CAMERON COUNTY — In an effort to streamline government and save some money, Cameron County Commissioners have voted to consolidate one of the Justice of the Peace positions in precinct three. That decision came Thursday morning during a commissioners' meeting.
The discussion came after the incumbent, Justice of the Peace Julian Sanchez, of Precinct 3-1, dropped out of the race. The judge and other commissioners had previously talked about eliminating the position, so with Sanchez opting to not run, it was the perfect time to consolidate the position.
"I don't believe it's going to have any impact. The JP in Rio Hondo is going to be going to San Benito starting in January of 2013. That'll be his permanent home so San Benito will have two JPs," says Cameron County Judge, Carlos Cascos.
The two holding those positions will now have larger areas to cover.
The judge says they will maintain staffing so services are not affected. A satellite office in Rio Hondo will remain open as the JP that moves to the San Benito Annex Building will split his time between both areas.
Reports show that Cameron County has the most JPs, per capita, than any other county here in Texas.
The judge adds for that particular area, the workload to staff three JPs is just not there. So financially it was a smart move for the county.
"At the end of the day it's going to save us some money as well because we won't have to budget that elected officials salary," says the judge.