Galveston County Commissioners Court on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve a $188.8 million budget for FY 2013 and a tax rate of $0.60877 per $100 valuation, a reduction of $0.013, to support the budget. Listen
“I am pleased to report that Galveston County has weathered the catastrophic aftermath of Hurricane Ike and a persistently weak economy astonishingly well,” reported Director of Finance Mel Trammell. “At a time when many governmental entities are struggling to avoid financial collapse, as a result of sound fiscal leadership and management throughout all county departments, Galveston County is well positioned to meet the needs of the community and the challenges of the future.”
The spending plan includes a three percent cost of living wage increase for all county employees, with the exception of judges, and a new merit pay program for constables.
Unlike contentious budget discussions in recent years, there were no speakers at a public hearing on the budget on Tuesday.
The commissioners court voted unanimously to approve the appointment of five members of the Galveston County Rural Rail Transportation District Board: James “Ossie” Matthews, Ronnie Moore, Richard Batie, Simon Urbanic and John Ford. County Judge Mark Henry administered oaths of office to those members present.
The commissioners court voted to support the reappointment of Dr. John Konikowski and Dr. Bernard Milstein to the Galveston County United Board of Health; and the appointment of Michael Ehrat, Keith Casey and Scott Johnson to the board.
The commissioners court voted to defer requests by Boyd Thomure, Ron and Kim Jorgesen, Jan Player, Gerald and Frances Gambino, James and Julie Crawford and Don and Donna Bryson for waiver of penalty and interest for the delinquent payment of taxes because of a problem with notification to the taxpayers.
The commissioners court voted to deny again several requests for reconsideration of earlier denials by Chris L. Johnson, L.C. Partners, L.P., Helen Graham, James H. Yates, Tommy Thompson, Roger W. Peters, Edward Bajorek, Robert Meek, and Liaw Mean-Ling and Yong-Fang Kuo.
All other agenda items were approved. All votes were unanimous with all members present.
Steve Mataro of DSW Homes appeared before the commissioners court to thank the members for their support in the Hurricane Ike Recovery Program. Listen
“It was not long ago that I stood in front of this court asking for the support of this commission to add DSW Homes as a builder in hopes of helping the program with the new homes,” Mataro said. “Your vote was ‘yes’ for DSW Homes and it was time to go to work. What I didn’t know at the time was the amazing help and support this court was willing to give of itself.”