I am happy to report that I led the discussion on elected officials’ salaries, and I was successful in keeping those salaries where they are now without any increase. Although I didn’t get everything that I wanted (who does?), I was able to increase the human capital at the county to better serve our residents.
For instance, we added a new position for an Assistant Haz-Mat Chief, which will help us move towards establishing a Fire Marshal’s office. This had been requested for many years, not just by our Emergency Services Department, but by many of the fire chiefs in the county. We added a new deputy position in our understaffed Constable Precinct 1 office, and we added four seasonal/temp employees in our Juvenile Services department. On that last point, employees in Juvenile Services were having difficulty being able to take off for illness, vacation, or just a day off because they were woefully understaffed. In such a high-stress job, time off from work is vital to an employee’s well-being. I am proud to have supported each of these endeavors.
We were supposed to be done with the budget this week, but we are not. There are still some clean-up items that we need to take care of, and maybe a couple of other issues to revisit. That will be brought up at our next Court Session on Sept. 12 since there is no court on the 5th. That’s probably a good thing. We all probably need a time out after our August budget hearings.