I hope everyone made it through the icy weather. I made what I felt was a difficult decision to close non – essential county operations. Tuesday, we had 50 to 100 prospective jurors scheduled to be interviewed as well as our normal business. Ice on south Texas roads is a scary thing and I wanted to make certain that we had a valid reason. It was a big decision that I took very seriously. Our District Attorney called me Monday night and pointed out the problems with the juror selection hazards. Margaret Littleton, our District Clerk would have to come in and call all of them.
I spoke to our Emergency Manager, David Prasifka and he gathered several weather reports and sent them to me (I was out of town). Every report we had predicted ice between 8 and 11am and then decreasing temperatures and more icy rain in the afternoon. This would have been exactly when the jurors were arriving and leaving, not minimizing the danger for our own employees at all county offices. So, deciding to err on the side of caution, I ordered closure.
Kudos to the Sheriff who used his 911 Dispatch to call all officials and the many employees who just called each other, working together on the issue. And, thanks to David Prasifka who still made it to the emergency management office and kept me informed on ice status throughout the day on Tuesday. He physically observed that the roads and parking area around the courthouse could have been dangerous and assured me we made the right decision. I also express my thanks to the many department heads and employees who worked together so we would have a no accident outcome. Regardless I would have made the same decision, but it was a great relief to know it was correct.
Thanks for listening.
We want you to be proud of your County Government.
Bob Hurley is the Atascosa County Judge. You may E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org