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Newton County Commissioner's Workshop - Monday 25th

This workshop was to allow the commissioners the opportunity to discuss, modify, adjust or remove portions of the proposed 2024 Fiscal Budget.

Topics discussed included:

> Senate Bill 22 - The State of Texas has made these funds available for sheriff's offices in rural counties as a way of increasing compensation and thus making rural departments more financially competitive. According to the author of the bill, the bill was meant to address the "salary compensations" as well as provide flexibility to use the funds throughout the Sheriff's Office. Newton County citizen David Kelly asked the question of whether or not the funds were a "grant" and if Newton County did not receive the grant moving would the county address the wage increases brought about by these funds? Sheriff Robert Burby responded directly to the question by speaking about appreciating what the state has made available and that the funds would help with a better quality of life. The District Attorney assured that the funds were "not a grant" and they are an "apportionment" as a part of the states bottom line. Sheriff Robert Burby was later asked questions about why some of the salaries were increased as a result of the SB-22.

> Newton County / City of Newton - Negotiations about the City of Newton helping financially with the Newton Library. The City of Newton has agreed to provide $20K to help offset some of the expenses of the library for the 2024 year.

> Tax Office Safety - Tax Assessor / Collector Melissa Burks expressed that the Tax Office's safety needed to be addressed due to the accessibility and potential vulnerability to herself and her staff because of the work being done in the tax office.

> County Judge's Vehicle - Precinct 4 Commissioner Leonard Powell posed the idea of providing Judge Ronnie Cochran with a vehicle. Judge Cochran stated that he would prefer to spend that money on a new voting location in Gist.

> Newton County Veteran's Officer - Increase Hourly Wage

> New Polling/Voting location in Gist, Texas

> No New Revenue Tax

The meeting was open to the public.


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***Early Voting Starts Today***

Early voting starts on April 22 thru April 30, 2024; 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.  Election Day May 4th, 2024;  7 a.m.until 7 p.m. at Newton City Main office.


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