By Tommy Mann Jr.

The Record

A new procedure system meant to simplify court operations received some clarification during Tuesday’s meeting.

Orange County Commissioners discussed the new parliamentary procedures, which were introduced by Orange County Judge Brint Carlton during the Jan. 5 Commissioners Court meeting and approved after a lengthy discussion. Tuesday’s discussion, requested by David Dubose, the Precinct 1 Commissioner, was centered on the phrasing of one procedure in particular.

Dubose stated he was concerned that any commissioner, current or future, could be denied permission to speak on a topic, if that person was never officially recognized by the County Judge or person in charge during that specific meeting. The new procedures were made to allow each commissioner the opportunity to speak without interruption once recognized and were never meant to prevent any commissioner from having a voice in any discussion, according to Carlton.

“The purpose of these procedures is not to prevent members of the court from speaking,” Carlton said. “Its just to make sure there is an orderly process to it and no one is talking over one another.”

John Banken, Precinct 3 Commissioner, had concerns about the wording of the policy as well.

“I have a problem with it,” Banken said bluntly. “I’m elected by the people and I work for the people. I know we can get in some pretty heated discussions workshops and behind closed doors, but we always work together. I think we have done pretty good, even when we don’t agree.

“I know I can get pretty vocal about things,” Banken continued. “But I don’t understand why these parliamentary procedures came up.”

Carlton stated he understood the concerns of the commissioners, but said he thought there may have been some confusion on his intent.

“This does not say anyone will be prevented from talking,” Carlton explained. “They just need to be recognized first. This just puts it into a written format as to what we have been doing all along.”

Carlton stated his purpose for creating the parliamentary procedure guidelines for Commissioners Court was more for when Commissioners were being addressed by the public than one another, and that he wanted to reduce comments being “shouted out” from the audience until they are recognized by the court.

Commissioners approved the adoption of the parliamentary procedures by a vote of 4-1, with Banken casting the lone “no” vote.

In other news, Tina Barrow, Orange County Election Administrator, early voting for the March 1 Democratic and Republican Primary elections would take place from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 16 through Saturday, Feb. 20, and Monday, Feb. 22 through Friday, Feb. 26.

Early voting locations will be at the Orange Public Library, 220 N. Fifth St. in Orange; the Bridge City Public Works Building, 220 Nitsche in Bridge City; the Raymond Gould Community Center, 385 Claiborne in Vidor; and the Mauriceville Volunteer Fire Department, 10691 State Highway 62 in Mauriceville.

Applications for ballots by mail must be received no later than the close of business on Friday, Feb. 19, and should be mailed to Elections Administrator, 123 South 6th St., Orange, Texas, 77630.

For the month of November 2015, Orange County received $408,758.52 from the State Comptroller of Texas for funds representing the one-half of one cent sales and use allocation. These funds were credited to the county’s general operating fund.

Orange County received checks in the amounts of $432.54 from the City of Rose City and $169.74 from the Vidor Independent School District, both of which were reimbursement for road materials provided by the county.