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County budget: District attorney asks for two positions

By Brian Cuaron
Aug. 10, 2011 at 3:10 a.m.


CLOSED SESSION SALARY DISCUSSIONS

Judge Don Pozzi said certain salary requests for specific individuals would be discussed in closed session

The requests were made by a department head, Pozzi said. The court has always discussed such cases in closed session since the workers will be named, he added

The court will discuss such salary requests in closed session for the following departments: county extension office, constables, sheriff's office and the justices of peace department

Victoria County taxpayers were asked to pay for two crime-fighting positions.

Steve Tyler, the county's district attorney, asked the commissioners court to add an attorney ($53,997 salary) and investigator ($46,342 salary) to its 2012 budget.

Judge Don Pozzi has proposed a 2012 budget at $47.9 million. That was up from this year's budget of $45.6 million.

County department leaders have presented requests to the court this week not found in Pozzi's proposed budget.

The proposed attorney position would be used for appellate juvenile cases. Tyler said more convictions have resulted in more appeals.

The investigator position was cut from Tyler's office last year. He said an investigator in his office would have more time to commit to a case compared to other law enforcement agencies.

In other budget news, two constables asked for the county to help them on auto maintenance costs.

The county's four constables use their own vehicles. Pozzi has proposed giving them a mileage reimbursement fund of $10,000 each, and the county's mileage reimbursement rate currently matches the IRS's rate of 55.5 cents a mile.

However, Constable Kenneth Easley, Precinct 3, said that doesn't cover his vehicle insurance, gas or maintenance costs.

Commissioner Kevin Janak, Precinct 2, suggested $2,000 from the mileage reimbursement fund be added to the constables' salaries for vehicle costs. But that would result in additional fringe benefits costs, said Commissioner Gary Burns, Precinct 3.

Pozzi said he thought the salary increase was the only way to address the constable's vehicle costs. He said the court will discuss the salary matter in closed session.

Three justice of the peace judges called for a cell phone allowance, and two for mileage reimbursement. After the court's discussion on the matter, Pozzi said there will be no changes on mileage reimbursements.

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