Commissioners need to be more open and public

Posted

Dear Editor,

Thank you for providing some details regarding the Austin County Commissioner’s Court on Aug. 19. The good news is that they decided to hold an evening public hearing on the proposed tax rate on Tuesday, Sept. 3, so that more of their constituents could attend. I urge all Austin County residents to attend this meeting—even if you have to take off work a little early or come a little late!

If you have never attended one of these “public” hearings, it will at a minimum be informative. If you have attended and are discouraged by your representative’s behavior and/or vote, then come anyway. They need to see that you care. I continue to be extremely disappointed in the way those public hearings are conducted, how they make their decisions, and the way one of the commissioners, in particular, seems to feel he has the right to dominate and bully everyone in the room, including our esteemed County Judge.

They once again chose to give themselves a pay raise; this time of 4% – which is over 1% above the cost of living this year, on top of the raise they gave themselves last year which was 1% above COL. How many of you got to give yourselves a pay raise last year? And now, to fund all their priorities, they are increasing our tax rate—on top of the increased assessments with which we will all surely be burdened. They should take a page from the BISD and lower our tax rate.

Consistently Concerned Citizen,

Linda Niehuus

Bellville

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