Commissioners green-light constable insurance
Orange County commissioners this week voted to move forward with a plan to cover constables’ and deputy constables’ personal cars with county insurance, however, will work out rules, regulations and exceptions later.
Reserve deputies typically use their own vehicles, said Precinct 4 Constable Weldon Peveto, who attended the meeting to show support (Precinct 2 Constable Rob Strause also attended). The deputies get a small fuel allotment but no official salary. Reserve deputies are often used for parades, escorts for funerals or school buses traveling to games.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Beamon Minton said details would have to be worked out, such as trips to the bank or drives to and from work – and if those constitute county time.
Last year, Peveto and his deputies accompanied school buses to a game in Huntsville, and on the return trip one of the reserve deputies led several buses through a light and was hit by another car. He was cleared at the scene by investigators and issued no citations or tickets, yet when the insurance report came in he was found partially at fault and dropped by his personal insurance carrier.
Mosquito plane queries
Precinct 1 Commissioner David Dubose and Precinct 3 Commissioner John Dubose said they’d received some calls about when the county mosquito plane will begin flying this year. In John Dubose’s case, he said most calls came from the Dugas Addition in Bridge City.
Mosquito Control Director Patrick Beebe said county officials have completed most required testing to get the plane up in 2010, but still need to test spraying equipment and must wait until the weather gets less windy and warmer. Every year brings different weather patterns, he said.
“When mosquitoes move, that indicates when we need to move and we go after them” he said.
Residents may report mosquitoes by calling Beebe’s office, 670-4104. So far this year, he said, his survey teams had noted very little activity. The county posts tips on avoiding mosquitoes at its Web site. Go to www.co.orange.tx.us, then click on “Departments” then “Mosquito Control.”
Commissioners issued a resolution recognizing the importance of Community Emergency Response Teams. The local CERT group helped the county tremendously after Hurricane Ike, County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said.
Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Kelley began organizing the chapter about six months after he took office several years ago. CERT workers are required to maintain many hours of training and certification.
“They’ve been a great asset to the county,” Thibodeaux said.
Kelley and his staff this week are attending the 2010 National Hurricane Conference in Orlando, Fla.
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Commissioners also issued a proclamation recognizing Confederate History and Heritage Month.
Granvel Block accepted on behalf of four area groups dedicated to Confederate history: Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Military Order of Stars and Bars, the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Order of the Confederate Rose.
The organizations recognize “the need for us to review our history and know what our past actually has entailed,” Block said.