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Citizens election commission could be determined

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Members of the Hays County Citizens Elections Commission could be appointed this week. 

On Tuesday morning, the Hays County Commissioners Court will discuss and take possible action to appoint members to the commission, which was created in September “to serve Hays County as an independent advisory commission in the area of effectively identifying voting center locations and assessing the locations after each election period.”

The commission will include the following representatives: One representative from each independent school district, including Hays CISD, San Marcos CISD, Dripping Springs ISD and Wimberley ISD; one representative from each municipality, including San Marcos, Kyle, Buda, Dripping Springs and Wimberley; one representative from each County Party Chair, including the Democratic Party and the Republican Party; Texas State University Student Party Chairs, including the Democratic Party and the Republican Party; one rural community representative; one representative of the disabled community; one representative from the League of Women Voters; and two appointed citizen representatives per member of the commissioner's court. The Elections Office will act as technical advisory to the commission.

According to the agenda item, outreach to each community has been completed, and each commissioner has been requested to appoint a member. 

The committee, comprised of 26 individuals, will elect its own leadership and meet a minimum of twice per year.

“The goals: evaluate the distribution and effectiveness of the early voting polls and vote centers and recommend changes as needed,” Hays County Judge Ruben said during commissioners court on Sept. 4. “That's a very specific and narrow focus.”

In other business, the county will consider executing an interlocal agreement between the City of San Marcos, City of Kyle, City of Buda and Hays County relating to the management and operation of the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter. 

According to the agenda item, the agreement will “define the rights and duties of the Parties as they work together in collaboration with community partners and animal advocate groups to care for, protect, and find quality homes for abandoned and neglected animals, aid in the reduction of animal overpopulation, and provide community education for the mutual benefit of animals and people in Hays County.”

The funds required for the agreement, according to the agenda item, total $477,688 and are available within the operating budget for the expense. 

Additionally, commissioners will discuss and take possible action to execute an agreement with the nonprofit organization myPadilla for the Regional Padilla Compliance Pilot Program, which will be funded with a $326,400 grant from the Texas Indigent Defense Commission. 

The court will also take possible action to authorize the Parks Department to utilize budgeted funds in the amount of $32,285.60 for the repair of a historic weir located within Jacob’s Well. 

According to the agenda item, “the weir is approximately 70 years old and is responsible for regulating water flow around the Well. The weir is currently eroding away in several places and pieces of rebar are breaking through the concrete. If left as is, there is a possibility that the weir may completely wash away in the event of a large rain or flooding event.”

The Hays County Commissioners Court meets at 9 a.m. on the third floor of the Hays County Courthouse, 111 San Antonio St.

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666