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County Commissioners approve $631,000 in pay hikes, new positions

In a special meeting held New Year’s Day, the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court approved $631,000 of the approximately $1.9 million in salary increases and new positions asked for in their final meeting of 2012. Other requests will be reconsidered during their January 8 meeting.

During the meeting Ray Eufracio, auditor for the county raised objections to several of the items passed, saying there was a ruling that no budget amendments could be approved before Jan. 1. However, several of the items had been considered in the previous meeting.

After discussion Judge Ramon Garcia said the items in question could be given approval and brought back for ratification at the Jan. 8 meeting.

Some of the salaries approved were for positions approved after the budget process ended in September. One was a position for Pct. 4 Road Maintenance approved Dec. 7 at a salary of $49,020.

For the new court, County Court at Law #8, salaries for a bailiff position ($50,000) and a court coordinator ($55,000) and assistant court coordinator ($45,000) were approved, totalling $150,000.

In the District Attorney’s Office three part-time clerk positions, not to exceed six months were approved at salaries from $8.48 to $8.925 an hour.

Two assistant district attorneys were granted pay increases of $2352 and $2476 from the Border Prosecution Grant.

The D.A. Bad Check Division budget was approved although there was no attachment showing costs. It was approved subject to ratification on Jan. 8.

The D.A. HB65 Investigation budget was approved in the amount of $627,800. This included salary increases for Criminal Investigator I from $23,995 to $35,000, Assistant D.A. III from $7910 to $11,698 and Assistant D.A. IV, $7973. Five Clerk I positions not to exceed six months at were funded at $10 per hour, while a clerk IV was funded at $20 per hour.

In the County Clerk’s office, an assistant deputy county clerk was hired at a salary of $10 per hour not to exceed six months.

The tax office salaries were approved but no salary schedule was attached.

In Health and Human Services an Executive Assistant for Community and Intergovermental Affairs was approved at a salary of $60,655.

Six temporary positions for the Elections Department were approved at $8.4677 per hour. Five data entry clerks for positions not to exceed six months were approved at $8.4677.

A Coordinator I position for Texas Agri-Life Extension Service was approved at $32,642 not to exceed Mar. 1, 2013 or exhaustion of grant funds.

In Precinct #2 two heavy equipment operator III positions were approved at $34,360 a year and one mechanic I position was approved at $23,385 a year.

In Precinct 3 two office clerks were approved at $9 an hour not to exceed six months.

The commissioners approved an order setting the salaries of Court Reporters, Assistant County Auditors, and budget of the County Auditor for 2013. (No figures given).

An appropriation of funds into the Sheriff Investigation HB65 fund in the amount to $26,000 was approved.

Commissioners funded salaries for a Pct 1. road maintenance worker approved on Oct. 9, 2012 at $35,192 and an engineering technician approved Nov. 13, 2012 at $41,280.

Pct. 3 was granted supplemental pay for one assistant field operations director in the amount of $3167 and a previously approved pay allowance to another employee (no figures given).

Pct. 4 deleted a Director of Construction and created at Safety Coordinator at a salary of $49,995.

Health and Human Services deleted four positions and created a Coordinator III position at $48,149 and two Clerk II positions at $22,303 each.

Child Protective Services created a court bailiff position at $37,574.

The Tax Office deleted two positions and created four positions approved Oct. 23, 2012 including an Accounting Clerk II at $32,769 and three Deputy Clerks at $30,342.

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