The Wharton County Commissioners Court will be having its first meeting with Rusty Graves at the helm, now that he was sworn into office earlier this month.

He replaces the late Chris King, who had been the Precinct 2 commissioner for nearly 30 years following several elections to keep him in office. King died last month from cancer.

One of the items Graves has asked to have on the agenda for the Monday, Aug. 12 regular meeting is to accept and award a bid for a truck tractor for the drainage department. Before being appointed commissioner, Graves had been the drainage department’s director, the only one in the department’s seven-year history.

He also plans to discuss and looks for court approval for a final subdivision plat for Vardeman Acres.

Graves will serve out King’s term until the next general election in November 2020. He and anyone else who files from this precinct, which includes East Bernard and Hungerford, only have a few months to decide if they want to file for the Precinct 2 seat, which will only have a two-year term until 2022, when it will once again be on a normal election cycle.

Seats of four years for precincts 2 and 4, and county judge coincide with the state’s gubernatorial election.

During a special meeting on Aug. 2 when Graves was sworn into office, Wharton County Judge Phillip Spenrath said Graves would continue to look over drainage department matters, as there are no plans to name an interim director. He will move his office to his hometown of East Bernard, however.

Budget workshop

Commissioners plan to have a budget workshop toward the end of the meeting, according to the agenda. There are also plans to set the 2019 proposed tax rate and set public hearings in the coming weeks. 

Beforehand, some of the items that are listed for discussion and possible action by other commissioners are the Pilot Club of Wharton’s request to place a granite bench at Veterans Memorial. This is an item that Pct. 3 Commissioner Steven Goetsch has asked to be on the agenda.

The meeting will include items that relate to Hurricane Harvey funding and recovery, the Wharton County Sheriff’s Office, a broker to sell the Precinct 4 county barn in Pierce and also sell 33 plus acres of land located at 415 D-A-M Road in El Campo.

Spenrath plans to have an update on county drainage activities before the budget workshop begins.

The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m.

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