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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Notes on Presidio County Commissioners Court Meeting Wed March 14th, 9:30 AM, Marfa

Here are my notes from this meeting.


Presidio County Commissioners Court Regular Meeting 03-14-2018 9:30 AM, Marfa

Commissioners present: Loretta Vasquez, Brenda Bentley, Eloy Aranda, Judge Cinderela Guevara. 

Also present County Attorney Rod Ponton

Meeting convened at 9:45 AM

Public Comments: Mona Garcia and Virginia Platt: Marfa History Club. Will be restarting. Robert Arber and Virginia Platt are new members of the County Historical Commission. Presidio County is one of the most historic Counties in Texas. 
Mona joined Historical commission in Jan 2013. In the last five years many historic items have been identified and preserved since then. Invites public to contact her about historic property in Presidio County. Marfa History Club will be reorganized and will meet at 7 PM on the last Tuesday of every month at Building 98. Club was formed in 1899. Public is welcome and invited. Judge says that the meeting last night was fascinating, amazing stories and items of interest. Judge encourages everyone to join the History Club. March 27th at Building 98.

Judge's comments: another meeting next week on the 21st for payroll and water conservation district. New members of water district will be appointed. Planning on hiring a new manager at April 6 meeting. CC meeting will be in Presidio. Ponton says he will not be able to make this meeting. Bids on Candelaria project turned in yesterday, but Ramon Carrasco asked for an extension since only one bid was turned in. 
Commissioners comments: none

Minutes: Bentley says there are some typos on Feb 21 meeting. Feb 14,21 and March 8 meetings up for approval. Virgie will correct typos. 
Judge cell phone rings, she takes phone call. 
Judge motions to table until corrections made.

Presentation by Buck Hamilton, Homeland Security Agent, on security of County properties. Judge asked him to come and advise for an active shooter scenario. 
Busk is stationed in El Paso and covers westernmost counties in the State. Delivered a report to the County in Feb of last year after a survey of property. Not an official assessment. Survey just evaluates the existing resources and infrastructure. 
Survey compares us with similar facilities. Our courthouse was compared to 88 other courthouses nationwide.

Virgie returns with correction to minutes. 

Average score was 48.5, Marfa courthouse was substantially lower. Also, resilience was evaluated, average score 32.8, Marfa 24.6. 
Preparedness, mitigation measurements and responsiveness were evaluated. 
Buck has some options for consideration. 
County should devise a plan on what it wants to do. Risk is made up of threat times vulnerability times consequence. Reduction of any of these factors can reduce the risk equation. 
County's risk tolerance is a factor. Historic courthouse limits a lot of possibilities. 
Types of threats are varied, probability of certain threats over others must be considered. 
Security tactics: deter attacks, detect attacks, delay the attacker, response to attacks. 
When spending money , questions must be addressed as to why you are spending it. 

Three  parts as to security solutions, electromechanical, people, and policy/procedures. Each has a cost.
Marfa courthouse has 36 identified vulnerabilities. 
Biggest vulnerability is no security plan, action plan, emergency action plans. Many vulnerabilities can be solved by addressing this alone. Business continuity plan as well. 
Plans do not have to be extensive. Basic plans for different events being developed can result in overall comprehensive plans. 

 Had to leave meeting for phone call from jail at 10:20 am.

Returned at 10:23.

Buck says written plan is not as important as discussion about what to do in an emergency between the people on site. 

Judge thanks Buck for presentation. 
Gary Mitschke asks for guidance as far as formats to follow for implementing. 
Buck says there are some but it's not so much the written plan as much as it's about creating a one page for each incident to start, then larger plan encompassing more will come more naturally and make sense. 
DHS Hometown Security is an online resource.

Panic buttons in Presidio County courthouse annex not yet installed; needs to be addressed now. 
Buck says that panic button devices need a practice run with regard to how to respond. Stresses constant reevaluation of overall situation regarding security. 

Judge wishes for a hand or body language signal system for communication in case of danger. Ladders for courthouse need to be trained on and practiced.
Frances Garcia asks about ladder installation. Sam Cobos says that installing ladders will require boxes to be built below the windows. Historic commission will have a recommendation on that, Cobos has not yet followed up but will. 
Virgie says that during elections two men got locked into the courthouse after hours. Kathy Zavala was here and they knocked on her door, scared her very badly and she was by herself. 

Five minute break at 10:36.
Reconvene at 10:55 AM.

