The first regular meeting in 2011 for the Nolan County Commissioners' Court was held on Monday morning, Jan. 10, at the Nolan County Courthouse.
After approval of the minutes from both the Dec. 27, and Dec. 30, meetings, service awards were presented to various Nolan County employees. Among the recipients were Precinct 2 commissioner Terry Locklar and Precinct 2 Equipment Operator Jerry DeLoera for their five years of service. Also being awarded for five years of service was Sheriff's Department Transport Deputy Eli Cunningham and Crime Victim Coordinator Peggy Parrott was awarded for her decade-long service. While they were not in attendance, Patti Neill, recognized for 20 years of service and Frank DeLoera, recognized for five years of service, were also recognized.
The meeting continued and approval was made to keep the burn ban for Nolan County in effect for the next two weeks. A presentation was then made by Davis, Kinard and Co. about an audit that spanned the past budget year from October 2009 through the end of September 2010. The audit was presented to be clean and the county was praised for such a great job with no major changes. The majority of the funds were reported as higher than last year, and the budgets came in better than projected with numerous increases.
A topic that was presented and tabled at the previous meeting, the commissioners discussed once again the new recommendations given by Travelers in regards to liability. The commissioners were presented with a sample application, which now included various statements stating that the county "may request" drug and background checks along with drivers' records up to the past three years. An EEO (equal opportunity employer) statement is now also listed in the application. However, two items no longer listed on the application include the year of the applicant's high school graduation as well as a space to record the applicant's age. It was also presented that a background check agreement has been made with the Texas Department of Public Safety at only $1 per record check. There are still some restrictions on who can access the background checks, but the recommendations by Travelers have been made and were approved, all while protecting Nolan County.
Other items that were approved were for County Clerk Pat McGowan to have her own cash drawer, as well as for newly serving County Court at Law Judge David Hall to purchase a laptop computer for his office. The investment in the laptop should prove to be very efficient in transportation and even will free up current computer hard drives for the county to use.
Another approval made was for Friday, Feb. 4, 2011 to be proclaimed as National Wear Red Day in Nolan County. The Texas Department of State Health Services hopes to raise awareness about heart disease through this event with the help of the county.
Four reports from various department heads were received, as well as the Nolan County cash handling, fraud prevention/detection, and internal control procedures established by the Nolan County Auditor. The procedures would be implemented effective Jan. 10. It was noted that all employees and departments were made aware of the procedures, which address issues from the past. However, while the procedures were only received, the commissioners hope to formally approve the procedures at the next meeting.