Precinct 3 Constable Mike White, left, of Alvarado, receives a 10-year service pin from Precinct 3 Commissioner Jerry Stringer at Monday s Commissioner s Court meeting in Cleburne. (PAUL GNADT)
Motorists who receive tickets from the Department of Public Safety for driving too fast in the county can now pay those tickets in a speedy manner.
After a workshop session that lasted until 5 p.m., Johnson County commissioners decided Monday to contract with NET Data for management of traffic tickets written by state troopers on its ticket-writing program called iTicket.
The contract will be reviewed after six months.
The iTicket program enables tickets to be electronically downloaded overnight at the four justice of the peace offices in the county and can be paid the next day by the offending motorist.
Previously, motorists wanting to pay a DPS-written ticket had to wait eight-10 days until the citation was hand delivered by the trooper.
Ninety percent of tickets handled by the justice of the peace offices are DPS-written tickets, Precinct 4 Commissioner Don Beeson said.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Jerry Stringer made the motion to contract with NET Data. It was seconded by Precinct 2 Commissioner Troy Thompson and passed unanimously.
In a related item, commissioners decided to contract with a new firm for the collection of delinquent traffic tickets administered by the justices of the peace.
Commissioners supported a motion by Precinct 1 Commissioner Rick Bailey to contract with Graves Humphries Stahl to collect delinquent court fees and fines. Stringer seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
Previously, the law firm of Perdue, Brandon, Fielder Collins & Mott collected the delinquent costs and fines, however, NET Data stipulated that it would provide its iTicket program only if Graves Humphries became the collection agency.
Commissioners agreed to the stipulation because of the efficiency of the iTicket program, Beeson said.
Stringer made the motion to terminate the contract with Perdue Brandon. It was seconded by Thompson and passed with Harmon abstaining.
Perdue Brandon attorney Lynn Stavinoha waived a 30-day notice to terminate clause so the Graves Humphries could begin collection as soon as next week.
Purdue Brandon will continue to collect delinquent property taxes for the county.
In the unfinished portion of the agenda, architect Alan Magee said the final concrete work is being installed this week at the new Emergency Operations Center.
We should be done this week, weather permitting, Magee said.
Trees thought to be dead on the grounds Adult Probation Building near the Guinn Justice Center are alive but under stress, Magee said.
We will attempt to save as many as we can, he said.
Also under unfinished business, commissioners supported a recommendation by personnel director Randy Gillespie to amend the personnel policy regarding overtime so that holiday time counts as work time when calculating overtime.
In other business, commissioners:
* Tabled a decision on building a third tower for the county communication system at a cost of $498,000 until they receive a breakdown of costs of the tower, concrete work, tower piers and other expenses.
* Approved a resolution supporting the Texas Department of Transportation funding expansion of the U.S. Highway 67 Bypass from State Highway 174 to Spur 102 (South College Drive) in Keene.
TxDOT has about $200 million to spend and we, along with the city of Cleburne, are asking them to consider finishing the bypass between Keene and Hwy. 174, Beeson said.
Employee service recognition
In the announcements and presentations portion of the meeting, Harmon proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Ride 2 Recovery Honor and Recognition Month.
The fourth annual Ride 2 Recovery will be in Johnson County April 20-21, said Marty Peters, vice president of the American Legion Auxiliary and chair of the Texas R2R.
The ride features more than 180 bicyclists who are wounded military veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They ride from San Antonio to Arlington during a five-day period and will stop in Whitney, Blum, Rio Vista and Cleburne on Friday, April 20, and in Keene and Lillian April 21.
The riders will be guests at a banquet at 6:30 p.m. April 20 at the Cleburne Conference Center, for breakfast at 9 a.m. April 21 in Keene.
The meeting opened with the presentation of length of service pins to 32 county employees.
Receiving pins for 20 years of service were Timothy Joe Byers of Precinct 1 and Darla Ashley of the office of tax collector/assessor Scott Porter.
Fifteen-year pins were presented to Rachael Smithey of Indigent Health Care, Brenda Kay Slauson of the personnel department, Jeffrey Arrizola and Jerry Ricks of Precinct 4, Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford and Ben Arriola of the sheriff s office.
Receiving 10-year pins were Precinct 3 Constable Mike White, Donalda Shue of the office of County Clerk Becky Williams, Larry Mullins of juvenile services, Edward Ramos of public works and Rose Johns of the sheriff s office.
Five-year pins were presented to Jennifer Lyon of the office of auditor Kirk Kirkpatrick, David Barkley and Stephanie Miller of the office of County Attorney Bill Moore, Kristie Walker of the county clerk s office, Sandy Weaver and Constance Michelle Phillips of adult probation, Paul Hable and Lisa Powell of the office of District Attorney Dale Hanna, Judy Hamilton of the elections office, Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Ronny McBroom. Billy Hall of Precinct 1, Ken Abbott and Francisco Chacon of Precinct 4, Geneva Tarvin of public works, and Eric Alexander, Betty Collins, Brian Fullbright, Mike Powell and Leona Yocham of the sheriff s office.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Johnson County Commissioners Court will be 9 a.m. Monday, April 23, in the commissioners courtroom at the Johnson County Courthouse in Cleburne.