe get $55,000 extra. Johnston motions to authorize grant application. Unanimous.

Item 18-
Amending fiscal year 2017-2018 Budget. Dan Dunlap helps present.
Teri Brechtel says a couple of things have changed. Objective is to show ending numbers to reflect actual.
Says that total revenue $220,000 above budgeted amount.
Expenditures: 6.6 million budgeted. 6 million forty one thousand and change spent.
Obligated funds: did not spend money on new water well this year, still need it. Savings reflected.

Administration funds: city changed vacation payout obligations for when employees quit. Now fifty percent, used to be 100%.

City’s general fund could purchase a vehicle from Tourist info center for use by admin for fair market price. Some discussion, no decision.

Other changes, mostly not significant.
No major changes in Law Enforcement budget.
Fire Dept. Added for fuel to get to actual.
Gas utility charges less.
Dunlap mentions that fire Dept budget is nearly completely funded by the voluntary contribution on water bills. Johnston asks question about what happens when you pay online. Dunlap says that if the individual ha taken that option, then yes it is added. Dunlap says city needs to pay any balance to fire Dept with a check they can use as they wish. City’s main contribution to fire Dept is building maintenance for the fire Dept building.

Municipal Court: fines lowered. Zeroed out technology fund.
Beebe speaks to the councilmembers about the municipal court and issues about ticket payments and lack of being able to pay for defendants, lack of phone being answered.
Also reminds Council about technology fund being legally designated for tech use only in municipal court office and funds carry over year to year, not to be co mingled in general fund. Brechtel says they have this system in place.

MAC building pool revenue is very small. No pool fees next year at all, it will be free.
EMS service: looking pretty good. No significant changes.
Presidio County payment adjusted to reflect no increase.

Solid waste and recycling. Duncan contract services stay the same at $415,000 after negotiations and discussions with Republic. We’re looking at a greater liability but agreed to start repress next year.

Water fees: no significant changes.

Sewer: no changes

Natural Gas: supplies dropped from $60,000 to $50,000. Meter expense went up to $18,000 from $10,000.

Public works and streets: vehicle maintenance up about $5500.

Tourism Dept: no changes except for Building maintenance. Dropped landscaping work and saved $72,000. Membership and dues went up but not dollars.

No changes in interest and sinking.
End of presentation.
Beebe asks about reserves, budget surpluses carried over.
Explained that the goal is to eventually have a four month contingency for each operating/enterprise fund in the city.
Further discussion.
Unanimous.

Item 19: contraction permit ordinances. Definitions of terms, fees for permit and license fees. Reflects what is approved in new budget.
Several different fees addressed for residential and commercial permits. Increased permit fees to twenty cents per square foot. Contractors license is $150. Disposal fees for contractors not having proof of an on site roll off.
Roll off fee on city right of way $150 and $5 daily fee. Use of sidewalk or city street row same.
Johnston would like to table this issue. This is an ordinance and she would like to give citizens the opportunity to see an review this ordinance for input. She does not have a big problem with this but she would like to give citizens a chance to study it in the interest of transparency.
This was discussed in budget talks several times. Salgado says this has been discussed enough and we can approve. Ok, says buck. Salgado moves to approve. Second by Melendez.
Johnston opposed but passes otherwise.

Accounts payable report:
Salgado asks about Marfa Recording Co for wireless microphone installation at USO. Bought for $750. Salgado questions buying it from Marfa Recording at that cost. We already have one, was there a need for a second one? Teri says that yes, there was a need. Discussions were had.
Salgado would like to shop around next time to find a better price.
Melendez moves to approve report.
Second by Webb
Unanimous

Announcements: none
Adjourn at 9:01 pm.

Marfa City Council Agenda Thursday Sept 27th, 2018, 6:00 PM, Casner Room, City Hall




Agenda, Presidio County Commissioners Court Special Meeting Wed Oct 3, 2018, 1:00 PM, Presidio




Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Documents provided by Auditor Sept 25, 2018 detailing budget financials.











Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting Wednesday September 26, 2018, 9:30 AM

Presidio County Commissioners Court Special Meeting Wed Sept 26, 2018

Arrived at 9:54, meeting underway.

Auditor presents papers about budget.

Five months operating expenses in reserves for general fund, four months for jail and jail fund.

Questions about City of Marfa hotel motel tax contribution to airport runway capital project.

Comp time payout transfer from general fund.

Auditor goes though her handout notes. Various transfers, adjustments.
 Estimated shortfall in budget: $170,000 plus change.
$75,000 to finance the airport grant match if airport funds are not coming from city of Marfa and/or FAA omnibus grant, which would be 100% funded with no match but is still unknown whether we will receive.

Judge brings up water district funding. Budgeted is $30,000.its $10,000 less than they asked for.
There is 7,300 in contingency in non departmental that could be added.
Judge would like to add the ten thousand to fund their budget. Aranda asks why. We are operating under a deficit budget.
Water well applications could provide them some revenue. Trey Gerfers is in Australia, unavailable. Ponton wants to know if there is any grant money available.
Judge says unknown, but manager says that it’s possible.
Senator Rodriguez supports full funding.

Sheriffs office revenues have been underestimated in the past, updated numbers and will spend it on travel and education, primarily.

Judge asks commissioners if there are additional questions about the budget.
No, not from commissioners.
Judge asks for public comments.
Gracie Parras says that jail and sheriffs office would like to split up their costs for communications and utilities with jail budget covering utilities and sheriffs office budget covering communications expense.
Auditor explains how that would change the budget.
Discussions about Big Bend Telephone bills and charges. Has been more expensive than expected. Buildout costs plus charges for actual service.
Auditor explains how the charges are broken down within the different departments. Sheriff is concerned that as his communications budget decreased the money was spread out to other department budgets to cover their costs for phone/internet.
Auditor explains how their office is adjusting to communications budgets within the county as a whole.
Judge wants to take a quick break for auditor to meet with Sheriff and jail administrator with regard to how the communications are budgeted.
To auditor the only reason this matters is because the jail budget and M&O budgets are kept separately.
Sheriff says he is ok with leaving it how it is if it helps the County.
Auditor says it just changes which pocket it comes out of, not really consequential to overall savings or spending.
Sheriff says we’ll leave it as is.
DPS Corporal Rey thanks the commissioners for helping with their budget. Judge reviews that it is paying for the phone, $800.
Any other questions or clarifications?
The airport numbers are not final and are conservative. Several ways to finance grant match if necessary.
Raises for airport have not yet been made. Auditor does not have anything specific right now.
Aranda asks about match financing. $395,000. $75,000 per year to finance.
Vasquez asks about bids for airport project. Judge says twelve bids have been received, TXDOT is negotiating with vendors. Both bids came in lower than budgeted. Omnibus funding did not come through. Runway improvements won’t be as substantial but will still be a great improvement.
Cold weather is coming, could set construction back.
Next week meeting in Presidio will include an update from airport director Chase Snodgrass.
Auditor says if project does not start until April or May it may impact when we pay the grant match and may impact loan payment and commissioners budget for it.
Five minute break at 10:37 AM.
10:50 AM reconvened
Commissioner Bentley motions to accept budget. Second by Aranda. Roll call vote. All commissioners vote yeah.

