Constable continues fight for paid deputy
San Jacinto News- Times - June 2008
COLDSPRING – Following another debate concerning the hiring of a part-time deputy constable for Precinct 4, no action was once again taken on the subject by San Jacinto County Commissioners’ Court during a regular meeting held May 28. “I thought we had completed this last time around,” Pct. 4 Constable Lou Rogers told the court. Quoting the Local Government Code giving him the authority to hire, Rogers said, “You shall approve if there is money in the budget. We have money in the budget. I know it requires action from the court as Commissioner Nettuno pointed out. Mr. Fifi eld is ready to go to work.” Rogers has been trying to get the court to approve Waterwood resident Joe Fifi eld’s appointment as his deputy constable for about three months.
“I think you have to show it is necessary to appoint a deputy,” San Jacinto County Judge Fritz Faulkner said. He asked Pct. 4 Commissioner Mark Nettuno for his opinion. “I don’t see a need for it myself,” Nettuno said. He asked Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Greg Magee for statistics that would warrant the hiring of a deputy constable. “There have been three tickets written since March, according to the constable’s report,” Magee told the court. “Since Greg brought it up, I was told by his clerk not to write anymore tickets. That’s the reason I haven’t written any tickets and because all I have are unpaid reserves. They work when they can,” Rogers said.
“You don’t write tickets Mr. Rogers,” Faulkner asked. Rogers reminded the court that last year when he had paid deputies they wrote tickets that more than paid for his program. Referring to Rogers’ statement about being told by Magee’s clerk not to write any more tickets, Faulkner asked, “Is he (Magee) your boss?” “It’s not my policy to tell anyone not to write tickets,” Magee added. “My concern I have with hiring at this time is I think the court is going to reallocate all constable deputy positions to the sheriff’s department at the fi rst of the year,” said Pct. 1 Commissioner Michael Griffi n. “It would be unfair to hire someone for four months.”
“There would be no less law enforcement. It’s time to put deputies under the sheriff,” Faulkner said. The agenda item died for lack of a motion. Other agenda items included a report from the Department of State Health Services representative Nancy West on the point of a county designed to preserve health and prevent the spread of disease. “These guidelines were written with the help of the county judge, commissioners, superintendents of both schools and Sheriff Rogers. It might be changing and if it is we will notify the county judge of the changes,” she said.
“The guidelines tell what, where and how it’s going to be done. You have 473 trained volunteers in San Jacinto County and that’s very signifi cant.” The objective of the guidelines is to provide security in assistance with the successful voluntary prophylaxis treatment of the population of San Jacinto County through Point of Dispensing (POD) sites in response to a naturally occurring or intentional disease release as declared by national health authorities. Commissioners approved the acceptance of $75,000 in materials from East Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc., for improvements to Pelican Road. “This is for base material only.
We’ll be getting additional contracts,” Pct. 2 Commissioner Royce Wells said. Commissioner Nettuno received the court’s approval to accept a donation of $3,700 from the residents of Holiday Shores 1, specifi cally Pleasures Pass Road and Campfi re Circle, for road repair. “We’ll be putting on chip and seal,” Nettuno said. No action was taken on a discus-sion of additional parking around the county courthouse with the possibility of looking into the cost of using chip and seal to a parking area across from the courthouse.
Approval was given by commissioners to San Jacinto County Emergency Service’s District for the distribution and allocation amounts of the 2008 Title Three Funds. The funds are used for the county’s eight volunteer fi re departments and communications tower rental. A total of $48,927.21 in funds will be allocated to the fi re departments in the following amounts: Shepherd Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) $7,927.21; Coldspring VFD $5,375; Point Blank VFD $5,375; Bear Creek VFD $5,375; Punkin/Evergreen VFD $5,375; Oakhurst VFD $2,000; Camilla VFD $500; FM 980 VFD $2,000; communications/tower rent $15,000. Commissioners approved the preliminary and/or fi nal plat of Peach Creek Estates located in Precinct 3, pending a $100,000 road bond from the developer.