Half an inch rain

Last measurable rain we got was half an inch on May 26. That made the total for the year 4.9 inches…pretty bad. This time last year, we already had 19.6 inches. Some of y’all ain’t prayin hard enough or often enough.
Very short meeting last week. Guess the main topic of discussion was Corrections Officer wages. Getting someone to work with these caged misfits and paying them enough to do it has become difficult…to say the least. I realize that some are there as a result of a mistake or a bad decision but, most are there because they cannot function in society and follow its rules.
We extended the temporary employee position in the Auditor’s Office through the end of the Fiscal year, approved a grant application for bullet proof vests and all the other pomp and circumstance that goes with Commissioners Court meetings.
We are going to start on our Budget soon. There are four meetings scheduled at this time…June 23rd at 10 AM, June 28th at 10 AM, June 30th at 1 PM and July 5th at 10 AM. These meetings are open to the public and I invite those interested to attend. This year is gonna be interesting.
By now, folks should have received their appointed date to protest their ridiculously high appraisals. Be sure to take some type of justification for your protest because without some type of substantial argument, it will fall on deaf ears.
I missed the meeting where the Appraisal District voted on and passed their proposed Budget for next year. Will have more on this later.
Happy upcoming birthday to Bobbie DuBose and Johnnie Fay (Mawmaw) Evans. I think they both have reached at least 45.

Uvalde…evil incarnate.

Decided to put the Commissioners Court update on hold for a week or so. The Devine News Reporter does a great job of in-depth reporting and stealing what little thunder I have to offer so, I’m gonna rant if KK will print it.
Uvalde…evil incarnate. Enough said. Even with a Law Enforcement and SWAT training background, I was not there and have no discussion or points of emphasis to offer. My opinions will remain with me.
Guns. I have my share. They tend to sit where they are placed and the only change that they undergo is that their temperature changes with the room temperature until they are taken in hand. At this point, depending on the handler and his/her intentions, they become a weapon for good or evil.
Laws. There are laws on the books that, if followed, will prevent the misuse of guns. Why do we need more gun laws if the ones we have are not being followed and ENFORCED? Criminals have no regard for laws pertaining to guns and will get one no matter how many laws are passed. If you have guns in the house, educate your children on their use and the consequences of their misuse.
Schools. Schools are an institution for learning. We need to go back to “old school”. Teachers are entrusted with educating our children. Let them teach. If your child does not learn and achieve academic standards, they should fail. Sometimes, failure is a learning tool. Let the school discipline when needed. Some of your kids need a good old fashioned whippin sometimes. This is something that is almost non-existent nowadays.
Mommy and Daddy. You need to realize that Little Johnny and Mary are different people at home than at school. They have learned that they are not responsible for their actions and can get away with talking back, disrespecting elders and doing whatever suits them at the time and if they are disciplined, they call Mommy and Daddy and tell on the teacher for being mean to them. Let the school do its job. There is a difference between discipline and abuse. If they are brats at home, they are brats at school…probly worse.
Cell phones. I do not believe that children of any age should be allowed to carry their phones while at school if the school is secure. It is a major distraction and a detriment to their learning. You cannot change my mind.
On last week’s Commissioners Court meeting that involved several School Board members and Superintendents….have not heard from either school district in my area about any roundtable discussions about school security. I offered to sit in and be a representative from Commissioners Court but, I am not going to organize, chair or decide on when to discuss school safety.
I have children and grandchildren who are educators. They have done well and agree with me on the sad state of schools nowadays. Guess Sandy and I did something right.
On a positive note, we got to go to Annapolis, Maryland this past week and watch Rooster (his mama calls him Andrew) graduate from the Naval Academy. Extremely proud of this young man. His mama and daddy did a good job raising him.

Dang its hot!

