Some time in 2006, McLennan County exceeded that threshold. County Judge Jim Lewis ignored the law saying the law was not relevant until the census had been performed.
Several statutes specifically use the term census when establishing a population baseline. Sec. 111.062 does not. Without a specific reference to the census, the law is applicable when the population exceeded 225,000.
Statutes containing census language.
Sec. 251.74. AIRPORT AND STADIUM AS WET AREAS. (a) This section applies to any county: (1) that has a population of more than 240,000, according to the most recent federal census;
Art. 102.014. COURT COSTS FOR CHILD SAFETY FUND IN MUNICIPALITIES. (a) The governing body of a municipality with a population greater than 850,000 according to the most recent federal decennial census
For taxpayers, ignoring the law is not a laughing matter. County Judge Jim Lewis did not have to face any questions when either Natasha Chen of News 25 or Regina Dennis of the Trib interviewed him on the subject. Lewis is counting on no one looking into the law.
The only reason Ray Meadows and Jim Lewis are suddenly worried about appointing a Chief Budget Officer is because both have opponents and it is an election year.
If this daunting task, preparation of the annual budget, is being taken off the plate of the County Judge, why not reduce his salary and staff to fund the new position of Chief Budget Officer? If you already read the statute, the other option available to the Court is to appoint the County Auditor as CBO. You may not remember last year just before one newly elected member took office, the court voted to eliminate post retirement health insurance benefits for new hires. The argument at the time was new regulations made the calculations overwhelming for the Auditor. Since the Court relieved the Auditor of significant responsibilities, his salary should be reduced if he doesn’t want to do the job of CBO. Only in Government can a persons job responsibilities be reduced and they suffer no reduction in pay but also continue to get annual cost of living increases. The newest member of the Court would do well to honor his campaign platform to run things more like a business.