Ector County Commissioners Eliminate Public Works Director Position

By: Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

ECTOR COUNTY - Ector County Commissioners are saying good bye to Public Works Director Fred Crawford.

The decision came down as a surprise to many at Monday morning's meeting.

Many workers at the county, including County Judge Susan Redford, told NewsWest 9 they had no idea Crawford's job was on the line.

County Commissioner Greg Simmons says he made the motion to eliminate the Public Works Director position to save money.

As Public Works Director, Crawford made just over $61,000 dollars, making him the third highest paid non-elected department head.

Crawford oversaw departments providing public services; including Schlemeyer Field, the county cemetery and many more.

Simmons says the decision cancels out the middleman and will allow the departments to deal directly with Commissioners.

Ector County Judge Susan Redford voted against the measure, and fears without Crawford Ector County will be less organized.

"This is devastating to all of the departments that he oversees," Redford said. "My fear is that we're going to start seeing numerous vacancies in those (departments), because this is just devastating to morale. We've worked very hard over the last few years to build morale for our departments. So, we would work better and more efficiently. With the unpredictable nature of the acts of the Commissioners' Court, I think this is going to be devastating."

This isn't the first time this position has been eliminated and it's only been reinstated for about two years.

Fred Crawford told NewsWest 9 he didn't want to go on camera but said over the phone he plans to immediately start looking for work elsewhere. His last day is September 30 at the end of the fiscal year.