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Redistricting advisory commission on docket
The Hays County Commissioners Court will consider the formation of a citizens advisory commission on redistricting during Tuesday’s meeting.
County Judge Ruben Becerra seeks to create the commission, according to the commissioners court agenda packet. The objectives of forming the Citizens Advisory Commission on Redistricting (CACR) include transparency, ensuring the community has a voice and reducing the number of people who reach out to Steve Floyd in the county’s Geographic Information System Department, the court's agenda packet states.
The commissioners previously held a discussion regarding forming the commission during their June 8 meeting.
“I believe the community input is paramount,” Becerra said. “So much so that there were several questions when we spoke about this agenda item that I invited Commissioner (Lon) Shell to meet with me so that we could go over the details and work it out and then have something additional that we could present to the court and that’s what is before us today.
“So, I understand the nonpartisanship. I totally support the idea of nonpartisanship. But, let’s be honest, commissioner Shell and I said the same thing, this is all about partisanship. Absolutely, whether you want to believe it or not. It is 100% partisanship, and that is why commissioner Shell and I had come to the conclusion that each party chair would be a good, I don’t want to say watchdog, but a good balance and assessment of the process.”
After receiving input from the League of Women Voters of Hays County, Becerra added that he wanted to see representation from the league in the commission.
After a discussion between the commissioners, they ultimately decided to table their decision until Tuesday’s upcoming meeting. Shell asked that members of the court examine suggestions he and Becerra came up with as well as information provided by the League of Women Voters of Hays County.
During Tuesday’s meeting, each member of the commissioners court has been asked to nominate two representatives from their respective precincts to be active members of the CACR. Additionally, the commission will meet according to the Texas Open Meetings Act, which will include properly posted meetings, recordings and will allow for citizen comments.
In other business, the court will hold a discussion and take possible action to provide direction to staff and consultants regarding the issuance of Parks and Open Space bonds pursuant to authorization of Hays County Proposition A in the 2020 General Election.
The commissioners will also consider taking possible action to establish one new Environmental Health Specialist I position effective July 1, 2021. The county stated that its Development Services Department seeks to add an additional Environmental Health Specialist I to assist with the demand of work the department is currently experiencing.
The court will also discuss and take possible action to provide direction to staff and to identify a Hays County approach to the prospective allocation under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Tuesday's meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the Hays County Historic Courthouse — 111 E. San Antonio St. — in Room 301. Anyone wishing to participate in public comment can submit a public participation/witness form to the county clerk prior to 9 a.m. on Tuesday.