Friday’s News

Posted in Around The State, Commissioners Court, Hutto, Landfill, Precinct 4, Williamson County at 10:38 am by wcnews

Received via email, the Hutto City Council unanimously passed a resolution regarding the Williamson County landfill last night:

On Thursday night, November 20, by a 6-0 vote, the Hutto City Council passed a two-part Resolution regarding the Williamson County landfill.

The Resolution calls on the Williamson County Commissioners Court to (1) tell the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to completely remove Waste Management’s name from the pending landfill expansion permit application, which includes NOT LISTING Waste Management as the landfill “Operator”, and (2) provide the public a period of at least 30 days to review and comment on any proposed draft of a new landfill contract with Waste Management that might be subject to a commissioners court vote.

Voting for the Motion to approve the Resolution were Mayor Ken Love and council members Tina Slayton, Ronnie Quintanilla-Perez, Mayor Pro-Tem David Bieger, Jason Wirth and Felix Madrid. Council member Debbie Holland was not at the meeting with an excused absence.

The fun is already beginning in the 2006 GOP governor’s race, Governor’s jab at Washington pokes his potential political rival:

Gov. Rick Perry, in complaining that the federal government won’t clean up after Hurricane Ike, is following that time-honored tradition – denounce D.C. and stand up for the home folks.

“How is it,” the Republican governor declared Thursday, “that Washington can shower $700 billion on mismanaged Wall Street firms but they can’t spare the money to help Broadway in Galveston or Main Street in Bridge City?”

Via the AAS, Fired TEA workers sue agency, they worked in the watchdog division at the TEA.

Before he was fired this year from the Texas Education Agency’s watchdog division, Jim Lyde said he got two tips: that one charter school employee was told to pay a superintendent’s wife $3,000 a month as a condition of employment and that another one was falsifying lists of students eating at school.

Lyde says he still does not know if the allegations are true.

“I was not allowed to follow up on that information,” he said.

On Thursday, Lyde and James Catazaro , who were fired in the summer from the inspector general’s office at TEA, sued the agency for wrongful termination. They want their jobs back and are seeking unspecified damages.

TEA officials have denied that agency officials prevented investigations.

But in their lawsuit, Lyde and Catazaro say that after Robert Scott became TEA commissioner in 2007, they were systematically prevented from investigating fraud, waste and misuse…


“This is not a personal vendetta against the commissioner of education,” Catazaro said. “I believe taxpayer money is not being spent in the areas it’s supposed to be spent in. Every avenue we went down, we were told no.”

As the HChron article points out, this watchdog division was create by the previous commissioner in 2007:

Scott was appointed commissioner by Gov. Rick Perry in October 2007, replacing former Commissioner Shirley Neeley, who created the inspector general’s office in the TEA in response to allegations of widespread cheating on the TAKS.

The fact that they were fired, a week after bringing to the attention of a state representative and the Texas Attorney General, that “federal felony allegations” were sat on by the TEA, after being referred up the chain of command, raises questions. Definitely a story to keep an eye on.

While this is not a surprise, Texas health ins. costs rising again in ’09, it’s the way it’s “explained” that’s interesting.

The cost of health insurance for major Texas employers is climbing about 6 percent next year, a cost that would have been higher if not for making the benefits a little less generous, according to an annual survey by benefits consulting firm Mercer.

Major Texas employers had a 5.6 percent increase in what they paid for employee health care this year, and the cost would have gone up an average of 7.7 percent in 2009 if not for cost-cutting measures such as higher deductibles and co-pays.

While the cost to the employer is only going up 5.6 percent, the cost to the employee will obviously be going up by the full amount. The employess will have to pay those cost cutting-measures or higher deductibles and co-pays.

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