Washington County Sheriff's
Office Patrol Lieutenant David
Blakey visits with county
commissioners on Tuesday
regarding a change to the
sheriff's office's on-call pay

Washington County Commissioners today (Tuesday) approved a policy change to formally allow on-call pay for all deputies at the sheriff’s office.

Patrol Lieutenant David Blakey explained that the sheriff’s office recently had to put some deputies on-call in order to ensure minimum staffing coverage.  However, he said a line item was not in place in the budget specifically for patrol positions, but there was one for investigators.  He said based on the advice of the county auditor and human resources director, it was best to take the term investigator off of the line item and simply refer to it as on-call.

Blakey said this is being done as the sheriff’s office works on addressing staffing shortages in its patrol positions.

Blakey said the sheriff’s office cannot control what its deputies do during their time off, but it can alleviate issues that arise from unexpected absences if some deputies are on-call. 

Human Resources Director Angela Mlcak said deputies who are on-call will still get mandatory overtime over 40 hours as appropriate, but will not qualify for overtime differential pay incentives because they are essentially volunteering for the shift.

Following regular session, commissioners met behind closed doors in executive session for over an hour to discuss the county’s Public Affairs Director position, held by Jason May since January.  After concluding talks, they reopened regular session and voted to dismiss May effective immediately.  There was no discussion during the meeting on the reason for his dismissal, and a press release provided by the county did not elaborate on the decision or what its plans are for the position moving forward.  The release did reiterate that the county is an equal opportunity employer and that all employees are hired on an at-will basis.

In other business, the court:

  • Agreed to hire Gessner Engineering to perform an inspection of real property recently purchased by the county at 2509 Highway 105 in Brenham, the former location of ATS Irrigation.  Commissioner Kirk Hanath said the county will pay 50 percent of the cost for the inspection.  The cost will be negotiated with Gessner Engineering. 
  • Executed co-op agreements entitled Razorback Co-op, Big Al Elephant Co-op and Tater Tiger Co-op.  Magnolia Oil and Gas is creating co-op leases with some of their wells, and these three include mineral rights that the county owns within the areas of consolidation.  The Razorback Co-op tract is 5.25 miles outside of Burton, and the county’s royalty interest will be 0.00016512 percent.  The Big Al Elephant Co-op tract is 4.2 miles outside of Burton, and the county’s royalty interest will be 0.00113184 percent.  The Tater Tiger Co-op tract is 13.69 miles outside of Brenham, and the county’s royalty interest will be 0.00000149 percent.
  • Approved a services agreement with the Texas Association of Counties County Information Resources Agency, pertaining to resources available on the county’s website.
  • Approved a legal engagement agreement with Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta, LLP for legal services regarding the county’s depository contract.
  • Approved a final plat for Palestine Estates, consisting of five lots located along Palestine Road in Precinct 1.
  • Renewed reserve deputy sheriff’s bonds for Daniel Gaskamp and Floyd Mathis.
  • Discussed a formal notice for a temporary water transfer line installation by Wildfire Energy in the Harmon School Road and Oevermann Road right-of-way in Precinct 4.
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