Tax rate: tax rate this year will be raising more revenue from property taxes by $205,000. $19,000 is from property added to tax rolls this year.
Aranda motions to accept. vasquez seconds.
Roll call vote unanimous.
Judge says that we have done this in compliance with the rules for counties under 225,000.


Total rate proposal is .61475
Did not increase from last year.
Aranda motions to adopt tax rate.
Second by Bentley.
Roll call vote is unanimous.

Dates for regular commissioners court meetings.
Proposed schedule of court dates being passed out.

Judge would like to pass budget earlier this year. Auditor says it can be done if work on budget is done all year long.
Called meetings coincide with payroll obligations.

Proposed Holiday Schedule passed out as well.
Aranda says that many counties have their budgets approved prior to mid September.

Feb 26 2019 is Presidio County day at State Capitol.
Item 12:
Approve holiday schedule: same as last year except for half day on Friday before Labor Day/Marfa Lights
Unanimous.

Item 13: Sheriff and Constable fees.
$100 for citations, writs $150.
Same as last year. Unanimous.

Item 14: promotion of Rudy Estor to airports director. Judge says she would like to postpone this item until next Meeting when Chase can present about this item and the next one.
Motions to postpone until Wed Oct 3 meeting.
Both items 14 and 15 postponed until next meeting.

Candelaria water supply corporation agreement.
Resolution for project that County is applying for and authorizing application for $300,000 arsenic removal project in Candelaria.
Cabezuela asks who will be doing the waters testing.
Man from Presidio will do it and get paid. Cabezuela says that JohnRussell from City of Presidio is licensed and willing to help.
Friday there was a full conference with TCEQ. Everything going as planned but no time to spare as project is late.

Resolution for grant application for Shafter solid waste removal grant.
Follow up on last week’s action. Hoping for $6000 for trailer for waste removal once per month.
Cabezuela wants to know who will be picking up this trash. Judge says it’s only for large trash, not residential trash. Judge says the plan is for Sam Cobos and Ruben Carrasco to organize the labor.
Ruben Carrasco and road and bridge crew will do most or all of the work.
Judge hopes to expand the grant next year to other colonias.
Bentley motions to approve grant application.
Aranda is happy that we are dong this, although it’s very expensive.
Unanimous.

Approve National 4H week in Presidio County. Reba Griggs proposed. Numbers are up, in Presidio there are six kids, last year four. Bentley commends her for her work. Very good to see the kids excited and having a great time.
Judge motions to accept.
Unanimous.

MOU between Texas A&M
Agrilife Extension and Presidio County for technology services. Two year agreement. IT services agreement for facilities for Agrilife office and technology standards. Had agreement in the past, same.
Aranda motions to approve. Unanimous.

Approve phone line and broadband to be installed in former county attorneys office in Presidio. When co atty moved to new office phone and internet were disconnected. Big Bend Telephone said it will cost a little more but there is so kind of credit. Judge says she would like to use that office and also station her clerk there twice a week. Bentley wants to postpone until amount of costs are determined. Judge says she does not yet know.
She will look into it. Needs to be budgeted.
Bentley motions to postpone. Unanimous.

Approve 8.5 hours of overtime for Katie Sanchez for help in County Judge office.
Judge says that commissioners already voted to pay out come time and use overtime pay from now on. No action necessary. Judge thanks Katie for her help.

Accept increased bid for real property. Detail in agenda item.
Judge says she received an email from TCG Corp that is handling trust properties and they have revived many bids on properties. Soon there will be many properties sold if court approves them. Back on tax rolls, money for County.
Next agenda for next meeting will have many properties.
Judge would not like to accept less than 15% for properties valued at less than$10,000.  Bids just too low but the point is to get them back on the tax rolls.
Bentley says this has been going well.
Judge says there are several with issues including people living on them. We will have to sort those out.
Unanimous.

Line item transfers:
Various small ones to clean up final budgets.
Communications, utilities.
Jail software installation and new computer monitor for same, furniture line.
Aranda motions to approve. Second by Vasquez. Unanimous.

Approve bills: bills submitted by treasurer.
Adjusted list from auditor reflecting bills pulled or revised.
Health insurance payment should be for next fiscal year.
Questions about big bend telephone, att.
Bills approved unanimously.

End of month reports are in.
Unanimously accepted.

Adjourn At Noon.









Presidio County Schedule of Commissioners Court Meeting dates and Holiday Schedule 2018-2019 adopted 9/26/2018

NOTE:
All Commissioners Court dates for meetings marked as "called" are tentatively scheduled to be held in Presidio at the County Courthouse Annex Building B on O'Reilly St in Presidio. Subject to change.

Additional meetings may be scheduled on an as needed basis that are not reflected on this adopted schedule of Regular and Called meetings. All "Regular" meetings are required by law to be held at the County Seat in Marfa and will be at the County Courthouse.


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting Wednesday Sept 19, 2018, 9:30 AM, Presidio

Presidio County Commissioners Court Wednesday Sept 19, 201

Convene at 9:48 AM

All present other than Brenda Bentley

Citizen comments:
Joe Portillo says this year for the city of Presidio has been very difficult. Aging infrastructure has been a problem, the city has not been competent at doing its best for quite some time. He asks for the County’s support.

Mark Pearson- works with a group that is assisting on the Candelaria water system project. Candelaria has been on the EPA watch list for many years. Naturally occurring arsenic in water. TCEQ as well has been aware and has been patient.
TWDB grants available and has been waiting on a stable board to develop before going forward. $300,000 available and it is the table again.
Good news is that board is now formed and two meetings have been convened with full quorums.
Conference call on Friday at 2:30 to move forward.

Barbara Baskin thanks commissioners for Ruben Carrasco re,ovine Cottonwood trees that had fallen into the arroyo.
Does not know what is going on with the OMB but she was happy about its formation back when it was formed. Her understanding was that it would take care of grants and administration of them. Requests that commissioners have Ruben Carrasco organize his files and make them available to the public at the courthouse. Records missing, one million dollars has been spent in Redford since 2013 and the main outcome has been the destruction of ten min irrigation system which had been functioning since the 1800s.
State inspector came out last month to check it out and said it should be put back to where it was originally. Advocates for term limits for County Commissioners and review nepotism laws for the County.

