Towing policy hits a wall… again

By Paige Lambert

The county’s wrecker policy was tabled again because the sheriff’s office was not able to review the most updated policy before commissioners court.

This is the second time approval was delayed because a party didn’t have time to review the policy.

The policy would only apply to wrecker companies called out by the sheriff’s office, Judge Bert Cobb said.

“It’s nothing but the rules for being on rotation to ensure that when they call they get someone who is competent, licensed, that’s not a felon,” Cobb said. “Somebody that can show up and handle evidence.”

Lon Shell, Hays County chief of staff, said discussions led to changes  late last night. Some of the changes concerned storage lot permits and language allowing towers to explain if they don’t respond in 30 minutes.

Commissioner Debbie Inglasbe retracted her motion for approval after learning the sheriff’s office briefly scanned the policy and had a few possible issues.

“We gave the towing companies time to look at the policy and we need to do that for the sheriff’s office,” she said. “We can look at it in a year and if there are issues on either side we can look at that.”

Two wrecker companies agreed with the policy while another wanted more clarification.

“This reminds me of my Shakespearean class when they said, ‘Me thinks thou protests too much,’” Cobb said.

Editor’s note: The original Shakespeare quote was by Gertrude in Hamlet, who said, “The lady protests too much, methinks.”


New positions for county

The county approved Sherriff Gary Cutler to hire for a new administrative assistant III position.

Cutler said he already has a person in mind who has years of managing governmental budgets. The position will help maintain the budget and look for more grant money.

“I only have one budget director to handle a $26-$27 million dollar budget,” he said. “And when she’s not around it really hurts us operating wise.”

The county will also hire a temporary administrative assistant I position, to terminate on Oct. 31, 2015.

The position will help residents with the private property debris removal program said Clint Garza, county development services director.

 “On October 1, I’ll have a permanent position coming in, just from the growth of the department. But this is to help the program.”

Garza said  75 percent of the funds could be reimbursed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).


Election dates set, ballot locations changed

Commissioners approved Nov. 3 as Election Day in Hays County. They also approved moving election polling locations #110 and #113 to the County Health Department on Broadway Street in San Marcos. The previous location was at Goodnight Elementary.

“We saw a lot more turn out on the Broadway site,” said Inglasbe. “That’s where a site has been for 27 years and that is where people are used to going.”

Joyce Cowan, Hays County’s election administrator, said her office looked at other locations east of the interstate for places that could house election polls.

However, the other options are either already occupied or do not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

“I wish we could have a permanent site,” Judge Cobb said. “But I don’t care where people vote, as long as it is safe and available and accessible.”

Cowan said because of the massive growth rate, especially in Dripping Springs, it has been hard for officials to find a permanent voting location.

Early voting will start Oct. 19.

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