Last Day for Brooks County Employees Affected by Budget Cuts

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Monday was the last day of work for several Brooks County employees who lost their jobs due to a serious budget crisis.

Brooks County Commissioners said they needed to cut their $4 million budget in half after a loss of revenue to the oil and gas industry. A total of 16 positions were cut, one from each county department.In the meantime, the rest of the employees were told to attend a mandatory meeting Monday morning.

The meeting was held for those employees who will keep their jobs after Oct. 1. However, they will still be seeing a pay cut. All officials lost 10-percent of their salary, and employees lost three-percent.

There were also changes to employee insurance plans. For spouses and dependents, insurance went up from $145 to $200 a month. They also lost their dental insurance and short-term disability.

As you can imagine, there were some employees who were a little upset, and not willing to talk on camera.

"It had to be done, and we will revisit the insurance in December and see how we are doing," County Commissioner Gloria Garza said. "Hopefully it will get better, or it can get worse. Right now we can provide this for all our employees."

Brooks County Judge Raul Ramirez originally called for Monday morning's meeting. However, over the weekend, the judge had some heart complications. He was taken to a hospital in San Antonio, where he might have to have open-heart surgery. He is recovering and is expected to be back to work in a few weeks.

In the meantime, Commissioner Garza is currently serving as the acting county judge, and like she said, they are expected to revisit the insurance issue in December.


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