Announcements from County Judge:
Introduces new judge assistant- Christian Montoya, resident of Presidio. Will use old County Atty office in Annex two days per week. He is a veteran, and also a reserve deputy with Sheriffs office.
Aranda says he supports regular meetings in Presidio of commissioners court. Have at least two meetings per month and have special meetings in Presidio.
County Atty Ponton says 75% of population is in Presidio. Says it’s a great idea.
Judge says in the past four years there has been at least one meeting per month in Presidio. Judge says she would like to have more meetings in Presidio.
Agenda item for next week.
Sam Cobos and judge wrapped up solid waste grant application with COG. Applying for a trailer to pick up trash in Shafter at least once per month.
Went to town hall at Dairy Queen with Will Hurd last weekend. Giant crowd, few county officials. Tough questions on immigration, he did a good job. Will be back on Oct 22 for groundbreaking of the railroad bridge. Big event.
Says that Doak Painter, external auditor, and he will not audit county after this year. Judge asked why. Says he feels like the County is moving backwards. Says we can a long way but progress has stalled and training new people to administer grants is a big minus.
Told judge to budget at least $60,000 to $80,000 in the future for an external auditor. He was doing it for $35,000.
Opposed doing away with the OMB department. He is not the only person who was dejected by the dissolving of OMB and losing Katie Sanchez as part of the financial team.
Judge says magnitude of that decision will continue to unfold over time.
Commissioners announcements:
Aranda says he is sorry to hear about the auditor leaving. He helped us immensely. It had been a big mess.
Says constituents told him and other commissioners they wanted less overhead, less admin.
County auditor says that she has not been able to access the grant information yet. It is being withheld from her, she is trying to get records from grant distributors. She needs permission to get the files from the former OMB Dept.
Frances Garcia says she as not been able to receive anything. Records are in Judge’s office. Judge says she has been busy and out of town. Says she will accommodate them when she has time. She is not ignoring the auditor or treasurer. She has had no help, says this is not deliberate.
Vasquez asks if they will eventually have access to the information 24 hours. Yes, judge says. Aranda says he has nothing against Katie but the rumors are flying. Says he thinks that having Patty Roach as internal auditor has been fantastic and that every County official has done a great job in getting us to a better place. He does not like rumors and lies, people should not be telling commissioners what to do, and we are supposed t e one big family. Cabezuela agrees. Aranda is riled up. This must work out. All counties make changes and continue working. He is hearing a lot of talk and is tired of it. He commends everyone for doing great work, we can get this done.
Judge says she agrees, she doesn’t complain that she doesn’t have help, has to get things done on her own. She agrees that commissioner s court makes the decisions, they are ours alone.

Item 6: approve payroll
Judge asks treasurer if there’s anything unique about payroll. Frances Garcia says no. Total is just over $93,000.
Approved unanimously

Item 7:
Approve minutes of meetings Aug 17, 22, Sept 8.
Approved unanimously

Item 8: discussion and approval of jail exhaust fan replacement change order.
Slide show.
Judge says we need a new ladder to get to roof.
Parker Weimers, jail maintenance director, presents.
Refrigerated air has been installed, replacing evaporative cooling.
Refrigerated air is much better for preserving computer systems.
Current exhaust fans installed in 1993. Draw evaporative cooling air out.
28 exhaust fans. New technology would be half of those, high speed only to evacuate smoke in case of fire.
Old fans are in bad shape, have been band aided and replacement parts have to be custom made.
County has liability of caring for safety of inmates and employees.
Fans outline perimeter of jail plus in center. Newer technology can be designed to match new HVAC system.
Aranda wants to know what the change order would be.
Parker says 14 new fans installed to do the job is about $112,000.
County Atty left meeting, was supposed to have spoken to contractor about this job, was it in contract? Judge says the contact does not say that fans would be replaced, only that existing fans would be made to work with new system. Contractor says he is willing to work with us, but the old stuff may only function for a few months. Has new bid for new equipment with warranty.
Sheriff is asking for replacement with new equipment.
Judge understands  that the contract has been controversial. We need to be able to reopen to federal prisoners. County has already lost $300,000 in revenue. We need to get this done before we lose more.
Aranda agrees. Lots of money, though and contract should be abided by. Upset about the contract issues. It’s easy for us to say that we can just spend the money, but before we make a decision we need to talk to County Atty about what he discussed with the contractor. Contractor is insured, bonded. If there is a breach of contract it’s insured.
Parker says facilities manager Sam Cobos has been making decisions and has never been on the roof.
Vasquez says he agrees we have to get this done, wants to hear what Rod has to say.
Sheriff says he understands the contract issues. The reality is we need to get this done, we can go after the contractor later. This has been postponed three times already, this is going to set us back further. Judge says she will take a break and call Rod Ponton.
Judge says that Alfredo Mediano warned her about connecting old to new equipment, it doesn’t work out usually. Judge also says that Sam Cobos told the contractor in an email that county staff would be sure everything was working before the AC units were to be installed . Sometimes things change, contracts have to resilient.
Gary Mitschke says that smoke inhalation is a much bigger killer than fire. Combustibles in jail are limited but what is combustible, eg mattresses, can kill quickly. This is very important. Exhausting air in a fire is critical.
Commissioners look at more slides and the will break to call Ponton.
Judge Beebe tells commissioners that the jail is the County’s cash register, commissioner Aranda remembers when the jail was closed and what that did to the County. Everything in the jail should be working properly and up to date. The main panel should be replaced immediately, the locks do not work, the exhaust fans are a no brainer. This should be a top priority and should be done without any delay.
Judge calls Ponton on speaker. No answer and voice mail is full.
Calls contractor Jay (unknown) about contract and exhaust fans.
Contractor confirms that contract specified old exhaust fans would be used.
Says his guys are there right now and can do some monies work on existing fans if needed, but replacement was never part of the contract.
Says it’s possible that existing fans could work, he will know by the end of the week if that’s possible.
Judge says that she will be in touch. Aranda asks about timeline for finishing project. Jay says by the end of next week barring problems.
If new fans need to be installed it may add a couple of weeks to the job.
Aranda says he thinks we need to move forward and get this jail set up for next 25 years. Vasquez motions to approve change order and replace fans.
Aranda seconds.
Before vote Judge wants to review scope of work. Asks Sheriff is he agrees with scope of work of change order.
114,099 dollars. Includes everything.
Judge reads order. Sheriff is ok with this.
Aranda is ok with this.
Unanimous.

