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Llano County approves JLK trade deal attorney hire, jail software upgrade

Llano County says goodbye to longtime officials

Outgoing Llano County Treasurer Teresa Kassel (center with plaque) and Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Brian Alexander (center with flag) were honored during the regular meeting of the Commissioners Court on Monday, Dec. 12. Also pictured are Precinct 1 Commissioner Peter Jones (left), Congressional District 11 Regional Director Carol Cunningham, County Judge Ron Cunningham, Precinct 2 Commissioner Linda Raschke, and Precinct 3 Commissioner Mike Sandoval. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

The Llano County Commissioners Court and the Congressional District 11 office recognized the outgoing county treasurer and Precinct 4 justice of the peace during the Commissioners Court’s regular meeting Monday, Dec. 12. The court also approved the hiring of an attorney to handle the John L. Kuykendall Event Center and Arena trade as well as funding to upgrade software at the Llano County Jail.

Outgoing County Treasurer Teresa Kassel and Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Brian Alexander were both recognized for their service to the county with honorary plaques from the Commissioners Court and flags flown at the state Capitol from the office of District 11 Rep. August Pfluger. Kassel served as deputy treasurer from 2007-14 and treasurer from 2015-22. Alexander served as a Llano County sheriff’s deputy from 2002-06 and justice of the peace from 2006-22.

“Theresa, this is in sincere appreciation for your outstanding service to Llano County,” said County Judge Ron Cunningham as he presented the plaque. “Thank you so much.”

Kassel will be replaced by newly elected Treasurer Cheryl Regmund, who will be sworn in on Dec. 31.

“I have enjoyed my time here,” Kassel told DailyTrib.com after the meeting. “The county is a very good place to work, and people should appreciate the work that all of these officials do.”

Alexander will be replaced by incoming Justice of the Peace Lisa Simpson, who will also be sworn in on Dec. 31.

TRADE DEAL ATTORNEY

The Commissioners Court also approved hiring an attorney to handle the transfer of properties between the county and the city of Llano in the recently approved John L. Kuykendall Event Center and Arena trade deal. The discussion to hire an attorney took place in executive session and was approved in open meeting. No specific attorney has been named.

“The biggest concern is that we do everything fully transparent,” Judge Cunningham told DailyTrib.com after the meeting. “We want to make sure that we are getting all of the information available on both sides of the property trade so that, when we do the exchange, neither side is caught unaware of anything. It’s really just a matter of doing our final due diligence on this.”

The trade deal was originally expected to be completed by the new year, but Cunningham said it could take longer, at least until the next meeting of the Commissioners Court on Jan. 9, 2023.

Llano City Attorney Luke A. Cochran will handle the city’s side of the trade.

NEW SOFTWARE AT JAIL

The Commissioners Court also approved the allocation of $48,600 to upgrade the software at the Llano County Jail. This comes from a $146,000 funding pool that was approved for jail security systems improvements in October 2021.

Llano County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Manager Doni Whitecotton told the Commissioners Court that the current software was inadequate.

“This upgrade will provide an essential function for jail operations,” she said. “(With the current system), it’s more personnel needed and more time to manually do all the functions that are needed.”

The upgrades are estimated to take up to three months, but Whitecotton is negotiating with the provider, MTI Security, on expediting installation.

dakota@thepicayune.com