Bexar County

The Source - October 13, 2014
10:03 am
Mon October 13, 2014

The Source: County Judge Candidates Debate Future Of Bexar

Credit Bexar County

The biggest race in Bexar is for the top job, County Judge. In Texas, the position of county judge is very important. The state's constitution entrusts the elected official with vast power over the county's budget and administration.  As a result the position well compensated. Unlike San Antonio's city council, which pays councilors $20 per meeting and the Mayor a larger stipend, the county pays its commissioners a full-time salary, with county judge making in excess of $120,000. 

This year's race marks a diverging vision for Bexar County.

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The Source - September 29, 2014
1:17 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

The Source: Future Still Uncertain For City And County Library Collaboration

Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News

The city of San Antonio wants Bexar county to start paying its fair share of the San Antonio Public Library's bills. As San Antonio Public Library director spelled out on our program late last month, 19 percent of the public library system users are non-city residents who live in the county, so the county should pick up 19 percent of the tab, basically doubling Bexar's contribution from around $3.8 million to 6.3 million.

Judge Nelson Wolff thinks that isn't going to work. 

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Bexar County Budget
9:34 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Bexar Budget Adds Courthouse Security, Other Law Enforcement

Visitors to the Cadena Reeves Justice Center and the Bexar County Courthouse will soon enter the building under the scrutiny of armed guards instead of security guards.
Credit Eileen Pace

Bexar County commissioners Tuesday approved a nearly $1.7 billion budget for the next fiscal year.

Officials say higher property values allowed the county to lower the tax rate while increasing services for family justice, neighborhoods, and public safety.

County commissioners took a long look at a law enforcement budget request and in the end, approved the largest program change, according to Sheriff Susan Pamerleau, in anyone’s memory.

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Bexar County
1:39 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Judge Proposes Pilot Program To Speed Up Child Abuse & Neglect Cases

State District Judge Peter Sakai increased adoption of foster children in Bexar County by 1000 percent from 1995 to 2005. He is proposing a new pilot program to reduce the amount of time it takes a child abuse case to reach a resolution.
Credit Bexar County

  

A family court judge is asking Bexar County to help fund a pilot program that would streamline cases in the family courts.  Judge Peter Sakai hopes to add two court managers and other elements to the program that will help connect the dots with other parts of the legal system.

The child abuse and neglect court in Bexar County accounts for $3.5 million a year in fees for court-appointed attorneys.

"And our system is second only to the total felony courts," Sakai said. 

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Bexar County
1:13 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Grant Funding Ends, Veterans Court Asks Bexar County For Ongoing Support

Judge Wayne Christian congratulates a veteran who completed the program in the Bexar Co. Veterans Treatment Court. District Attorney Susan Reed, Bexar Co. Sheriff Susan Pamerleau, and Bexar Co. Clerk Gerry Rickhoff came in support of the program's graduates.
Credit Veterans Treatment Court, San Antonio

    

The Bexar County Veterans Treatment Court is reaching the end of its grant funding and its judge is calling on the county to fund the court's ongoing operation.

The court processes hundreds of veterans – many of whom have been awarded the Purple Heart or Bronze Star. It has been operating out of County Court 6 for the last four years, working with veterans accused of misdemeanor crimes to get them out of the offending cycle and help them back into productive lives. 

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Government
9:52 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Bexar County Hospital District Asks For Same Tax Rate, Bigger Budget

University Hospital estimates higher property values will bring an additional $20.6 million to its budget at the same tax rate as last year
Credit UHS

The Bexar County Hospital District has requested a tax rate for the coming year with no increase in the tax rate itself. But the health system is counting on rising local property values to sustain its budget over the coming year.

The hospital district, now known as University Health System, submitted a proposal to Bexar County commissioners with a tax rate that is unchanged from last year.

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Bexar County Budget
10:18 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Proposed Bexar County Budget For FY 2015 Would Lower Property Tax Rate

Bexar Co. deputies in 2013 rallied in favor of spending for jail needs in last year's county budget talks
Credit Eileen Pace

  

On Tuesday the Bexar County manager unveiled a budget proposal that would lower the county’s property tax rate in fiscal 2015.

The proposed budget includes investments in law enforcement, mental health programs and the justice system.

Next year’s budget proposes to lower the property tax rate by 1.2 cents per $100 valuation after commissioners voted unanimously for a deeper cut than that recommended by the county manager.

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The Source - August 26, 2014
11:02 am
Tue August 26, 2014

The Source: Who Should Pay For The San Antonio Library?

City of San Antonio

The San Antonio Public Library and the city are hoping to get more funds from Bexar County to run its public library system -- a lot more money. SAPL would like the county to pay $6.38 million, which is nearly double the $3.78 million the county already contributes.

Part of their rationale is that the county makes up 19% of SAPL users, but less than that percent of the funds.

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Military Veterans
3:39 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

At Purple Heart Memorial, Veteran Says He Doesn't Cry Much, But...

Officials from Bexar County join Military Order of the Purple Heart Alamo Chapter 1836 and U.S. Army officials to commemorate new names added to the county's Purple Heart Memorial.
Eileen Pace TPR News

Bexar County officials joined veterans in downtown San Antonio Thursday to honor the community's war heroes.

More than 100 people attended a ceremony to add 51 names to the Purple Heart memorial at the Cadena Reeves Justice Center.

August 7 was Purple Heart Day, and members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Alamo Chapter 1836, gathered in front of the Cadena Reeves Justice Center on Dolorosa to pay their respects to 51 war heroes whose names were added to the memorial this year.

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Bexar County Jail
3:45 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Bexar County Jail Looking To Save Time & Money With Video Visitation

Visits at the Bexar County Jail are conducted in one of three rooms like this one with six to eight stools available for one visitor at a time. The room becomes crowded as children or additional visitors for each inmate must stand.
Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News

The Bexar County Jail is preparing to change its inmate visiting system from face-to-face visitation to electronic encounters.

The county is investing about $4 million in the system that officials say will improve security, cut down on overtime hours for guards, and help family members visit their loved ones more often.

At the Bexar County Jail on Comal Street, hundreds of inmates have to be shuffled from housing units to special visitation areas where just 18 of them at a time can sit in a face-to-face meeting with their visitor.

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