Item 9: approve Operation Stonegarden 2016 resolution to be operated in 2018 and 2019.
Applicable matching funds if rules are not followed. To be returned to office of the Governor.
Judge asks Sheriff I we are ready to go on Stonegarden.
Sheriff Dominguez says yes.
Katie Sanchez says that she needs a few forms for IRS and direct deposit. Still in application process for that but nearly ready to go.
Patty Roach says that transition of grants from OMB to auditor and treasurer has not happened smoothly and this is one of the issues.
Sheriff says in other words the two of y’all need to get together. Judge says she will not sign anything unless she gets every email from every person. This means everything from everyone.
Aranda wants to get this transition done, commissioners court decided this and this should be done immediately. Let’s get this going.
Judge motions to approve the resolution.
Unanimous

Five minute break at 11:21 AM

Reconvene at 11:38 AM

Item 10:
Approve assurances for Operation Stonegarden.
Sheriffs Dept and Katie Sanchez explain that assurances are part of requirements for grant.
Aranda motions to approve.
Unanimous

Item 11:
Engineering agreement for TXDOT TAPS grant project.
Ramon Carrasco of Kleinman construction presents.
City of Presidio is involved in this process, can’t pay the entire match for this project. Kleinman has worked with them in pricing, and will give same discounts to County.
Six months to finish design, as per TXDOT. Going out for bids in June.
Aranda mentions there were some questions as to how contracts were awarded. Judge consulted with Allison and Bass law firm. TXDOT in El Paso said that since Spencer bid was lower we should go with them. AG opinion says that commissioners court has the authority to name who they want. TXDOT legal then reviewed and said we could stick with Kleinman but if audited would have to answer as to why.
Ramon says RFQ for future work on this project should be issued to stay above board in TXDOTs eyes.
Vasquez motions to approve.
Second by Aranda
Unanimous.

Item 12: agreement between County and 83rd District Atty office.
Nothing changes from last year to this year. County Atty looked this over and said it was ok.
Aranda motions to approve.
Unanimous

Item 13-16 Airports items brought by Chase Snodgrass.

RAMP grants
50% match. $50,000 for each airport. Up to $100,000 per airport possible to spend.
Aranda motions to approve
Unanimous
Needs County Atty and judge’s signatures.

Chase updates commissioners on Omnibus grants funding.
Says it’s a moving target. 100 percent grant if we get it, we have been pulling out the stops. A month ago Greg Miller from TXDOT says there’s only seven airports in Texas eligible. Was supposed to have info by Sept 1. Possible info by this Friday. FAA decision.
5.7 million. Pavement would be added to make seven inches of pavement.
Dan Williams company from El Paso has bid, only bidder. 4.6 million bid. Under max.
Feds have not yet elevated the money, if they release we have the full funding.
Judge is worried we may not receive grant.
Chase says that Greg Miller “wouldn’t recommend optimism at this time.”
Concern.
Co7nty is still on the books for the regular, preceding 3.3 million dollars for runway improvements.
Will have to bid if not awarded before Nov 11.
Hangar leases still not ironed out. Could be part of an issue.
Chase says the air traffic control system that has been in place for decades has been a combination of radar and communication by radio. Too much radio traffic in big airports. Becoming unworkable for the FAA.
NextGen is coming. New equipment required for all small planes, kind of pricey for small operators.
Text messaging to screen for pilots.
Identified that they want to put equipment that runs this system locally into the Marfa airport and are willing to pay a monthly lease for space at the airport. Site survey for where to put that equipment happening today, he needs to get back to Marfa.
Judge has to take a phone call. Two minute break at 12:10 pm.

Reconvene at 12:20 PM

Vasquez motion to approve the RAMP grants for Presidio airport.
Second by Cabezuela

Promote Rudy Ester to Airports Operations and Maintenance Supervisor. Chase advocates for Rudy, who is here at the meeting. Chase says he himself was filling that role without any additional pay. Proposed $16.50 per hour with reduction in pay for Chase commensurate to Rudy’s raise.
Judge says she agrees but is concerned about the relation between this item and the next item switching Chase from employee to contract labor.
Chase says he sent his proposal by email yesterday. Judge says that she feels like the changes Chase is asking for can wait until after we have had time to really study the contract and possibly come up with a counter proposal.
She says she is not opposed to changing things, but she thinks they should not rush this and really decide what the County wants to do for the future.
These two employment situations are interrelated.
Chase explains what Rudy would do when asked by Aranda.
Basically manage  airport operations. Vasquez asks how this all works on weekends. Chase says that Rudy works weekend and usually takes Tuesdays and Wednesdays off.
Says Rudy does not take any holidays off.
Does not get paid double time on holidays. They charge the aircraft owners a fifty dollar overtime fee for after hours service.
Rudy would oversee both airports. Currently comes to Presidio airport every Monday.
Uses City of Presidio vehicle when he is here. Airport provides vehicle to get to Presidio in the courtesy car.
Vasquez would like to postpone this item for further study.
Chase says he understands the sentiment to not rush this issue.
Aranda says the budget negotiations are the right time to deal with this.
County Atty needs to review as well. Next week’s meeting.
Aranda commends Rudy for his dedication, the airport’s staff is doing a great job.
Rudy says he really likes his job.
Auditor says this is one of the special raise requests and other departments. Have their own pending. Aranda says he would like to wait until next week to decide on all those, including this one.
Auditor agrees. Says she reviewed contract and may need some review.
Aranda wants to postpone. Aranda motions to postpone item 15. Unanimous.
Judge makes motion to postpone item 16. Unanimous. Next Wednesday.


Item 17: mileage reimbursement for dispatch employee Monica Sanchez. Approved it last week but additional twenty miles not reimbursed.
Extra mileage to get to and from hotels and school. Sheriff provides information.
Aranda motions to approve. Unanimous.

Line item transfers and budget amendments: county auditor

Communications budgets overdrawn.
Clerks office assistant Florcita wages out of elections fund.
Approved unanimously

Back to item 6: bills not yet approved.
Nothing extraordinary.
Approved unanimously.

