Training trip included visits with leaders
David Barkemeyer
Milam County Judge

A fter our first commissioner’s court meeting Jan. 10, Jeff Muegge and I spent the remainder of our second week on the job as Milam County Judge and Precinct 4 Commissioner, respectively, attending the orientation and training session for newly-elected county judges and commissioners.

It was held at the AT&T Executive Conference Center on the University of Texas campus in Austin. (Are you impressed or what!)

The conference was put on by the center staff in conjunction with the Texas Association of Counties, and was pretty informative, if not a little long (and boring) at times.

But we’d have to say we needed the information to get started on the right foot on the job.

We learned about such things as the laws governing our jobs, public meetings, budgeting, ethics, subdivision ordinances, property taxes and other forms of revenue, election issues, county roads, personnel regulations, purchasing, law enforcement and jail issues, emergency management, leadership in county government, and on and on. I took advantage of the trip to Austin and stopped by the capitol and visited State Senator Steve Ogden’s office, and visited with our new state representative Dr. Charles Schwertner, who was being sworn in along with a number of other newly elected representatives from around the state.

Senator John Cornyn (L) greets Milam County Judge Dave Barkemeyer Senator John Cornyn (L) greets Milam County Judge Dave Barkemeyer He’s in suite 2.304, phone 512- 463-0309 and his new chief-ofstaff is Thomas Holloway. We’re planning to also set up a Milam County office for him in Cameron later in the year.

I was invited to visit with U. S. Sen. John Cornyn in his Austin office to discuss Milam County issues.

County Judge Bert Cobb from Hays County and I met with the senator at the same time. Turns out that Judge Cobb is first cousin to Calvin and Derwood Cobb, long-time farmers here in Milam County, small world.

Jeff and I had dinner along with a number of others from the class with representatives of the law firm of McCreary, Veselka, Bragg, and Allen that Milam County retains to collect delinquent fines and property taxes.

I visited with Randall Rice from that firm who works with us on these matters and learned that Milam County has a significant amount of outstanding uncollected fines. He and I agreed to get busy addressing this issue ASAP.

I’ll discuss this issue in more detail in a future article as we develop a plan of attack.

Before returning to Cameron, I stopped for a visit with Tad Curtis and several others at the Governor’s Office on Economic Development to express my personal commitment as county judge to the economic development effort in Milam County and to solicit their help in continuing to direct prospects our way.

In fact, we discussed a couple of leads as well as reviewed potential sources of grants and other forms of assistance should a firm deal begin to unfold.

I am in Lubbock at a week long judicial training session preparing to take my seat on the bench in the Milam County courtroom.

Hopefully I will be done with most of the required training after this week and can stay at home for a while now.

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2011-01-27 digital edition

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