Friday, March 13, 2009

HB 1184 Would Allow More Texas Counties to Create a Civil Service Commission

Gee, just when you think there is nothing new under the sun, something new under the sun appears. My State Rep, Dora Olivo, has filed HB 1184, a bill that would allow, among others, the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court, or the voters of Fort Bend County, if they fail to do so, to create what is called a Civil Service Commission.

This is a group of elected county officers who oversee all county employees, with some exceptions. But one group that is not excepted under some circumstances mainly predicated on the county’s population, is the county sheriff’s department.

So this is good news, huh?

Well, not according to County Judge Bob Hebert, or County Sheriff Milton Wright. FortBendNow files their objections:

“County Judge Bob Hebert could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon, but his office has drafted a resolution opposing Olivo’s bill.”


“‘It’s not necessarily a bad thing,’ Sheriff Milton Wright said of civil service. ‘It protects people from a sheriff or police chief who’s vindictive. We’re just against doing it on this short notice.’”

Short notice? Has the Sheriff not read the bill?

The Commission doesn’t simply appear in September. The County Commission makes it happen. And absent that, and it looks like Judge Hebert would definitely want it to be absent, the county voters could create such a commission.

Surely, not a possibility until November.

Or really, not a possibility until after the 2010 census confirms what everyone already knows, that Fort Bend County has well over half a million souls within its boundaries now.

So . . . "short notice" Sheriff Wright? Are we a little nervous about something?

Like how Montgomery County has organized its Civil Service Commission, perhaps?

As in this part of their county civil service regulations:


2.14 State Law: A county employee shall not be hired in a manner that would violate state laws against nepotism or any local rules that have been passed prohibiting nepotism. Elected officials/department heads or their appointees are prohibited from evading nepotism rules by trading favors in appointing relatives for each other. Such trading is prohibited by State Law and constitutes grounds for immediate removal from their office or position.

Or is it just the whole thing about giving all of that power up to another separate commission that can do things, and investigate things outside of the influence of, say, the County Judge?


Marsha said...


Hallelujah! Dora finally sponsored a bill I can support.

I wonder how the committee would be divided,by political party or bipartisan vote? Which ever way is chosen count me in as positive for the chance to CLEAN UP our county.

Anonymous said...

I love when the sheriff and judge get together on these things. It reminds me when he made the statement "who needs ethics policies" when Morrison pushed for a revision of the voting policies and acceptance of monies from those companies.

We really do have our own boss hog types.