Break for lunch at 12:46, back to meeting by 2:00

Reconvene meeting at 2:07 PM

Item  19: Budget discussion headed by Auditor
Information distributed by auditor to officials and attendees includes descriptions of changes made to budget in past meetings, current status, updated overview of expenses, comp time payouts to complete comp time and move to paying overtime. Comp time plus holiday time, if paid out now, would costs County approximately $100,000. Comp time for Sheriffs Office is approx $50,000. Jail is around $12,000.
Jail HVAC bills may or may not come during this fiscal year.
Aranda asks about special salary increase requests. Will these employees get an increase and also a 3% increase? Auditor says commissioners have to decide.
Aranda wants to make it clear that if they get a special raise there will not be a 3% on top of that. Possible Chuck Simpson since he is very underpaid.
Talk about giving a flat rate raise instead of a percentage for employees.
External auditor will cost about $60,000. Needs to be budgeted.
Judge asks just why we treat the County enterprise fund as reserves instead of income.
Says that it really hit hard during election year, constituents believe we are spending money we do not have.
Auditor explains to commissioners that labels do not change the reality that you are spending money out of reserves.
Auditor makes case for jail funds not being part of the general overall budget but as separate reserves that can legally be used to offset deficit budgets.
Says that funding salaries, recurring expenses though reserve funds is not a good idea.
Aranda says we are in better shape than before, we have been reducing the deficit, we have cash in the bank.
Auditor agrees we are doing better but she really dislikes deficit budgets.
Reserve funds should be used for special projects.
Judge says we are gathering money but not lowering taxes. Auditor says we must have reserve monies on hand.
Aranda agrees we must have monies in reserves and once we can approve a budget without a deficit we can lower the tax rate.
Six months reserve funds wold be best for bond ratings.
Single audit will be due for fiscal year 2019 in 2020.

Presidio County Underground Water District. Judge cut the monitoring equipment in their budget. $10,000 reduction.
$27,000 more than last year.

DPS budget. Asking for $3,000 in office expense and $3,000 in office supplies.
Judge Beebe says that the commissioners don’t even give enough money to operate the county’s own offices, much less fund other offices. The DPS receives a billion dollars every two years for border security, now asking for County money to fund their office? Outside entities seem to get what they ask for while County offices aren’t allocated enough to get by.
Judge says maybe we can give $1,500 and warn them there might not be any money next year. Commissioners say zero, just the $800 for phones, as has been done in the past. State offices should be funded by the State.
Auditor discusses pipeline tax revenue and lack thereof of major increase in collections to County.
Presidio Public Library contribution went up by $2500 to $5000.
Vasquez says he doesn’t like that the Appraisal District gets raises every year like clockwork. Feels bad that County e,polyester don’t always get them but that every year County gives Appraisal District more funds.
Judge is interested in increases if salary increases and special raises are included. On sheet.
Auditor feels comfortable paying comp time payouts out of reserves since it’s non-recurring.
Auditor recommends county give a same per hour raise, not 3%. Possibly 45 cents per hour. More equitable for hours worked, full time employees.
Aranda agrees.
Sheriff asks if special raises would have across the board raises. No, say commissioners.
Sheriff says he has already budgeted for raises out of his own budget. And if he has done that, they would be excluded from across the board raises only for this year, correct? Yes, just this budget cycle, say commissioners.
Auditor advocates for special raise for Chuck Simpson and Jasmine on the tax office as their current wage rates are lower than some part time workers in the same Dept’s.
Judge goes through special raise requests. Shanna Elmore- sheriff gave up fuel budget for that request. Cooks - 14 hour shifts.
Certified jailers.
Tax office, longevity type raises for clerks. 15, 18, and 3 years in succession on sheet.
Chuck Simpson, judge would like to see him at $13/hr.
Sam Cobos asked for raise. No, no raises for Dept heads.
Road and bridge clerk Lupita Franco. Has been there seven years.
Airport leases - still up in the air. Commissioners need to take action. Some discussion. Need it for grant requirements.
Rudy Estor. Asking for $16.50, commissioners said $16 this morning. He gets bonus pay for fuel sale bonus. Also overtime paid by pilots in off hours.
Talk about whether airport monies all have to stay within the airport funds.
County Clerk is asking for 5% raises for her employees. All have been there more than five years.
Judge is asking about clerk office end of the month reports still being outsourced with four employees in house and years of experience. Clerk wants raises, judge wants to not outsource reports. Aranda says we’ll just leave it the way it is. Aranda says we are doing our best to keep everybody happy and not everyone is going to be happy.
Auditor says that a salary schedule is something that really needs to happen. Judge says she will get each Dept head to do their own research.
Auditor clarifies that all raises will be given except for Cobos and Rudy Estor will be at $16, Jazmin and Chuck will be raised up to a regular level.
Judge wants to wait on the airports decisions until next meeting.
So for now it’s decided that may change.
One more jailer, Maria Sainz has been there a year in Oct and just received certifications.
Judge wants to postpone reports until next week.
Next Wednesday reports approved.
Adjourn meeting at 3:46
















Presidio County Commissioners Court Agenda Sept 19, 2018, 9:30 AM, Presidio



Monday, September 17, 2018

Agenda, Texas Sunset Commission Meeting, State Capitol, Aug 29, 2018


Notes from August 29th Texas Sunset Commission hearing regarding DPS license issuance office closures et al.

I was in Austin for Texas Association of Counties Leadership and Legislative Session training and preparation the week of this hearing, and went to the Capitol to attend.
Here are my notes. I stayed from the beginning until I had to leave.

Notes on Sunset Commission Meeting, 9 AM, Wednesday August 29th, 2018.

Decision items:

Texas Military Dept: no modifications or new issues proposed. Move to adopt the report by chair.

No objections. Approved unanimously

Texas Dept of Motor Vehicles:
 Issues include too many industry members on board. Need outside public member.
Chairman Birdwell abstains and says he has a modification.
Says that topic of how regulatory boards are set up was discussed at length at last meeting.
Requests that the Legislature as a whole address this issue for all agencies and boards. Omnibus bill. Board structure changes issues 1.2 would be addressed.
No objections.
Motion for whole item will not include those issues. Unanimously approved.

Kirk Watson has a modification to adopt his modification to1.4. Adopted unanimously.

Issue 1.1 is adopted. Issue one as modified is adopted.


Issue 2:
Fraud warning systems for county tax assessors. Ability to suspend access to system.
Adopted.

Pataki has modification. Instructs DMV to work with county tax assessors to create methods for identifying red flags.
Adopted.

Thompson: training issues. Needs to be available online. Adopted.

Issue 2.4 cooperation between dealers and tax assessors, agency for best practices sharing.
Adopted.

2.5 : ability for agency and tax assessors to audit dealers. Adopted.

Issue 2 with modifications adopted.

Issue 3:
Motion n to remove 3.1 by Lambert. Second. Vote is split, mostly yes.Nevarez votes no. 3.1 is adopted. 6/5 1 abstention. Remainder of issue 3 to be voted on.
General counsel for commission says 3.1 passes for now, but final vote must have majority of members voting, which is 7.
Confusion about passage.
Chairman says every vote must be a majority of the quorum. 6/5 vote means it does not count only on final passage.
Rep Flynn needs clarification.
Motion for adoption of whole issue is key. Chair says 3.2 to 3.9 can be voted on without 3.1.
No modification to overall, 3.1 would be included.
Chair makes motion to vote  on 3.2-3.9
Adopted.