Item 8:  Financing for Presidio County Jail HVAC system redesign and rebuild. Ponton says it's a five year contract, standard. Ponton says if the terms are acceptable to County and jail admin then they should go ahead. Payments will need to be approved yearly. 
Patty Roach says there is a letter from County Attorney that need to be prepared and enclosed as well. Judge says she sees a few things she needs to sign once approved, if approved. 
Resolution is done.
Normal forms need to be filled out by officials. 
108,000 due at signing. 
Payments will be due on the 20th of March each year. County can pay off early in 2021 for the thousand dollar discount if they want to. Total is 800,000 dollars for whole project. Half million will be borrowed. 
Contractor will wait until Sheriff gets back to them about work schedule. Will jail be emptied or worked on in sections? Unknown. Sheriff is not here to answer questions, also question about where a transformer can be placed. Once Sheriff responds plans will be submitted to County for Commissioners Court approval. Jail says they will not be laying off staff, jail will be fully staffed regardless of project. 
Backup generator will be ordered, may increase time for project completion.
Cobos says that Gracie says that jail can be run in quadrants. Only security issue is around the recreational area. 
 Big Bend Telephone will wire their system in tandem. 
Judge motions to approve financing contract. 
Ponton adds subject to reauthorization annually.
Unanimous.

Item 9: airport credit card terminal annual service contract. 
Chase says we have been doing this for years but this is the first time to present it to Commissioners Court. Written agreement approved by commissioners needs to be entered into. 24/7 Telephone support and device repair plan. Bill is now five months late. Chase uses this service often, it's must cheaper than an emergency service call. 50% reimbursable through RAMP grants.
$995 annual service plan for credit cards reader/vendor. 
Updates, some physical parts discounted, prepaid freight. Provides value to County according to Chase.
Marfa airport only. 
Judge asks for Ponton's advice on this. Ponton begins to read it over. Ponton says it's not a problem as long as it's good with Chase and only for twelve months.
Approved unanimously.
Patty Roach presents original for Judge to sign.

Item 10- executive session personnel matters at Airport. Convene at 11:18


Reconvene into regular session at 12:02 PM

Item 11- action on executive session; Commissioner Bentley motions to postpone the item. Unanimous.

Item 12- Burn ban reinstatement. Recommended by Gary Mitschke. Aranda motions to reinstate. 90 day term. Unanimous 

Item 13- auditor's report:
Patty Roach: 
Line item transfers and budget amendments. Patty says jail commissary funds audit. Has been done, sent to jail standards. Now present to Court. July 2016-July2017.
Feels that Sheriff's office met audit standards except to accept new bids for services. Overall very good audit. 
A few recommendations: statute says that bids must go out every five years for services. Has not happened since 2010/2011. Recommend going out for bids. That is a sheriff's office duty, not Commissioners Court. Inmate cash not properly secured when inmate booked into jail. Cash box inadequate, not locked. Recommend keeping it on locked box, deposit long term cash rapidly into bank. Weekly deposits. 
Three dormant inmate trust fund accounts from years back. No record of who it belongs to, must send back to the State as unclaimed funds. 
$44,000 approximately in old profits from commissary that needs to be transferred to Sheriff's account, by statute. Must confirm that these are actually profits.
TV purchase bought out of the wrong account accidentally. Will be remedied. 
Phone service: inmates can buy phone service through commissary fund. Or someone outside of the jail can purchase prepaid collect calls. Difference in where funds will be deposited to vis a vis County/ Jail Fund. Talk about property purchased with Commissary funds. Must stay for use by inmates or if sold, money must go back into inmate funds. Overall, a very good audit and jail and sheriff's department staff did a great job working on it. 

Questions about amendments and line item transfers:
Courthouse security amendment. Final salary came in FY 2018, needs to be amended. Funds are available. 
LEOS funds- Law Enforcement education funds from State. Fund balance is 3,229.04. Fund balance will be transferred to Sheriff's Office and Constable in Presidio. 
Funding this year is over 2,000. Requested to be transferred. 
Airport: 23,000 from airport fund and RAMP grant funds. Repairs to lighting, water apparatus at Marfa and rainwater catchment at Presidio airport. Fund balance is $33,000. Grant balance is adequate as well. Chase says that we neglected to budget for airport development projects this year and amount we would have was unknown. 
Intent was to use last year's surplus instead of this year's budget for this. Still up in the air as to whether the airport will need to pay back 40,000 plus in figurative escrow to general fund from years past.
Elections expense transfers. Minor money amounts related to running the elections and the upcoming elections. 
Judge motions to approve amendments. Separate motions for each. Also motion for jail audit. And line item transfers.
Unanimous.

Treasurer's Report: Frances Garcia-
Bank reconciliations for 2017, receipts and bills. 
Bank recs are finished outside of general fund. Working on October. Caught up for FY 2017 otherwise. 
 Bentley motions to approve. Unanimous. Bills accepted in second motion.

Office of Management and Budget Report: 
Jeannie Hall presents. Contracts for new budget year for each department being developed. Aranda motions to approve. Unanimous.

Departmental Reports: 
Judge says that she does not have all the reports yet, only ones that were here before five today. Bentley says that the only report she has in packet is Road and Bridge. She only feels comfortable approving that one.  Judge says some reports are not in packets. JP pct one will present at next meeting as will County Clerk. 
All reports minus JP 1, clerks, Presidio fire and Presidio EMS and emergency management report. 
Bentley motions to approve all reports that are ready.

Gary Mitschke says that electrical project for generator at the MISD school may start this week. 
Unanimous.

Adjourn at 12:45 PM.






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