Look for Orange County Commissioners next year to request state legislation calling for elections of Orange County Emergency Service District board members.

The county presently has four ESDs with appointed commissioners.
“The ports, drainage districts, county commissioners and school boards are all answerable to the citizens because [citizens] vote for them … and the ESDs are the only ones that aren’t,” said Precinct 4 Commissioner Beamon Minton after Monday’s special session. “I’ve never felt comfortable appointing people.”

Minton said he’s researched the issue and discovered there are 31 counties in Texas that have ESD elections. The idea will most likely be an agenda item in the summer, he said. 

Then it would be up to state representatives or senators to submit a bill to the Legislature. 

But on Monday it was still business as usual and commissioners continued to make appointments on ESD boards. 

At ESD 2, Jeff Daigle was re-appointed to a two-year term and incoming commissioner Matt Browning was appointed to a two-year term. And at ESD 1, which serves the Vidor area, Van Croft was re-appointed to a two-year term and incoming commissioner George Gau was appointed to a two-year term.

Sewer project moves forward

Commissioners Monday approved Lester Saucier Jr. as engineer for sewer projects along Adams and Cow bayous, based on a recommendation of a committee headed up by Joel Ardoin, environmental health and code compliance director. 

There were only two bidders and Saucier was the only one located inside the county. Grants of about $350,000 are provided by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Sewer upgrades will be designed to correct pollution issues. 

The county will provide 60 percent financial coverage with the rest going to the designated homeowner. 

Ardoin will recommend David Waxman and Associates as the project’s grant administrator at commissioners’ next meeting Jan. 4. (The Dec. 28 meeting is canceled for the holidays). Waxman was the only bidder, Ardoin said.

Dubose thanks court

At the end of his first year as Precinct 1 commissioner, David Dubose told his fellow commissioners that running county business was very different from running his own business. 

He said, “My feedback has been good and the input I get from citizens in my precinct is favorable. It has been a learning curve … I’d like to thank the court and other commissioners for being good mentors.”

He added that he’s enjoyed the panel’s good-natured kidding about him being “the rookie” and looked forward to being called “a junior commissioner” next year.