Issue 4.2 modification to keep lease facilitator. Says that leases are confusing, dealers put this in twenty five years ago. Adopted.

Issue 4.1
Rep Flynn moves against entire issue. Says that he does not like the changes.
Vote on 4.1 4.1 is adopted, 6/5/1

Issue 4.3-4.7 up for adoption.
No objections. Adopted.

Issue 5:
Modification by rep Thompson.
Wants 8 year sunset period. Objection. Roll vote
Nevarez votes no.
3 yes, 8 nays, 1 abstention.
Issue 5 as a whole, unmodified.
Vote is unanimously adopted.


New Recomendations:
Rep Paddie:
Faster tech implementation.
Hall asks if we can change a date within a statute.
Deadline was 2021, Paddie says he would like to see the 2018 date, which was originally signed by Texas State.
Not changing deadline.
Buckingham wants to ask DMV rep a question. No objection.
DMV Rep: Whitney Brewster, executive Director. Is the date feasible?
She says March 2019is feasible.
California has a pilot program. Fleet vehicles, electronic plates.
Loss of revenue to State? Study will address this.
Paddie says that his modification addresses timeliness. Why such a late start?
Rep says that they tried, deadline was negotiated, hoped for dec 2018.SB 2076 got in the way, not completed in time.
Paddie wants to change his modification to March 2019.
Nichols wants to wrap up this study quickly.
Earlier the better for session purposes.
Dept needs to identify any statutory impediment to a pilot program. He sees no reason this should be delayed at all. Information needed for session.
Paddie says end of March is ok with him.
Modification adopted.

 Recommendation 1 adopted.

Buckingham recommendation 2:
 Oversight of salvage vehicle industry.
Less reactive, more proactive

Adopted.

Buckingham recommendation 3:
 Criminal history of salvage dealers and business partners.
Adopted.

Hall recommendation 4:
Audits by comptroller of tax assessors. Rolling it into existing audits of tax assessors.
Hall has a new modification, previous sentence references it.
Watson has a question about giving DMV the ability to audit, not comptroller.
Hall says this is for the comptroller, not DMV.
Comptrollers office has looked at this to make it revenue neutral.
Watson says it should not be discretionary to determine audit. Why is this not already included in the existing audit?
Would analyze processes, not just revenue.
Modification to recommendation adopted.
Paddie asks about insertion of comptroller issues in DMV sunset. Could this cause a problem later?
Director says that it is possible it could add a comptrollers statue in the bill. Not a problem, necessarily. Says sometimes that could open up the possibility for extra amendments. Paddie has this is his objection. Chair would like to accomplish the same goal without taking on the risk. Director says that if direction was given for DMV to have a duty to consult with comptroller on this. Director wants to know if the issue should be pulled or worked out now.
Chair says committee will stand at ease for twelve minutes and get language together.

Recommendation is adopted.



DPS

Issue 1:
Close inefficient offices. 11/1 does not pass.

Nevarez brings up Presidio as examples of a lesser used office not necessarily inefficiency.
He brings up mega centers in urban areas to be overkill. Small rural offices are not overkill.
Sen Hall: agrees with Nevarez. Brings up that when the State requires the public to do something we must not make it difficult to do.  He had a closure of an office in his district with some flimsy excuses as to why. Onus is on legislators to have an efficient system. DPS should provide a better service, not less. He found out several offices are only open one or two days per week. He did not know. Offices are not providing the service that is required. Need to be serving people.
Rep Flynn agrees  with sentiments wholeheartedly. How office has heard from constituents vehemently.
Nichols: it’s clear that the definition of inefficient offices is incorrect. Inefficiency is making people drive hours to wait in lines.
Call centers also have an issue. Only handling 5000 calls out of 25,000 per day.
Chair says that it’s clear that in this case inefficiency to the State is efficient to the citizens.
Sunset had the confidence to make recommendations. This works.
Four out of five recommendations tend to make it into policy change.
Director says that the DPS issues have been very confusing. Lots of misinformation. Sunset commission wanted to protect the rural areas.
Offices to be closed were near mega centers, duplication of services. DPS provided their own list of inefficient offices.
Chairman says that if the Sunset commission is going to change the structure of the agency, it would not be wise to change operations before the change in operating structure.
Flynn says that requiring the public to require things the public needs to be able to do them at their convenience, not ours.
Nichols says that the word inefficient was not defined clearly, just referencing for next time.
DPS was bringing up rural versus mega centers.

Item 1.2 : Birdwell would like to privatize analysis on transferring license issuance to DMV rather than internal inter agency rivalry getting in the way.
Watson elaborates on additional modification to modification.
Recognition that this system is broken and needs to be fixed.
We need funding, otherwise it will be static. Watson  wants to ask Lege for funding, hopefully get a bill for transfer in 2021. If no funding, then we move.... Hall would like to move this up, have it happen even faster. This is a needed fix.
Watson says this is urgent but it’s bigger then being able to do it quickly.
Concern is this is done correctly. Second, third and fourth order of effects are very important. Two legislative sessions needed, says Birdwell.
If study is not funded, new modification funds transfer in 2021 session. Move to DMV. Two agencies equal in stature and power will not be able to work this out on their own. Third party necessary.
Hall has an objection, says deterioration of service cannot wait five years.
Watson says DPS needs to hear how fed up we are, hopes it does not lead to additional inefficiency in agency.
If 86th funds recommendation report is done by Sept 1 2020. if not, then process starts and transfer occurs by Sept 1, 2021., after 87th weighs in.
What is the likelihood of no funding being approved? Watson says he thinks this will be a priority, but he cannot guarantee.
Nichols says this would be a major change in budgeting, we need to be sure we get it right the first time, rather than having to come back to it.
Agrees with taking time.

