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County upbraided for actions

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072122 budegt processMark Nettuno (right), San Jacinto Precinct 4 County Commissioner, takes the oath of office to Deep East Texas Council of Governments Board on June 23 at the annual awards ceremony in Lufkin. Courtesy photo

By Tony Farkas
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COLDSPRING — A county resident took the San Jacinto County Commissioners Court to task over its spending practices, particularly regarding the Sheriff’s Department.

During the public forum at the July 13 regular meeting, county resident Gerald Deeter told the panel that out of all of the 30,000 residents in the county, he found it amazing the five members of the court control the county pursestrings.

Deeter said he was concerned county funds were not being spent diligently and for the good of the community.

“You don’t have any accountability; you don’t have set hours or time clocks to punch, and we put an awful lot of trust and confidence in you,” he said.

Deeter said the county needs to monitor funds more closely, and give consideration that the deputies put their lives on the live for $34,000 per year, while the commissioners get $66,000 per year.

In other business, the commissioners:

•approved a request to have the county transport a large block of pink granite from Highway 99 and Fisher Road in Baytown to San Jacinto County. This block is from the quarry in Marble Falls, and was in route to the building of the State Capital in 1886 when it fell from a rail car.

The block was recovered 120 years later and has been donated to the San Jacinto County Historical Commission in memory of Dr. Stephen H. Everitt, who signed the Declaration Independence of Texas. This block will be placed in Precinct 3 near the site of the Everitt Post Office, and weighs 20,000 pounds;

•approved county personnel attending a cybersecurity course;

•approved the county accepting the unclaimed capital credits from electrical cooperatives;

•appointed Mark Nettuno and David Brandon to the DETCOG board;

•approved a 1-year lease to Health and Human Services for office space;

•approved providing a truck for the Office of Emergency Management;

•gave approval for work to begin on a community wildfire protection plan;

•approved an agreement with Valbridge Property Advisors for appraisal services;

•tabled requests for grant funds from Trinity River Food Bank and Friends of Hopewell over legal questions;

•discussed the audit of the Emergency Services District, which was received without comment;

•approved the installation of a generator 1651 S. Byrd St.;

•approved the bond renewal for JP clerk Kristen Reeves;

•approved raising mileage reimbursement to 62.5 cents, to become effective Oct. 1;

•approved the purchase of a new compactor for Precinct 4, to be paid for from recovery funds;

•approved the sale of surplus items through auction;

•approved a variance for Denson Allen;

•approved the rehire of Bethany Evans;

•approved the application for a disaster recovery grant from the Texas General Land Office

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