Columns/Opinions

Tue
07
Feb

Collecting taxes in Texas

By David Barkemeyer

Milam County Judge

 

The Texas Comptroller’s Office is required to publish tax information every two years in conjunction with the biennial session of the Texas legislature. This year is the first time that I have seen these numbers and I thought they were pretty interesting. Probably like me some of you haven’t looked at them before either, so first I’m just going to summarize them for you and then follow up with a few comments about Texas laws regarding our tax system and the politics involved.  You, no doubt, have your own opinions as well!

In 2015, local Texas governments (counties, cities, school districts, and special purpose districts like flood control, water, drainage, etc.) collected $52.2 billion in ad valorem taxes (up 6.3 percent from 2014) and $8 billion in local sales tax. This was 55 percent of all taxes collected in Texas (all numbers are 2015 because 2016 numbers are not compiled yet).

Sat
10
Sep

Thorndale officers receive proclamation

By David Barkemeyer

Milam County Judge

 

Once in a while something happens that really makes it all worthwhile, makes you glad just to be able to say I knew those guys, was able to shake their hand and admire what they did.

We fuss about property values being raised, our taxes being increased, or worry over budgets and the like. I hear a lot of complaints and sometimes wonder whether it’s worth the effort.

Then Chief Jackson from Thorndale calls me and asks if Commissioner’s Court would do a special proclamation recognizing two of his officers, Michael Moehling and Kurt Kraemer who by quick response and application of life saving skills had recently saved a local citizen’s life.

Sat
03
Sep

Police Department begins a new chapter

By Randy Dixon

Cameron Police Chief

 

A new chapter in the annals of the Cameron Police Department began this past week.  

I am sure by now most of you who live here in Cameron have driven by and viewed the new home of the Cameron Police Department. The Cameron Police Department has bid adieu to the old station which was located on South Houston for the last number of years. It was rather bitter sweet in the move but Department has far outgrown the old structure and outgrown the space to accommodate the different areas to include the municipal court at that location. 

Thu
01
Sep

Some further explanation on the budget

By David Barkemeyer

Milam County Judge

 

I’ve done my best to explain the proposed 2017 County Budget proposal to you in the community meetings that we’ve held in several places throughout the county these past few days along with the reasons why we’re increasing the county tax rate. If you did not come to one of these meetings and want to review my comments, I’ve done a video that I’ll post on the website at www.milamcounty.net, so feel free to take a look.

I realize that many of us that are land and homeowners are doubly impacted by this increase in that our property values have been significantly increased this year as well.  I tried to explain this in my presentation by showing what has happened this year to the property values in the county with land and homes going up significantly while all other categories including minerals and commercial/industrial properties have gone down. 

Thu
25
Aug

School is back and that means so are the kids

By Randy Dixon

Cameron Police Chief

Last week, I spoke about the start of school and how the traffic and the issues of traffic abound around the schools. I want to address this again as it’s the first week of school for our Cameron school kids with almost a week under their belt. 

One down and only 35 to go if you are a school age kiddo. Traffic has been heavy this first week and we have had a number of traffic complaints come in on the very first day of classes. I realize that everyone has to get back into the routine of school but kids are both excited and sad summer is over and many times fail to watch what is happening around them. 

Thu
25
Aug

More about the county budget

By David Barkemeyer

Milam County Judge

Each year as I review the county budget proposal with you, I tend to emphasize the things that are new or changing, but there are a number of things that we fund year after year that you may not even realize that you are paying for when you write the check to pay your county taxes each year. Let me tell you about a few of them just in case you haven’t heard.

I think I’ve talked about the fact that we contribute some $90,000 to the various volunteer fire departments around the county each year. In my opinion it’s not enough considering the service these folks provide for us, but anyway ... Last year we split our payments to them half in January and half in June, but Commissioner’s Court decided that in 2017 we would go back to paying it all in full in January.

Wed
30
Mar

Proposed county health department changes

By County Judge David Barkemeyer

In another attempt to reduce costs, at Monday’s regular meeting of Commissioner’s Court we voted to table a motion have Region 7 of the Texas Department of State Health Services take over the operation of the Milam County Health Department. If this is approved at the April 11 the region would assume responsibility for providing the clinical services for TB, immunizations, sexually transmitted diseases (STD), and HIV plus the Public Health Preparedness program. The county will them provide office and clinic space in the same locations in Cameron and Rockdale but schedules will be reduced to one or two days per week.

Tue
12
Jan

Deadline for candidate statements is Feb. 1

In the interest of helping keep our readers informed, The Cameron Herald invites candidates in the March 1 primary elections to submit statements about their candidacies for publication in The Cameron Herald free of charge.
Candidates are invited to submit their statements anytime during the month of January. We will make every effort to publish the statements in the edition closest to the date they are submitted.
Without exception, candidate statements must be submitted before 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1. Statements submitted on Feb. 1 will be published in the Feb. 4 edition.
Statements submitted after the deadline will not be published.
We welcome candidates to submit a statement, with a photo, outlining their background and specific reasons why they are the best choice.
Here are the guidelines:
1. Statements should focus on the candidate’s views about current issues involving the school district and the candidate’s qualifications.

Sun
18
Oct

Constitutional amendments proposed

On the Nov. 3 general election ballot, voters will consider seen proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution.
All statewide Texas ballot propositions are legislatively referred constitutional amendments, according to the Texas Legislative Council. They are referred to the ballot by the state legislature and, if approved by voters, become a part of the Texas State Constitution.
As a service to our readers, The Cameron Herald will publish analyses of the proposed amendments. Today’s segment is the first of a three-part series and includes the first to propositions on the ballot. The Information in the segments is from the Texas Legislative Council and the

Thu
08
Oct

Thrift Shop volunteers, supporters honored at luncheon

Cameron Area Christian Services recently held an appreciation luncheon honoring Thrift Shop volunteers and supporters.

By Alan Wood, Cameron Area Christian Services

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