By: Cierra Putman
REEVES COUNTY - Last minute changes pushed back the Reeves County Commissioners vote for their 2011 budget to later this month. Even though commissioners Roy Alvarado and Saul Herrera finally showed up to the commissioners court meeting on Monday, the two halted all attempts the commissioners court took to vote on a budget and tax rate by refusing to show up several meetings in September.
But even though they were present on Monday it still wasn't enough to get a budget approved.
"After what happened last week you know we still have to approve what is now the default rate and budget," Reeves County Judge, Sam Contreras said. "We tabled the item. We didn't have enough time to look at the budget for 2011 so we tabled it probably for our next meeting on October 25."
The court did discuss the nearly $700,000 bond issues that prompted Commissioners Roy Alvarado and Saul Herrera to skip out in the first place.
County Judge Sam Contreras wants to go forward with the bond issues and improve county properties including the golf course, but the commissioners and their supporter still say doing so would financially harm the county.
"It's not in the best interest of the county and if they cared about Reeves County and Pecos they would have made better decisions," County Attorney, Alva Alvarez said.
In a statement to residents, Commissioner Herrera said: "The voters voted for the bonds in a different financial climate, but did not know what was to come in the future. I believe the projects should be placed on hold until the county can again stand on its feet."
But Judge Contreras disagrees.
"Obviously we know what's happening nationally but Texas has been as hurt as much," Contreras said. "What we're trying to do with these projects is attract people to the area and to use our facilities."
Now, even the extra money for county employees to help offset growing health costs is up in the air.
"We're not saying we're not going to give them, it just needs to be discussed a little bit closer," Contreras said.
"They don't care about giving the employees of Reeves County a raise," Alvarez said. "They could easily do that, but they're more concerned with the other, which is pursuing the golf course expansion."
Because they haven't voted on the budget, the county is operating under last years budget, but there's still time to approve a new one. Commissioners are set to meet and vote on the proposed budget at their October 25 meeting.