Jeff Kelley, director of Emergency Management, told the Orange County Commissioners on Monday that the last little bit of rain Orange County had didn’t even register.

“We don’t really have any long-term relief in sight,” Kelley said. “Maybe a little bit of rain this Thursday and Friday, but it’s only a 60 percent change of isolated thunderstorms.”

Kelley went on to explain that there were only two counties in the state of Texas that have not yet implemented a burn ban.

The Emergency Management office is working diligently with the Road and Bridge Department to distribute Burn Ban signs throughout the county.

The Burn Ban remains in effect.


Service Office


Smith, Veteran’s Service Officer, asked the Commissioners to consider the re-classification

of the Benefit Coordinator position to Assistant Service Officer with effective

date of Oct. 1, 2011.


used to have an Assistant Veteran’s Service Officer,” said County Judge Carl

Thibodeaux. “That position became empty when the past assistant resigned from

her position to work with the County.”


further explained that the County hasn’t has anyone qualified apply to fill the

position since that time.

“As I mentioned on my initial interview, it has been my objective

to train my relief if something should ever happen to me or for when I get too

old to work,” current Veteran’s Service Officer, Gene Smith said. “The

gentleman I hired, Mike Powell, is doing an excellent job. He has exceeded all

the other Benefit Coordinators in the three weeks he’s been there. I really

believe he deserves to move up to that position.”

This re-classification would increase Powell’s salary by $4,436

but would not go into effect until the next year’s budget. However, when Powell

and Smith were hired, they declined the health insurance plan through the

County because they already had a plan of their own.


also asked the Court to consider the re-classification of the receptionist

position to a clerk 2 position with effective date of Oct. 1, 2011.

The receptionist, Charlotte Borrell,

has been working for the VSO office for four years.

“She has far exceeded the duties of a

receptionist,” Smith said. “She is definitely an asset to the office. She’s

very reliable and very good at what she does.”

He provided the Commissioners with a

list of her required duties, which filled an entire page. He also provided the

Court with an additional list of the duties she willing completes, which filled

another two pages.

Smith told the Court that if she will

continue to perform her regular duties and no one else would be hired. This

would come with a pay increase of $3,439.

“We’re talking about taking care of

our veterans,” Pct. 1 Commissioner David Dubose said. “I’m a veteran, also, and

I think that this is something that needs to be addressed. For $3,400 more to

keep a good employee that been here for four years through all the hassle, that’s

[no problem].”

Thibodeaux said that Borrell has been

loyal to the county and has been an asset to the office. “The fact is, is that

she has gone above and beyond.”

The Commissioners approved the

re-classification of both Powell and Borrell.

November 8 Election

The Court

approved authorizing the Commissioners to order the Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011 Local

Option Liquor Election for the registered voters of The City of Vidor, by

Publishing a Notice of Election in a county newspaper, Election Code Secs.



the County didn’t require other cities, such as Pinehurst, to reimburse the

County for the expenses of holding a Local Option Elections, they will not

require the City of Vidor to reimburse the County.


Commissioners authorized the Early Voting Locations and Times for the Nov. 8,

2011 Constitutional Amendment Election as follows:

Orange Public

Library (Main Early Voting Location)

220 N

Fifth Street, Orange, Texas




Hwy 12, Mauriceville, Texas


Public Works Building


Nitsche, Bridge City, Texas


Community Center


Claiborne, Vidor, Texas


will be conducted on the following dates and times:


the hours of 8 5 p.m.

Monday, October 24, 2011 through

Friday, October 28, 2011

And again

Monday, October 31, 2011 through

Friday, November 4, 2011

Extended Hours:


Oct. 25, 2011 and Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011

During the hours of 8 a.m. to 7


The Commissioners also authorized the County Judge to give notice of the Nov. 8,

2011 Constitutional Amendment Election by publishing NOTICE OF ELECTION in a

newspaper of general circulation at least once between Sunday Oct. 9, 2011 and

Monday, Oct. 31, 2011, as per the Election Code.


County Hiring Freeze

Pct. 4 Commissioner Jody Crump asked that the Court consider

implementing a hiring freeze for Orange County.

“I requested that this be put on the agenda in reference to the

budget we’re going through on right now, the economic situation with the

County,” Crump said. “This gives the ability for Commissioners’ Court to take a

look at positions that need to be filled.”

Crump doesn’t want to micromanage things, but my implementing a

hiring freeze; it allows the departments to come before Commissioners’ Court

before hiring.

This hiring freeze is effective immediately.




informed the Commissioners that the construction on the Shelter of Last Resort

on FM1442 is on schedule and looking good. He said that there are some aspects

of it that are even ahead of schedule.


Commissioners approved the contract renewal between Orange County and THEnet

Internet Service for the County’s regular internet service from September, 2011

to August, 2012.

Lisa Reeves,

director of Management Information Systems asked the Court to approve

authorizing Management Information Systems to fill the position of PC/Network

Tech II, at a pay scale of NE 4, hourly rate of $14.29. This position became

vacant as of Monday, Aug. 22, 2011.


explained that they are understaffed and need to fill this position to help

with major projects that are coming up. The Commissioners approved for Reeves

to hire a PC/Network Tech II.


Commissioners authorized the County Judge to sign the Orange County Title IV-E

Child Welfare Services contract for fiscal year 2010 (Oct. 1, 2011 to Sept. 30,

2012). This contract allows Orange County to file for partial reimbursement for

expenses related to Child Welfare services for children that are Title IV-E



Commissioners approved the payment of bills totaling $1,267,862.04, including:

$98,946.50 to McInnis Construction, Inc., from general fund for Adult Probation

Facility; and $675,774.18 to G&G Enterprises from general fund for Shelter

of Last Resort.


Commissioners approved the line item transfer for the Veterans Service Office

of $1,800 from Travel General and Travel Education to Books & Publication,

Office Supplies and Registration/Seminars. This will provide funds for the

remainder of the fiscal year.


Commissioners approved filing in the minutes of the court revenue received from

the City of Orange, check #40561, for $4,459.92. These funds are reimbursement

for road materials.

About Nicole Gibbs

Editor of The Record Newspapers