Friday, September 15, 2017

Agenda: Presidio County Commissioners Court Special Meeting 10:00 AM Tuesday Sept 19, 2017, Marfa

County Auditor's email to Presidio County employees regarding pay period changes

Here is a copy of County Auditor Patty Roach's email to employees and elected officials regarding the changes made to the pay periods by Commissioners Court at the September 12th meeting. Apologies for the odd formatting. DB

At its regular September meeting, the Commissioners Court voted to change the County’s workweek and pay period.
  This change was made because of a recently issued Attorney General opinion stating that the commissioners courts must review and approve claims (including payroll)
 in an open meeting and cannot delegate
 that authority to the Treasurer, Auditor or other person.  
Many courts, including ours, have authorized payroll and certain other bills to be paid prior to their review.  These are ratified at a later time. 
The Commissioners Court must now approve each payroll before it is paid out to employees.  
This required a change in the County’s official workweek and pay period.

Starting October 2, 2017:
  • The work period/pay period will begin at 12:01 am, Monday.
The following schedule will be used:
  • Monday - Time sheets will be submitted to the Treasurer’s Office by 10:00 am.
  • Monday-Tuesday - Payroll will be calculated, reviewed and corrected. Employees and supervisors will come by the Treasurer’s Office
  •  on one of these days to sign off on any corrections.
  • Wednesday - Payroll will be reviewed and approved by Commissioners Court.
  • Thursday -Direct deposit information will be delivered to the bank by 10:00 am.
  • Friday - Employees will be paid.
There will be one transition payroll that will have a shortened number of days.  This payroll will run from September 20 to October 2. 
 This pay period will have 12 days instead of 14 days.  All other pay periods will have 14 days.
 An item is being place on the September 19  Commissioners Court agenda asking that employees be allowed a payout of accumulated comp time
 up to the number of hours they might lose due to the transition. 
 This would be available to all employees with accumulated comp time, even if they are below the normal payout threshold. 
 A second email will be sent after the meeting to let you know if this was approved.

In addition, all employees/elected officials that are currently paid on a monthly basis will be switched to a bi-weekly pay schedule. 
 They will receive their regular monthly paycheck on September 25.  
The first bi-weekly paycheck will be received on October 6.  The bi-weekly amount will be calculated by taking the annual salary and dividing it by 26 pay periods.

Please let your employees know about these changes as soon as possible so they can plan accordingly.  
If you or your employees have questions or if you need additional information, please let me know.


Patricia Roach, CPA
Presidio County Auditor
PO Box 423
Marfa, TX  79843

432-729-1990 (voice)
432-729-1995 (fax)

Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting Sept 12, 2017, 9:30 AM, Marfa

Attached are my notes from this meeting. I did not attend the Marfa City Council meeting later in the evening. I had a bass lesson scheduled with a student,

Agenda: Presidio County Commissioners Court Regular Meeting, Sept 12, 2017, 9:30 AM, Marfa

Notes on Tax Rate and Budget Meeting 09-11-2017, Presidio COunty Annex, Presidio, TX, Noon

Presidio County Commissioners Court Tax Rate Public Hearing, Sept 11, 2017, Noon, Presidio County Annex, Presidio

Present: Judge Cinderela Guevara, Commissioners Brenda Bentley, Loretto Vasquez, Eloy Aranda.
Convene meeting at 12:06 PM.

Public Comments: None

Announcements from County Judge and Commissioners: Judge says that she will wait until tomorrow to make her comments. No commissioners announcements.
Judge reminds everyone that meeting is tomorrow at 9:30 AM in Marfa.

Second tax rate hearing will be on Sept 19th, adopt budget either on Fri the 22nd or Mon 25th. Asks commissioners which is best for them. Aranda has school duties, says that Friday the 22nd is fine. Vasquez agrees.

Item 6- Public hearing on tax rate. Proposed tax rate is .63744 Preceding year's Tax Rate: .67804. Effective Tax Rate: .56706. Rollback Tax Rate: .63734.

Judge says that County is in relatively better financial shape overall than in some previous years.

New property added to tax roll this year: $62,583. Overall increase in taxes raised: $320,467. 11.9%
Pipeline taxes not included.
Appraisal of pipeline at 88 million by Capital Appraisal. Challenged by Pipeline Co. Settled at 44 million. Will raise approx $330,397 in new taxes for County next year. Next year all of pipeline will be subject to tax. County will not kno until 2019 how much County will receive annually.
FERC will value numbers at that point, including profit.

66.7 miles of pipeline will be in total. This year's subject to only 30 miles of pipeline that had been laid in the ground by Jan.2017.

County will give employees a small raise this year. $1,000 per person, including elected officials. This applies to all County employees.

Constable Coker asks if there will be any more meetings in Presidio. Judge says that 2nd meeting in Sept should be in Presidio at end of the month.
Possible that all County issues will be wrapped up with budget meetings and second Presidio meeting will be unnecessary.

Judge asks commissioners if there are any addtional questions.
Aranda is glad tax rate is coming down. County has been working to do this for a long time, glad progrees is being made.

Over 200 people protested their valuations with teh Appraisal Review Board. Record number. State has been pushing the Appraisal District to raise values across the board.
Vasquez says the AG exemption has changed, Marfa area must have at least 25 acres to qualify, Presidio area must have at least 5 acres.
Who makes thi regulation? Judge asks. Vasquez believes it is a Texas Dept of Agriculture reg. No, it's from the Highlands Soil Conservation District. Richard Petree from Appraisal District told the Soil Conservation DIstrict it needed to be done, says Vasquez.
Discussion as to why this was adopted and adopted without notice. Judge says she can set up a conference call about this with them if commissioners want answers.
Vasquez says he wishes that more research had been done on this before it was decided upon. Affected a lot of poor people, particularly in Presidio.
Judge says she will set up a call and she and the Commissioner can get more information as to what the regiulations are.
Aranda agrees that this is very important. Says that Appraisal Distrcit members, including himself, need to put a halt to rising valuations. Driving natives out of their properties with high valuations.
No further comments.
Item 7- close Public Hearing.motion made by Aranda. Public Hearing closed at 12:41 PM, 2nd by Vasquez. Unanimous.
Adjourned at 12:41 PM.

Agenda Presidio County Commissioners Court Special Budget Meeting, 09-11-2017, Presidio, Noon

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Notes on Marfa City Council Meeting August 24, 2017

Here are my notes on the City meeting from August 24th. The Big Bend Sentinel has information on the follow up meeting a week later where the contract and employment status of James R. Mustard, Jr (City Administrator) is addressed. I will attempt to post that article on the blog.

Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting August 22, 2017, 9:30 AM, Presidio

Here are my notes on the meeting in Presidio on the 22nd.

Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting Aug 17, 2017, 9:30 AM, Marfa

Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting August 15, 2017, Marfa

Here are my notes from this meeting. Apologies for the tardiness in posting; things have been hectic. -Thanks for reading and being interested in your local government. - David