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Canales makes waves, is accused of 'illegally' trying to force agenda items

Commissioners said the county judge aimed to add 15 items to what was pitched as a short meeting.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A proposed Nueces County Commissioners Court agenda item caused a lot of drama Friday, with one commissioner saying Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales tried to file "illegal" paperwork in order to be able to discuss Bob Hall Pier during a meeting scheduled for Monday. 

They said the judge added that issue, along with 15 others, to a meeting that was only supposed to last three hours. One of those items is considered to be a big deal: reallocating funds for the ongoing Bob Hall Pier project. 

Canales said she found out Friday morning that the commissioners' court manager was refusing to place it on the agenda as requested. 

"I had an agenda item, and commissioner Chesney has tried to influence the removal of that item, and it is not appropriate because any commissioners court member, including myself, can place an item upon request," she said. 

Nueces County Pct. 5 Commissioner Brent Chesney said that Canales' decision would cause more work for other county leaders. 

"The county judge once again has filed an illegal document with the county clerk, which triggered the county manager to have to spend the afternoon working on overcoming the county judge's illegal filing of another document," Chesney said. 

Pct. 2 commissioner Joe Gonzalez said Canales' requested additions were just too much, since the court already had agreed to hold the meeting to three hours.

"When we left the meeting the last time, we all agreed only the financial emergency items would be placed so we would get out early -- between 2 and 5 (p.m.)," he said. "That was it. Then we come back here and it's almost like a full agenda."

RELATED: Bob Hall Pier receives $1.75 million grant for new parking lot

Pct. 1 commissioner Robert Hernandez agreed that the Monday meeting should be limited in scope.

"We weren't prepared for this type of meeting and we don't know what's behind the idea that she wants to get it done real quick," he said. "There's always a motive in my opinion." 

Canales also challenged Chesney to tackle the issue of adding a second floor onto the new Bob Hall Pier.

"Commissioner, my suggestion is to get to work," she said. "Bob Hall Pier is in your precinct. Bob Hall Pier is a revenue builder. We need to get to work. We don't need to delay. You say you support the second story; prove it."

RELATED: Additional funding approved for first-floor restaurant space at Bob Hall Pier, County looking into two-column design

In the end, Monday's agenda now shows Bob Hall Pier as one of the items commissioners will be addressing. The court will have the chance to vote on the measure, which, if passed, would allow architects to move forward with the project.

"I support reallocating the funds for the second floor," Chesney said. "I haven't changed my position. What I'm sick and tired of is the county judge not following the policies passed by the court, and not following the law." 

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