Friday, August 7, 2009

If you build it, I will come

I wonder how long it will take to build once the go-ahead, if it is given, issues.

Other than security concerns I like the office I'm in now, oh well. Time to move on into a new secure building.

Judges lobby for new justice center

- The Herald-Zeitung

County Commissioners Thursday were once again presented arguments to trade an outdated courthouse for an updated, more secure Comal County Justice Center.

The new three-story, $36 million, 90,000 square-foot facility is slated to sit along Seguin Avenue between Zink and Bridge streets. It would house the district attorney’s office, district court, the county court-at-law and the district clerk’s office.

County Court-at-Law Judges Randy Gray and Charles Stephens II presented the commissioners with the case to support the cause.

“There are just so many infrastructure limitations,” Gray began. “The A.C., heating, the electricity don’t work. There’s mold ... The other day, I crashed the court’s computer system when I tried to microwave some popcorn.”

He said the old courthouse where County Court-at-Law offices are held are just too old to keep in business.

“I can sit at my desk and hear squirrels in the ceiling,” Gray joked.

On a more serious note, both he and Stephens pointed out security issues that have been repeatedly discussed by other officials.

“The number one concern as everyone knows are the security issues,” Stephens said. “The security we have, the sheriff’s office, is doing a great job to secure the courthouse, but we’ve got to do something.”

He urged commissioners to come visit his office to see how he and his staff operate.

“We are doing the best job we can in the situation that we’re in...” he said. “I love what I do. I love the people I work with. We’ll keep this up as long as we have to, but something has to change.”

Comal County Judge Scheel agreed with the judges, voicing his support for the new center.

“The old courthouse has served us well, but it’s worn out,” Scheel said. “When it was opened, the population of the county was less than the cases heard by county court last year ...

“Comal County is changing. When I go out and look at the people being magistrated, I think ‘good God.’ The average person has no idea of the severity of the crimes we’re dealing with in the county now.”