(Orange, Texas)


November 6, 2013

Commissioners to monitor county travel

ORANGE — Orange County Commissioners Court is continuing to critique the county’s budget as it cuts all travel through the end of the year.

Commissioner Pct. 3 John Banken asked all department heads and elected officials to submit a list of all mandated travel for each employee.

Assistant County Attorney Douglas E. Manning said he was in favor of the policy.

“Some travel is reimbursed by the state,” Manning said. “Do we need to include those travels?”

Banken said that reimbursed travel should be noted on the list.

“Every year, the budget gets approved and people start using travel,” Banken said. “We need to monitor this.”

County Judge Carl Thibodeaux agreed with Banken.

Orange County Clerk Karen Jo Vance, said she was concerned for the Elections Department.

“Education is not mandated for the elections department but it is needed,” Vance said.

Vance worked in elections from 1974-2005.

“Some travel is not mandated but is mandated by performance,” Thibodeaux said. “Banken is on the right track to hold down unnecessary travel.”

Thibodeaux said change is easier to accept if it is recommended instead of mandated.

County department heads are already working on ways to cut their budgets.

Records Management reported a person resigned from the department and would not be requesting the position be filled at this time. An individual in the County Auditor department transferred to Purchasing leaving an opening in that department.

“I am very sorry to lose her,” County Auditor Mary Johnson said during a phone interview. “But I opted to not fill that position at this time.”

Johnson said the decision was directly related to the financial situation of the county.


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