Following an email received from Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace about flooring issues, the Parker County commissioners rescinded JP 1’s furniture request.
Precinct 1 Commissioner George Conley said during Tuesday morning’s budget workshop that he received an email from JP 1 court coordinator Shawn Leath on Sept. 4.
“Mr. Conley, we have a continuing problem with the laminated flooring in our office. We have requested for this to be corrected several times as this has become a safety hazard. This section is located under one of the clerk’s desk, partially under her desk, partially out, [who] is now pregnant and we do not want her to fall and injure herself or the baby,” according to the email, which was read aloud by Conley. “When this happened before it was suggested to place a chair mat over it, only for the chair mat to do the same. Judge [Kelvin] Miles has notified Pat Deen as well as John Forrest and is planning on closing until repaired.”
Conley said he was offended by the email.
“The JP is threatening commissioners court that he’s going to close his office until this is repaired, which I don’t like. It offends me,” Conley said. “I know he’s an elected official, but he can also suffer the consequences of his actions so that’s why I’m gonna rescind. I move to rescind my motion for JP 1 to have [$1,500] for office furniture. And allow JP 3 to continue to get their $1,000.”
The commissioners voted unanimously to rescind the approval of the $1,500 for JP 1 office furniture.
“I think what we have is a lack of communication," Precinct 3 Commissioner Larry Walden said. "A couple of things: if I had this I would probably fix it myself over the weekend. Secondly, if it’s that big of a problem I would have approached the court much sooner rather than this method. I don’t know the situation, all I know is what I see. Rescinding this motion may or may not be the appropriate thing to do, I don’t know.
“I think what we need to do is have some communication and I would enjoy seeing Justice of the Peace Miles come before the court to discuss it. If an elected official had a problem like this, I would hope that they would approach commissioners court to have that resolved instead of an ultimatum like this.”
During an update on the Road and Bridge Fund Tuesday morning, Walden made a motion to go back to the original division of the funds after his precinct received a 10% cut.
“The precincts have the following amount of money to spend per mile: Precinct 1, $11,600; Precinct 2, $8,900; Precinct 3, $9,600; and Precinct 4, $18,561 per mile of roadway. That’s an increase of 16% for Precinct 1, an increase of 14% for Precinct 4 and a decrease of 10% for my precinct. There’s no other department in Parker County government that is being asked to take a 10% cut in their budget other than Precinct 3,” Walden said. “I want to make sure that everybody knows that this is an unfair division of these funds. I want to make sure that it’s really clear that the western part of Parker County is just as important as the eastern part and that the roads in my precinct need a lot more work than what I have money to spend.
"We have just as much growth as other parts of the county and I’ll say once again, I have almost twice the road mileage at 357 miles of county roadway compared to 185 miles in Precinct 4.”
Walden made the motion to go back to the original division — 40% to office and overhead, an even split, 40% for road mileage and 20% for tax revenue generated in that precinct.
“Anything that doesn’t take into account the fact that I have 357 miles of road and you have 185 is not fair,” Walden said.
Dugan added, “It also doesn’t take into account the amount of traffic over all these past years. That’s not fair either.”
Deen suggested that the county hire Freese and Nichols engineer firm to update the study — which is from 2014 — that data was pulled from.
“It needs to differentiate between county roads and state roads and many of these new subdivisions that are occurring don’t use county roads. They’re not costing us anymore to build and maintain because they’re only using roads that are not county roads,” Walden said. “In my precinct, that’s not the case. The subdivisions that I get are on county roads, not state highways. You can talk all you want to, but the fact is you took $368,000 from my budget and redistributed it to the east of Parker County, period.”
Walden’s motion failed in a 3-2 vote.
Walden then made a motion to transfer $368,000 from the $2 million Road and Bridge Fund balance to his precinct, which was approved in a 3-2 vote.