LAMPASAS — A Lampasas County constable wants to see a more even distribution of job duties, according to an agenda item heard by the commissioners court Tuesday.
Commissioners were asked to clarify a constable’s duties regarding serving notices to county residents. Constable Gordon Nelson said he’s been solely responsible for hand-delivering notices to residents who are eligible for a septic tank renewal.
“My office has been responsible for mailing out septic tank notifications on the aerobic (tank) systems. Those units have to be inspected every quarter, and a report has to be sent in to my office,” County Judge Wayne Boultinghouse said. “Since we have almost 6,000 of those units in the county, it’s an ongoing process — every month of the year someone has a contract up for renewal.”
Boultinghouse and his administrative assistant, Dianne Miller, confirmed that a mailing system for the notices proved too costly. For the last 18 months, the notices were distributed by Nelson. However, as one of two county constables, Nelson would like Precinct 2 and 3 Constable Misty Maldonado to take some of the delivery responsibilities.
“I think the issue at hand is when we reverted to having them delivered. We weren’t getting any response or they were being returned. There was a lot of money being wasted on that postage,” Miller said. “We get audited by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and that was one of the things they had noted in our recordkeeping.”
As a result, the county began having Nelson deliver the letters. Nelson returned some of the letters to Miller one week ago, inquiring how many notices were given to Maldonado to deliver.
“I had never separated them. I’d always given them to Gordon,” Miller said. “If I need to split them, I’ll be glad to do it, but the issue is what’s being served and being delivered.” Maldonado did not refuse to take on the additional responsibility, but she did question whether it was an appropriate duty to be performed in the constable’s office, Boultinghouse said. Seeking legal advice, the county learned the constables can legally deliver the notices; however, they cannot require a constable perform that particular task in relation to their other job duties.
Maldonado was not present at the meeting, and although it’s unclear as to who will deliver future notices, Miller said it did provide the clarification she needed to proceed.