In light of recent county departments not being able to fill open job openings, Orange County Judge Carl Thibodeaux stated during a meeting Monday that he would try to go as long as he could without hiring someone in his office.

One of his employees recently resigned. She worked three days in the Emergency Management Department and two days per week in Thibodeaux’s office. Her salary was paid partly with a grant from the state. Her absence leaves only one person in the office.

“I may have to come back before the court to hire a new employee,” Thibodeaux said.

Commissioners approved action for a line item transfer of $2,300 for extra help salary. The person would help as needed. Actions was also taken to allow the part-time employee to be paid $8.76 per hour.

Roy Stanford and Paula Tacker, of the Texas AgriLife Extension office, were granted permission to travel to their necessary training in December. Standford will travel College Station on Dec. 10-11 to maintain his non-commercial pesticide license. The fee to attend the training was paid for by the Associate Director’s Office. However, the county will have to pay for his hotel room.

Stanford is required to  have 208 hours of training annually related to professional development for his position with the county.

Tacker will travel to Bryan for training and the association meeting on Dec 11-12.

Commissioners voted to wait until January before spending $825. Because of a move to a new location the Road and Bridge Department will need to hire an authorized specialist to revise the FCC radio license held by the department. The FCC requires it must be a verified through an authorized specialist to determine that no inference is being caused to another licensed operator in the area.

In other county business, Sabrina Gray, event coordinator at the OCCEC, presented to the court an operations manual and a revised rental contract. Gray suggested things be changed to the current contract such as deposits and fees for cleaning the floors. Other things were added such as the restriction on glass bottles.

Pct. 3 Commissioner John Banken was adamant that he wanted the use of Co2 to be forbidden. He felt the use of the chemical in any fashion was dangerous and a possible liability for the county.

In the end, commissioners voted to let the fire marshal decide whether fog machines could be used at the facility. In addition, the contract may change as issues arise which need to be addressed.

Tabled until next week was the issue about a business opening on Interstate 10 near the Appraisal District office.

The business , who also owns a similar type business in Liberty County, will recycle metals and sell them to businesses such as Gerdeau Steel. County officials will look at establishing some rules for the business because it could be considered a salvage yard. The business will process vehicles for their metals too in addition to other sources. A person representing the business stated vehicles on the property would only be there for up to a week while being processed.

Ordinances have been put into effect for junk yards and automotive wrecking yards to make the property not appear as an “eyesore” in the community. The owners have requested an exemption.

Joel Ardoin, of Code and Compliance, was granted permission to amend the contract with the Regional and Local Health Service Contract with the Department of State Health Services to commit the full grant amount of $37,713 to the UTMB contract.

Thibodeaux announced there was  “nothing to add” regarding the Sheriff’s Employees Union Contract.

County Attorney Doug Manning informed the court of a case pending with the U.S. Supreme Court about the invocation done before government meetings. An oral argument has been done and they are waiting for a decision from the court. Manning stated he was a Christian and “proud to do the opening prayer.”

“I take it very seriously,” he added.