Sutton County Judge Steve Smith
Sutton County Judge Steve Smith

County Judge Steve Smith told the Sutton County Commissioners Court on Monday, February 8th, that he will not seek re-election in 2022. He said he wanted to make his decision public early enough so that individuals interested in running for the job would have time to give it consideration before the filing period that begins in November.

Smith is in his second term. He succeeded Carla Garner in 2014.

A good portion of Monday’s commissioners court meeting was spent hashing and rehashing personnel policies concerning paid leave for bereavement as well as COVID-19, items that have been discussed at several previous meetings.

The commissioners ultimately voted unanimously to adopt a COVID-19 policy that allows for paid leave for employees who are quarantined due to a suspected case of COVID-19 or an actual case as determined by a test. County employees will be allowed only 10 days of paid leave for COVID-19 and will be required to use their sick leave if they exceed that amount. Also, employees will be required to work a full pay period before they qualify for the COVID-19 leave benefit and they may not collect holiday pay and COVID-19 leave pay at the same time. Additionally, the county will require documentation from a health care provider concerning the employee’s COVID-19 status, as well as their ability to return to work.

No decision was made on the county’s bereavement policy and the commissioners opted to continue discussion of the matter at a future meeting.

The commissioners approved a $5,499 bid from Snider Technology to provide and install a new phone system at the Sutton County Sheriff’s Office. Ray Bertrand, salesman for Snider Technology, was on hand to describe the process to the commissioners. He noted that the new system will operate on the generator system at the Sheriff’s Office on those occasions when electrical power is interrupted. Bertrand further explained that the county’s existing phone numbers will remain in service.

The commissioners accepted a recommendation by Judge Smith that Dustin Hodge be promoted to maintenance supervisor and they authorized Smith to hire Ismael Sanchez as a maintenance worker.

In other business the commissioners heard reports from several county officials and supervisors including Sheriff Oscar Chavez, Road Superintendent Robert Hughes, Librarian Deborah Brown, Auditor Maura Weingart, Justice of the Peace Jody Harris, Treasurer Janell Schniers, Attorney Dawn Cahill and County Clerk Rachel Duran.

During Judge Smith’s report the commissioners learned that an appraisal firm is set to come up with a value for Allison Park in April. He also explained that with rainfall expected later in the week, outdoor burning is allowed in the county with no burn ban in place. The judge noted that he is presently working on a salary schedule for use in crafting a proposed budget for 2022 budget.

Judge Smith presided over Monday’s meeting with Commissioners Fred Perez, Carl Teaff, Bob Brockman and Lee Bloodworth in attendance. The next meeting of the Sutton County Commissioners Court is slated for 9 a.m. on Monday, February 22nd in the courtroom at the County Courthouse.