James Oakley

Sun
29
Mar

Third COVID-19 case confirmed in Burnet County

 

 

 

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

As of Sunday, March 29, Burnet County now has three confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the county and officials are continuing to expect more positive tests in the next few days, County Judge James Oakley said.

“As I instructed yesterday, this virus is very much in our area. Please take every possible action to protect yourself. While we have encouraged citizens to get outside, witnessing large groups of people on individual boats is clearly unacceptable,” Oakley said. “If the rules that have been put in place are not respected, then I will be forced to enhance them and start clamping down on enforcement with fines & possible incarceration. With that, I am strongly advising adherence to the common sense principles that are included within the current order.”

Wed
18
Mar

Oakley declares COVID-19 'state of emergency'

 

 

Burnet County Judge James Oakley

 

 

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

Burnet County Judge James Oakley on Wednesday, March 18, declared a state of disaster for Burnet County due to a public health emergency in an effort to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The order activates the county's emergency management plan for the next seven days unless the state of disaster is continued by the Burnet County Commissioners Court, who were to meet Thursday, March 18.

Included with the declaration were a set of recommendations by the Burnet County Health Authority and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the county was advising the public to follow:

Wed
24
Apr

Local officials concerned by SB 2 passage

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

Local county and school officials were less than pleased this week with the passage of a Texas Senate bill that caps the amount property taxes can be increased without requiring voter approval.

Senate Bill 2, which limits the amount of revenue local governments like cities, counties, school districts and special districts can raise before having to seek voter approval, was passed Monday, April 15, by an 18-12 vote, with state Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, casting her vote in favor of the measure, which now moves to the junior chamber for approval.

Thu
06
Sep

Burnet County burn ban lifted

 

 

 

From staff reports

The Burnet County burn ban has been lifted as of Thursday, Sept. 6, Burnet County Judge James Oakley said.

Soaking rains fell throughout Burnet County this week, with some areas reporting up to three inches of precipitation within a 24-hour period ending at 6 a.m. Thursday. The rain caused the county's Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) average to drop 32 points from 523 to 491, with a high of 703 (just north of Burnet) and a low of 320 (near Marble Falls).

The KBDI is used to determine forest fire potential. The drought index is based on daily water balance, where a drought factor is balanced with precipitation and soil moisture (assumed to have a maximum storage capacity of eight inches) and is expressed in hundredths of an inch of soil moisture depletion.

Mon
02
Jul

Burnet County mourns loss of Constable Jimmy Ballard

Precinct 3 Constable Jimmy Ballard

 

 

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

Burnet County Precinct 3 Constable Jimmy Ballard died early Monday, July 2, after losing a two-year fight with cancer and being removed from life support late Sunday. He was 57.

Funeral arrangements were pending Monday morning with Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home in Marble Falls.

Tue
24
Oct

Residents ask TxDOT for TX 29 center lane

Local resident Tara Luke speaks to TxDOT Austin District Engineer Terry McCoy about the possibility of reducing the speed limit on Texas 29 during a Burnet County Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday.

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

A full courtroom of Burnet County residents appeared before the Commissioners Court Tuesday morning, asking what can be done to add a continuous left-turn lane and other safety improvements to Texas 29 between Burnet and Bertram after a number of fatal accidents on the highway.

They had their questions answered by Texas Department of Transportation Austin District Engineer Terry McCoy, a Burnet County native whose district oversees state highways in 11 counties, including Burnet County.

Burnet County Judge James Oakley, who sits on the board of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) — which oversees how federal highway funds are prioritized in a six-county region, including Burnet County — said the safety issues being identified by Burnet County and CAMPO are not just limited to Texas 29.

Wed
13
Sep

Burnet County adopts tax rate

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

Burnet Bulletin

Burnet County commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the same tax rate the county had last year — 0.3969, or 39.69 cents per $100 valuation — at Tuesday's regular court meeting at the Burnet County Courthouse.

Commissioners also voted unanimously to adopt a $37,634,576 budget for fiscal year 2018. The budget includes a last-minute increase of $1,400 for Veterans Service Officer Bill Worley after commissioners voted unanimously to increase his contractual pay from $13,000 to $14,400.

The 2018 tax rate includes a tax rate of .3149 or 31.49 cents for general fund expenditures; a tax rate of .0402 or 4.02 cents per $100 valuation for debt service and a tax rate of .0418 or 4.18 cents per $100 valuation for road and bridge expenditures.

Wed
14
Dec

Tensions run high as PEC investigates merit of complaint filed against Oakley

By Frank Shubert

Bulletin Publisher

At a meeting held Wednesday by the Complaint Committee established by the Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) on November 30, tensions ran high and continued Thursday regarding a complaint filed against board member James Oakley. The executive session  that followed PEC member comments was ended when Complaint Committee member and director Kathryn Scanlon left the proceedings. They continued on Thursday.

The Complaint Committee, which included Scanlon, board president Emily Pataki and director Paul Graf, was joined by general council Don Ballard and special council Don Richards. The committee was charged with investigating a complaint filed by PEC board member Cristi Clement against Oakley.

Wed
30
Nov

PEC Board votes 6-0 to investigate Oakley complaint, consider possible removal

James Oakley

The Pedernales Electric Cooperative Board of Directors voted 6-0 Wednesday, Nov. 30, to give written notice to director James Oakley that the board will consider his possible removal on Jan. 17 if a complaint filed against Oakley is found to merit such discipline.

In a resolution approved at a special called meeting, the board voted to establish a committee to investigate the complaint against Oakley and determine what punishment, if any, he may face for a social media post made earlier in the month in which Oakley commented it was “time for a tree and a rope” for the suspected killer of a San Antonio police officer.

Board President Emily Pataki indicated the committee, which will be comprised of directors Kathy Scanlon, Paul Graf and herself, can consider all avenues open to them through the cooperative's bylaws, including removing Oakley from the position he has held since 2013.

Tue
29
Nov

Oakley Facebook comment draws fire

Facebook is a wonderful tool for people to use, but like any tool, it should be used with great care.

The social media site is useful for helping people keep in contact with friends scattered across the globe whom they haven’t spoken to for years. It allows family to reconnect and allows the sharing of photos, ideas and news with others within one’s peer group.

However, it also instantly shows, without context, intent or clarity, the thoughts and ideas a person clacks out on their smartphone or computer keyboard and exposes those posts to instant scrutiny.

Such is the case involving Burnet County Judge James Oakley, who learned a very hard lesson this past week about the lack of anonymity Facebook affords.

On Monday, Nov. 21, Oakley shared a post from the San Antonio Police Department about the arrest of an African-American man, Otis Tyrone McKane, accused of killing San Antonio police Det. Benjamin Marconi on his personal Facebook account.

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