After unanimously passing some regular agenda items, the Court approved the request from Angela Gore, County Auditor, to create fund 406 for Hurricane Harvey, which is Disaster Recovery-4332.
Next on the agenda was the action to set salaries, expenses, and other allowances for all elected County and Precinct officers that are included in the proposed budget. The motion passed.
The Commissioners Court was asked to accept the resignation of Harold R. Woodrom as Commissioner of Hardin County Village Mills Emergency Services District. The Court accepted the appointment of Lora Keefer to fill that vacancy.
County Judge Wayne McDaniel was given authorization to sign Title IV-E Child Welfare Services, Contract Number 23938999 and Title IV-E Legal Services, Contract Number 24118450 with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and Child Protective Services (CPS) to receive reimbursement of a percentage of allowable expenses related to serving children from Hardin County.
After the agenda items had been acted upon, Judge McDaniel gave each Commissioner some time to discuss the state of their precincts regarding the affects of Harvey.
Precinct 1 Commissioner L.W. Cooper, Jr. spoke of his precinct which includes Silsbee. He said that he and Commissioner Alvin Roberts were tasked with overseeing fuel during the disaster. “During the peak time of this storm, it was really really complicated because we were isolated in our own areas, to actually oversee this process,” he said.
“This storm was definitely not Mr. Pelt’s first, but it was my first being in this position and it was a lot different than the past two when I was a deputy. It was a learning experience, but I think things went pretty smooth.”
Precinct 2 Commissioner Chris Kirkendall , said “I commend my colleagues in the Court, first responders, Cajun Navy, and everybody else who came to our aid.”
Regarding the immense task of debris removal, he said their contractors were meeting that same day. They were hoping that debris removal would begin on Tuesday, September 12.
Kirkendall noted that, “Texas Department of Emergency Manager, David, kept making the statement that we are light years ahead of our counterparts in the state in handling this type of emergency.”
Precinct 3 Commissioner Kenneth Pelt said “I’d like to commend all the county employees and elected officials, who really stepped forward during this emergency.”
Pelt said he was around during Hurricanes Rita and Ike, and that it was nothing compared to the damage to homes and affects on the people that were brought on by Harvey.
“The public has responded, I have never seen as much help come forward from the private sector as well as government sector,” said Pelt.
He continued to express his gratitude, specifically for the efforts of Judge McDaniel and Sheriff Mark Davis.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Alvin Roberts said,” I think looking back on what Commissioner Cooper said, having been a deputy during the storms, it’s a different situation. I was side-by-side with the people who lost everything they have. It’s really tragic.”
Sheriff Davis said their focus is now on security of the areas that have been affected.
Judge McDaniel addressed Sheriff Davis, saying, “I appreciate you personally for everything you did. You helped me immensely. There was some fake news on Facebook that the Sheriff evacuated. I want to clear it up while we’re on the record; he was here the whole time. He was sleeping in his office.”
“Everybody has stepped up and done whatever needed to be done,” McDaniel said of the County employees.