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BCCC – Stop Constable Defunding

Help STOP the Defunding of Bexar County Police 

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In reality and by Texas state statute, Constables serve an essential purpose in providing community safety and ensuring the protection of property to all residents of Bexar County, whether located inside or outside a municipal city limit.

Commissioners staff stated the cut was due to a lower workload and reduced funding due to COVID-19, yet county revenues are up by over ten million dollars ($10,000,000) from last year (2019) due to the exponentially increasing property valuations in Bexar County and consequential property taxes. Bexar County maintains a reserve of over two hundred million dollars ($200,000,000).  Constable data shows a likely increase in workloads when COVID-19 moratoriums expire.

County Commissioner Tommy Calvert took a position calling out the defunding as unnecessary and not in the best interests of the people of Bexar County praising deputy constables for their service. Other County Court members, including the County Judge, should follow his lead.

We the taxpayers are the source of all funding. We do not support this defunding of the Constable budgets, termination of their staff or other adverse changes including but not limited to the termination of their rifles or other weaponry. And, we will hold those who disregard our requests accountable in their future political efforts at election or re-election.

Therefore, we Texans expect the Bexar County Judge and Commissioners to honor Texas law and fully fund the County Constables.

Sincerely,

Bexar County | BCCC

Bexar County
Judge Nelson W. Wolf
210-335-3019
210-335-2926 fax
nwolff@bexar.org

Physical Address:
101 W. Nueva, 10th Floor
San Antonio, TX 78205

Precinct 1
Commissioner Rodriguez
chico@bexar.org
210-335-2611

Physical Address:
101 W. Nueva, Suite 1009
San Antonio, TX 78205

Precinct 1 Satellite Office
Physical Address
3505 Pleasanton Rd.
San Antonio, TX 78221

Precinct 2
Commissioner Justin Rodriguez
jrodriguez@bexar.org
Precinct2Commissioner@bexar.org

Physical Address
101 W. Nueva, 10th Floor
San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: 210-335-2612

Precinct 2 Community Office
1410 Guadalupe St. Suite 120
San Antonio, TX 78207
210-335-1600

Precinct 3
Commissioner Kevin Wolff
Commissioner Precinct 3
kwolff@bexar.org

Physical Address
101 W. Nueva, Suite 1007, 10th Floor
San Antonio, TX 78205
210-335-2613
210-335-2926 fax

PRECINCT 3 STAFF
Daphne Bennett-Cantu (Director of Constituent Services)
daphne.bennett-cantu@bexar.org
210-335-2613
Lauren Mandel (Chief of Staff)
lauren.mandel@bexar.org
210-335-2618
Ken Villano (Senior Policy Analyst)
ken.villano@bexar.org
210-335-2618

Commissioner Precinct 4
Commissioner Tommy Calvert
tc@bexar.org

Physical Address
101 W. Nueva, Suite 1029
San Antonio, TX 78205
210-335-2614

Notes:

Budget issues or DEFUND THE POLICE? Your opinion counts.

Law enforcement defunding is right here, right now in Bexar County. Bexar County Commissioners’ staff recommended a 50% reduction in constable law enforcement defunding , in implied agreement with the County Judge’s expressed preference towards abolishment. Commissioners have opted to bypass a public vote on the issue, as required under the Texas Constitution to abolish Constables and are using defunding as an alternative.

The purpose was stated as a reduction in both workload and funding during the COVID crisis. Both are pretext answers. The “civil process metric” used as a measure of workload, has long been identified as a fabrication. The “cost savings” are non-existent, as each Constable’s office pays its own costs from fee’s required under state law. In past county claims for “cost savings”, not even a cent was ever refunded to taxpayers. The proposed Commissioners’ Court defunding measures are based on these untruths.

Inequities includes sheriff deputies performing the same work (for 23% more pay) who are tasked with 545 civil papers per year, per officer for their metric, while deputy constables face a minimum of 2315 civil papers per year per officer for performing the same work. The standard should be the same, especially in light of government moratoriums due to COVID-19.

NO OTHER COUNTY EMPLOYEES WERE CUT. Out of 5000 total employees, only constable law enforcement officers were “selected” for defunding to meet Bexar County’s over 15 million dollar revenue shortfall. Not a single position from any other division of Bexar County, including Commissioners’ Court staff, County manager’s staff, the clerks offices, Sheriff’s Office, or roads and bridges, were cut under this plan. Just law enforcement was defunded.

Yet, after asking for suggestions on how to deal with reduced revenues, Commissioners took no action to save 4.3 million dollars a year, over 45 million dollars in savings over ten years, in a constable proposed savings plan, even after multiple personal briefings to Commissioners and budget officials over a five month period.

Constable law enforcement works for you and is self-funding when Commissioners do not meddle in the day to day operations. You pay the costs, yet Commissioners have not asked your opinion and side-stepped the process for a public vote.

Each member of Commissioners Court works for you, whether from your precinct or not. They meet as a body to deal with all of Bexar County. Call and email each of them to voice your opposition to these cuts and the direction they are taking. It’s not good for Bexar County and without your intervention, it is what will follow on a larger scale in the future.

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