Commissioners Court addressed a crowd of approximately 100-120 at the Youth Exhibition Center on Monday night. Following a presentation by Commissioner Letz that laid out the court’s rationale for the changes in schedule and policy, Commissioners opened the floor to the public. Those that spoke were united in their outrage about the volunteer policy change and the Saturday closures, and many simultaneously defended the shelter staff for doing their best at a difficult job. However, there was no defense of the Commissioners’ decision to change these policies without public input.
In one exchange near the end of the meeting. Commissioner Letz confirmed that the court approved the “volunteer policy” before it had even been drafted, giving “guidance” to Director Reagan Givens to author the policy later. As of this writing, the volunteer policy is still not available to the public, although the court claims that it will be available online soon.
Much of the rationale set forth by the court referenced the county’s “mandate.” The county is mandated by state law to provide certain services, which director Reagan Givens laid out in detail. However, Commissioners would do well to remember that mandates don’t just come from the state government. Voters also provide mandates to their elected officials, and in the meeting room on Monday night, the mandates were clear: re-open on Saturdays, establish a logical volunteer policy, and be transparent in the process.
Unconfirmed reports from after the meeting indicate that at least one commissioner was moved by the discussion and will make it his priority to re-open the shelter facility on Saturdays.
The entire meeting can be viewed below, in a film produced by Kerrville United as a public service to the community.
Power Point Slideshow
The slideshow presented by the County was difficult to read during the meeting, so we have included those slides below for ease of viewing.