An update on staffing in the Washington County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office was provided during today’s (Tuesday) county commissioners meeting.
Last week, three employees in the office suddenly quit, leaving just Tax Assessor-Collector Cheryl Gaskamp to handle the main duties while some employees from other departments chip in to answer phone calls.
County Judge John Durrenberger said an employee from Austin County is assisting in the office as of this morning. Human Resources Director Angela Mlcak said one of Washington County’s new fulltime hires can start on Thursday, while a second employee is planned to start on September 7th and a third will begin on September 11th.
Mlcak said the Tax Assessor-Collectors Association of Texas has offered to send officials from Waco to help with training the new employees. Durrenberger said the training process for employees to perform work outside of management-type responsibilities is shorter than what was initially anticipated, so for new employees, it “shouldn’t take them long to become certified.”
The update came as the court considered whether to approve overtime pay or another form of incentive pay for assisting employees, a decision that commissioners ultimately declined to do.
Durrenberger said he did not believe there was really a need for it, while Commissioner Kirk Hanath said situations like this have happened with other offices, and those employees did not receive any additional compensation or overtime pay. Hanath added that it would be a “slippery slope” if the county began “picking and choosing” which offices or departments receive extra pay. Hanath thanked Austin County for its help, and Commissioner Dustin Majewski thanked Washington County’s employees who stepped up to pitch in.
Also at today’s meeting, commissioners:
- Agreed to purchase a chip spreader from R.B. Everett & Co. and an asphalt distributor truck from Associated Supply Company, Inc. for the Engineering and Development Services Department. The chip spread is for $397,944 and the asphalt truck is for $263,573; both purchases are coming from the department’s reserve funds. Commissioner Candice Bullock explained that the county has been contracting with a provider that lays asphalt every year, but due to prices and logistics, the court is deciding to invest in this new equipment so that the county’s road and bridge department can provide those services internally.
- Approved the purchase of a 2024 Ford Expedition Max for the Washington County Extension Office. The purchase is from Appel Ford for $59,664. Extension Agent Kara Matheney explained that the vehicle will not just be used by the Extension Office and will be available to other county agencies as well.
- Approved the purchase of an AC unit and handler for the Washington County Expo, replacing the upstairs unit in the sales facility. The purchase is from Triple T Refrigeration in the amount of $30,304.
- Approved the consolidation of polling places for the November 7th constitutional amendment election. Four polling locations will be available: the Washington County Expo Event Center, Brenham VFW Hall, Brenham American Legion Hall and Blinn College Student Center.
- Approved the enforcement of the no parking signs placed on the county property located on Blue Bell Road between Independence Street and Armbrister Street.
- Read a proclamation declaring the month of September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Washington County.
- Discussed a formal notice for a water service installation by PGMS in the Weber Lane right-of-way in Precinct 3.