Modification amended as modified, adopted

Issue 2:

DPS  Border Security Performance:
Nevarez has a concern:
Flynn issues objection to issue 2: says DPS has already taken care of it.
Objection to entire item
Issue 2:  vote on entirety:

Nevarez: says that he is concerned bout wording. Mission was outlined two sessions ago. Says crime statistics reporting with regard to what is border security and not border security. Says all crimes are being bootstrapped into border security crimes. Many crimes do not apply.
Seems like recommendation is weekly worded in order to quantify success.
If we want to do it better, this is not adequate.
2.2 says that DPS was already ordered to do this. Very detailed task was assigned. Wording here is not detailed.
Birdwell responds that the process was indeed detailed, this would make the reporting non-discretionary. This is not a change in the requirements.
Nevarez says that this is a political issue, if we are going to do this, what are we getting back? Statistics need to reflect the facts of actual border issues, not just regular issues that occur everywhere. Accurate, not co-mingled data.
Birdwell understands and says he will call the vote. Thinks Nevarez’s concern is valid, might be best to codify within Legislation. Does not want to consider a last minute modification without time to deliberate it.
Nevarez says that he doesn’t think a modification is necessary and that the bill as it was passed four years ago has not generated quantifiable results.
Flynn says that he believes that this is all being done well, already being done. Says extra reporting is unnecessary.
Adoption of issue 2 vote:
Nevarez has an objection to issue 2.1 , 2.2, and 2.3
Vote on entirety.
Flynn and Nevarez vote no, all yes otherwise. Issued 2 adopted.

Issue 3:
Private Security Board.
Modification by Birdwell to have board members of public safety commission delegate the members of the private security board. Passed unanimously

Watson modification to 3.1 adopted. Eliminates some licenses. Options for licensing . Adequate experience is classified as comparable experience to the existing requirements.
 Nevarez recommendation unnecessary now that earlier adopted.

Issue three adopted with modifications.

Left meeting at 11:47 AM



Nevarez







Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting Tues Sept 11 2018, Marfa

Presidio County Commissioners Court Regular Meeting Tuesday Sept 11, 2018, 9:30 AM, Marfa

All Commissioners present other than Loretto Vasquez
Also present: County Atty Rod Ponton

I entered the meeting at 10:20 AM, had office work to do beforehand.

Item 7: Mindy Seahorn presents health and eye insurance options for County. Commissioners vote to continue eye care insurance
Regular TAC health insurance. This year went down one percent for our County. No surplus distributions this year but small distribution from third year of 2015 spread out distribution.
Dental coverage was approved in July by Court as was health insurance.

TAC changing pharmacy benefit manager. Prescription management new provider is Navitas. Mail order supplies available.
Phone visits with doctors available.
Chronic pain, back issues treatment plan available. Similar to chiropractic care.
Arasti (sp?)
Judge thanks Mindy for coming from San Angelo to present.
Judge asks her to come ack to present to employees in. Presidio. She , they will schedule

Item 10: Presidio County Appraisal District budget.
Five minute break at 10:38 AM.
Reconvene at 10:45

Chief appraiser Cynthia Ramirez presents
Naomi Francis, office clerk and Samantha Salgado and Annabelle Pena also in attendance.
Talk about tests and employees paying for their own tests.
Ponton asks how many employees, five, only one works in Presidio. Rod says that having another employee in Presidio could help raise values in Presidio. City administrator Joe Portillo believes that many structures are not on the books, many undervalued and have not been surveyed for appraisals in quite some time. Says the City of Presidio relies on property tax more than other entities.
Ramirez says she is not aware of any undervalued properties, would like to be informed if there are any.
There is a new reappraisal plan in the works for the County. Judge will elaborate on it next week.
Presidio values this year decreased. She says she has no sales information, needs some.
Aranda agrees with Joe Portillo’s opinion about the undervalued or missing assets in Presidio.
Judge says that laborers in Presidio are hard to get, they want the same rates as they can get in Marfa.
Budget of 475,054 last year. Had a surplus, now can be 511,000. This year 491,000.
Asks for raises, increase in phone costs. Switched from ATT to Big Bend Telephone. More expensive but more secure, following hack earlier this year. Better security, faster speeds. Additional security contract with outside provider for IT service. 16,000 additional costs associated with this.
Increased audit costs, increase in mileage.
Judge motions to approve budget.
Aranda seconds. Unanimous.

Item 11:  Presidio County 4H consignment Auction participation.
City of Presidio asked to see if we could host an event like this to raise money for 4H activities.
Ten percent collections to host. City of Presidio has agreed to participate, now asking if County would like to participate as well.
Oct 18,19 receiving items in Presidio city lot. Sale is Oct 20th.
Presidio 4H is small but growing.
Essentially it’s a surplus sale for government agencies and also for individuals. Much like a citywide garage sale.
Judge wonders if commissioners know of things they could declare surplus.
Ponton says it’s legal if we sell things and donate the ten percent back to 4H.
This can be worked out.
Reba Griggs, 4H Director says it would be a great help to 4H.
Commissioners want to help, will study it and get back to Reba.

Item 12:
Auditor’s line item transfers:
Elections costs still being worked out, supplies for Nov election being ordered now.
Extra utility costs for golf course.
Communications costs for various departments.
Not addressed: money for reimbursements for dispatch training. Upcoming two day class in Alpine.
Five minute break while Auditor investigated whether this has been done. Break at 11:11 AM.
Reconvene at 11:19 AM.
Dispatch item added, 250 dollars for travel for dispatch class.
Approved unanimously.

Budget presentation by Auditor:
Salary increase for employees and/or elected officials and effect on overall budget.
Handout for commissioners updating overall budget position.
Deleted OMB budget for approx 108,000. Added $1,500 for code enforcement in Marfa area.
Judge sent email to Dept heads to cut budgets. Sheriffs office only respondent. Said they could reduce fuel costs to help cover raise for Shanna Elmore, admin assistant.
Handout describes shortfalls, etc.
Airports has some more requests.
County Atty PTD fund is adequate to cover requests. Dedicated funds.
Special raises requests handout offered.
Aranda says that before we get to raises other than salaried employees we are down $192,000. Yes,  before special raises, elected officials.
Auditor looked at individual budgets over the last two years and is pointing out unused funds in certain budgets. Not necessarily recommending cutting, but just presenting. These are all small potential cuts.
Judge says she can cut some of her memberships and dues budget by $700.
Elections: there will be two elections this year. No reductions.
Virgie says she doesn’t see it being fair to cut her budget or any department’s budget to fund special raises for other departments.
Bentley says it’s the whole budget that’s short.
Talk about cutting furniture budget in Clerk’s office.
Slightly reduce travel costs on Clerk’s office.
Commissioners budget: Bentley says we were missing a commissioner for most of the year. Two new commissioners including incoming Buddy Knight and Jose Cabezuela needing training.
“Other services” in non-departmental. Auditor says that it’s been kind of a contingency fund, approx $20,000 in there for surprise expenses.
Judge recommends cutting, auditor would like to leave about ten thousand in there because of gas card and copier expenses. Each year about $27,000.
Leave 35,000 in there total.
Water district budget: judge would maybe like to cut some of the training costs.
Judge will get with Trey Gerfers and Carolyn Macartney about this before next week and get details.
JP Presidio: has uniforms in budget. Bentley says she does not feel comfortable with cuts. County policy is uniforms only for law enforcement and road and bridge. Commissioners vote to cut uniforms.
JP budget: looking to possibly cut office supplies and travel. Beebe says he is late turning in receipts, did it yesterday and is over budget for both categories, funded two out of five trainings completely out of his own pocket.
County Atty: pre-trial diversion fees cover much of costs. Rod would like to move fuel costs to travel and training for County Atty assoc training.
Salary for secretary in Presidio is paid for by PTD funds, Rod ants to give same three percent raise as all employees.
Treasurer: Cheryl will need to attend training this year as she missed last year.
District Atty budget will remain the same.
OMB eliminated
Tax Assessor: expenses are down from last year. Bentley thinks office expense line item could go down a bit. Natalia Williams would like to leave it here it is, some deferred expenses. Furniture and equipment lines scrutinized. She is worried about needing new computers.
Auditor:
County Courthouse: office expense for Sam. Judge wants a wall or at least a conference table under capital expense.
County Annex: cut some in office expense. Cut $300.
Operating supplies: lower to $2000.
Commissioners going line by line, cutting here and there
Talk about Sam Cobos using outside contractors for jobs that could be done in house or by him.

