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  1. Agenda for 4th October 2021 Did they screw it up and not follow the law when they approved the budget AND the HIGHER tax rate on 9/23/2021? Here was the signed motion made after Judge Chambers and the commissioners voted on it. Apparently so. Brian Watts, former auditor for Somervell County, sent Somervell County Judge Danny Chambers an email on September 27, 2021 that basically accuses Danny Chambers and Dwayne Johnson, Somervell County Commissioner for Precinct 2, of hubris and violating the law, as well as hiding a *slush fund* amount of significant dollars from the public and also of behaving unprofessionally. Here is the letter Letter to Somervell County 09.27.2021.pdf Some parts, with comments Some comments by me. First, this is the tax rate posted on Sep 17 as referenced above by Brian. The minutes include the documents and also votes from the commissioners. The question is why the tax rate is going up to this extent, when there appears to be plenty of money to handle basic county business.Is the reason to cover the over 1 million dollar slush fund? Second, beyond the sheer incompetence shown by Chambers (and the implication that hiding these amounts may be on purpose), which is allowing govt employees NOT to be paid because the budget is illegal, there is the matter of the *slush fund*. Why in the world IS that large amount of money unaccounted for, over 1 million dollars? Not only is that illegal, but is Somervell County planning to pay for something they don't want citizens to know about? Something, for example, on behalf of a private business???? Anytime money is spent from the budget it is going from one account to another, with receipts and payment stubs, and with citizen knowledge that the items have been voted on and approved by the commissioners (thus also holding them accountable for their votes). The items on the Bill Payments section needs to be specific and of course can be looked at by anyone that does an open records request. From a practical standpoint, I would guess that when the commissioners vote and where Danny Chambers, who is responsible for showing the payments on the overhead or the handout for the meeting, does not do so, citizens have no clue what their taxes just paid for AT THE MEETING. Are there actions that are being taken outside of the meetings that involve promises, possible payments to others, etc and the plan is to take the money from the slush fund? Who knows, but this needs to be brought up and strongly in order to put that money in an account that is recognizable by the public and HAS A DEFINED PURPOSE. I actually thought the contingency fund was for that. I've been to meetings before where a given department needed an item, he or she made their pitch before the PUBLIC commissioners court meeting and then the commissioners voted, at which time the money came from contingency. Certainly that happened with the amounts Somervell County had to pay to my husband over the lawsuit lost by the State of Texas (as represented by Andy Lucas) and Darrell Best; the money was paid from the contingency fund. But why should some amorphous amount of money without a stated purpose just be hanging out there WHILE RAISING TAXES on people? A corrupt explanation would say that the commissioners are considering doing something illegal with taxpayer money for the benefit of others and are not wanting people to know what that is. Third, and this is a personal gripe, Brian calls out the behavior and actions of Dwaine Johnson, who is MY county commissioner. In one section, he talks about Danny and Dwaine trashing citizens *in profane language* after Somervell County citizens bring what they believe to be valid complaints and suggestions up to them. Disgusting. Brian further intimates that Dwaine is avoiding following the rules and laws that he, as a commissioner, should be AS A PUBLIC SERVANT. I suppose Danny might just be waiting to get his retirement pension, coasting till then, and then someone corrupt will run for office to take his place, who knows? But I do know that HE is the one responsible and clearly if he acts this way in private and shows such contempt for Somervell County citizens, he should never be looked up to again.
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