Dang its hot! Nuff said. Relief is a day closer. We managed to finish our 4.2 mile paving project and are gearing up for our next one. We have two short stretches on the drawin board right now with a few others in mind.
We had our State of the County meeting on Tuesday. Things are looking very good financially. Our General Fund Reserves are up to just under 16 million dollars. Our Tax Rate has gone down from .5517 cents per hunnerd dollar valuation in 2016-19 to .5473 in 2020 to .5223 for 2021. What does this mean?
With a reduction in the Tax Rate, taxes should go down, right? Wrong. Property Appraisals have gone through the roof and we are paying more even with the reduced Tax Rate. I am sure that everyone has gotten their Property Appraisals by now and have cussed a little.
The increase would not bother those with a 7 figure bank account or a 6 figure annual income but, those who are working for the magical $15 an hour and have saved enough to buy a small home will be on the verge of being taxed out of it if something is not done with taxes. With the increase in everything else (and I do mean everything) $15 an hour don’t go very far.
Historically, we have budgeted more expenses than revenue but, through conservative spending by all departments, our General Fund Revenue has been increased each year for the last 12 years due to our Revenue coming in more than our budgeted expenses.
I will have more on the Appraisal District Budget, employee salaries, requested raises and whether or not there is support enough (I am all for this) for us to adopt the Effective Tax Rate instead of the smoke and mirrors of lowering the Tax Rate on the increased Appraisal figures. The Effective Tax Rate is the rate that would bring in the same amount of revenue as last year.
The County voted to purchase a couple bank buildings in Hondo for future office space for bout 2.1 million dollars. One is next to the Courthouse Annex and the other is several blocks away, facing the tracks. In my opinion, one was needed and the other was not.
With all this prosperity in County government, I think that we could pull in the reins a little and give some relief to the local taxpaying citizens for a change. The process has to start somewhere. Why not at the local level? Counties, Cities, Schools and ESD’s should join the effort…just my opinion. There are four other folks that sit at the Commissioners Court table and contribute to the decision making so, contact one of the other 4.
Believe it or not, there is a run-off election going on this next Tuesday the 24th. So far, the turnout has been embarrassingly low countywide. Voting is being held at the Community Center in Devine for those of us what live in Devine and Natalia. If you are serious about changing things, practice voting. It don’t hurt.

Hallylouya! An of inch of rain.

Last Monday, we got bout 2 tenths of an inch of rain. On Wednesday, we got the rest, another inch. Hallylouya! And as usual, we ask for more. The weather was cooperative in the sense that it did not rain while we were fixin up the road that we are paving. As a result, Ron Outlaw was dissatisfied with the dust that was created by traffic until we got the paving done. Then he was ok with it. Got his truck all dusty. It was coming up on his annual washing anyway.
There were a couple of vacant seats at Commissioners Court with the Judge and Commissioner Sittre missing. For some reason, the meeting went faster. There was an item on the Agenda concerning the purchase of the Community National Bank and Hondo National Bank properties but, I suggested that we wait until the entire Court was present to vote on this item.
We were introduced to our new Medina County Ag Agent. His name is Taryn Titsworth and he hails from Angelo State…not A&M.
Did more vacating and replatting and found out that the new subdivision that was supposed to go in north of Hondo (in their ETJ) was denied. In many ways, this is a good thing.
There was also some speed limit adjustments made and an area of CR 446 was voted to have “No Through Truck” signs posted to keep 18 wheel trucks off that section of roadway.
By this Thursday, we should be finished with our 4.2 mile paving project and will move on to another smaller section of road that we need to resurface out towards Great Oaks off of CR 7711.
I see that Devine has a new Councilman and both Propositions passed as a result of the latest election. Very poor showing in both instances. We have another election coming up soon…a State Senator runoff on May 24th. I hope we show up in better numbers. Satisfied with your government’s efforts to build back better yet? If not, show up and change the players….specially at the National level.
We will start our 2022-23 Budget preparations on May the 17th at 9 AM in the Commissioners Courtroom in the Medina County Courthouse Annex. This is open to the public and basically is just a “State of the County” informational meeting.
Keep praying for rain. Only 229 days till Christmas and 236 until there is a new Commissioner for Pct 4.