(I definitely do not like this approach, as necessary as it may seem, since it punishes Dept heads for staying within their budgets while outside entities the County also gives funding to do not receive the same treatment at all)

Sheriff wants to reduce fuel budget to fund special raise for Shanna Elmore.
$3600 from fuel to salaries.
Operating supplies: Sheriff has not used much of the $1800 requested.
Capital expenses, auditor unsure of what it is for. Cameras, Sheriff says, and also needing a computer for South County office.
Education and travel: funded by LEOS funds and general.
County agent needs a new computer, her computer is ten years old.
Emergency Management: maintenance on the radio communications repeaters. Lease agreement for Chinati repeater is $7200. Backup generator panels for Redford. Reverse 911 system.
Repairs and maintenance for truck was $6000. $1600 already incurred.
DPS looking for phone bill payment. $800. County owned phone.
Judge wants to find out what other counties give to DPS.
Road and bridge Dept: operating supplies up. Ruben wants to bring equipment up to minimum standards. Everything is very old. New used motor grader is budgeted at $17,100.
New S county yard pipe expense etc for gate, fence.
No TXDOT materials available right now or vehicles.
Aranda is looking out for good used equipment.
Dump truck needed. Found one for $28,000 (used) Old one is from the 80’s.
2018 GMC Sierra for $30,000.
Sam Cobos: commissioners have some questions for him.

Larry Cordova from Alpine Memorial Funeral Home brings commissioners court pizzas in honor of 9/11,
Break for lunch at 1:16 PM. All employees at the courthouse who wanted to eat got plenty of food. Very nice gesture!

Reconvene meeting at 1:45

Budget report tabled.

Treasurer’s report: Frances Garcia. Vacation owed$42,361
Comp 90,000 plus change.
Overtime, are we going there? Judge says she thinks we should go to overtime and not face the liabilities of comp time.
Sheriff says Sept 28 meeting with Stonegarden grant admin and grants should start, funding overtime, sometime in October or just afterwards.
Hopefully Stonegarden can cover all Sheriff office overtime for deputies.
Overtime at jail can’t be helped. Judge needs to take to Sheriff about a particular deputy with regard to Stonegarden overtime.
Big Bend Telephone costs are high.
Shanna Elmore asks for a copy of the bills. Missing dispatch reimbursement bills. Not in bills, will have to wait until next week.
Airport hangar leases: still not sorted out. Could put grant funding in jeopardy.
Talk about what to do.
Commissioners approve reimbursements to dispatch workers for training once amounts are presented. Done. Amounts are located and presented, approved. $794.10
Treasurer will not pay Big bend Telephone bill until judge talks to them about billing.
Treasurers report approved unanimously

Back to budget talks at 2:04 PM.
Sam Cobos is here to answer questions about Redford Center.
Repairs for Redford: windows now open and close, serve as emergency exits. Repairs and upgrades to falling apart front fence, basketball court and lighting poles converting to shade. Outdoor benches for outdoor seating.
Shade structure most of costs in budget for repairs.
Cattle come in to graze through the back fence, which has fallen down.
Bentley wants to know if this will be done in house. Yes, Sam says.
Aranda reiterates how they would like to see most work done in house.
Sammy says that now that facilities are up to basic standards, we can do work in house and not hire so many contractors.
Vizcaino Park repair budget: clubhouse at golf course has leak problem with front part off roof. Needs to be raised and redone to a iPod water leakage inside. Fence from gate at park will be partially replaced. Using some TXDOT supplied posts all the way to golf course.
Trees to be added at Vizcaino.
No dump truck available for baseball field and road maintenance.
Court decided the gate closing apparatus can wait. Adjust scheduling for employees to close the gate.
Aranda wants to set specific hours for the park rather than closing at sunset possibly. Discussion about employees driving their own cars.
Courthouse repairs: HVAC maintenance and repairs, three pressure tanks, two boilers need replacement or repair.
Fourteen air handlers in building, usually two go out per year.
County Annex: $11,500 budgeted for repairs. Conversion of building C ( food pantry) conversion from Evap air to refrigerated air is $7000. Not necessary but definitely would benefit the building for meetings or offices.
Bentley wants to cut.
Four units in buildings A and B. Other air conditioners there are twelve years old, slightly newer for two.
Jail and Dispatch:
Jailers and cooks have potential special raises.
Not a lot of questions about this. About retention, says Aranda.
Also asking for a new van. Capital outlay is really high because of the HVAC project not being complete in this fiscal year, plus additional work to jail.
Bentley asks if when jail is finished will federal prisoners come back. Yes, sheriff said he spoke to marshals yesterday. Main panel replacement needs to happen first. Waiting to see when County can pay, need to take action. Will be on agenda next week.
Dispatch budget: contracts with Presidio and Marfa have been renewed.
$18,000 per year per entity.
In the past most of the dispatch expenses came out of Sheriffs office budget. Last year dispatch budget was $500, this year more realistic at $5000.
Airports: omnibus funding approved as far as we know. Paper reported it, have heard reliable rumors otherwise.
Reduced overall budget by $57,000 today.
Stonegarden funds could reduce Sheriffs Office budgeted labor costs by some amount, but not major. Just added hours for border duty deputies. Very strict now.

Judge motions to postpone all reports until next week.
Adjourn at 2:45

Next week’s meeting Wed Sept 19th at County Annex in Presidio at 9:30