Brazos County Commisioner races

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EliteElectric
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Mooney announced for Pct 1 on twitter last night

techno-ag
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Seems like everybody from CoSta wants to serve BrazCo now for some reason.
EliteElectric
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techno-ag said:

Seems like everybody from CoSta wants to serve BrazCo now for some reason.
It's not a volunteer job

https://openpayrolls.com/rank/highest-paid-employees/brazos-county-tx


Quote:

24 Edgar Peters County Judge $4,367.42/Bi-Weekly $113,553
69 Nancy Berry County Commissioner - Pct 3 $3,381.19/Bi-Weekly $87,911
70 Steven Aldrich County Commissioner - Pct 1 $3,381.19/Bi-Weekly $87,911
71 Irma Cauley County Commissioner - Pct 4 $3,381.19/Bi-Weekly $87,911
74 Russell Ford County Commissioner - Pct 2 $3,381.19/Bi-Weekly $87,911

davido
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TChaney said:

davido said:


...better serving the specific constituency of the TABC. A position by the way that he was approached to take on during a time that TABC had experienced a lot of internal and public issues.
I can't say what the other poster is referring to but here is one example.

Nettles was not part of the TABC as far as I know at the time of the incident, but he was executive director when the agent was no billed by a local grand jury. Agent Jergins was either incompetent or flat out committed perjury.

...

https://www.kbtx.com/content/news/TABC-changing-investigation-procedures-after-agent-accused-of-perjury-in-Brazos-County-511209791.html

"Nettles, who was appointed by the commission in May 2017, will retire from the position on April 30, 2022

...

"There's no question that General Nettles was the best person for the job," Lilly said. "TABC faced incredible challenges when he came on board, and thanks in large part to his leadership, he will leave behind a stronger, more modern and more trusted agency. I speak for the entire commission when I offer our thanks for a job well done and well wishes for what will surely be a bright future. I would also be remiss in not lauding his efforts in developing what is now considered one of the premier law enforcement agencies in fighting the scourge of human trafficking."

TABC reached numerous milestones under Nettles' leadership, including the successful implementation of historic legislative changes and recommendations from the Sunset Advisory Commission following its review of the agency in 2019. Those include the consolidation of multiple license and permit types, bringing the total number of permit types from 75 to 37; new standards that make it easier for malt beverage manufacturers to enter the industry; and efficiencies in policy and rulemaking to make the process more transparent while ensuring stakeholder participation.
Nettles also oversaw the creation of numerous internal and external agency programs, including:

"I couldn't be prouder of everything TABC has accomplished over the past five years, and it was all thanks to the incredible work of our TABC employees and of the alcoholic beverage industry," Nettles said."

https://www.tabc.texas.gov/news/news-releases/tabc-executive-director-a-bentley-nettles-announces-intent-to-retire-2021/


I'm missing something. I watched the video and I agree that I think the bartender wasn't treated fairly and he was fortunate to have the video. Not sure what the "misunderstanding" was. I didn't remember the specifics of what happened, but I remember TABC being in a bad light then. However, Nettles was NOT part of TABC at the time of the incident. Grand jury reviewed the case against Jergins and declined to indict. Internal review also did not find charges. Nettles instituted changes in how they conduct underage compliance operations.

Obviously, it was not handled to Nettle's likings as changes were put in place.

I get Jergins, but what's the gripe about Nettles on this? Seems like the grand jury was in a great place to do something about it if something was to be done. The TABC end is probably state employee HR guidelines that would've played out differently if it were the private sector, but that's the restraints of the system. Curious what the issue with Nettles on that is.

Brian Alg
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Nettles was Executive Director at the time of TABC's investigation of the incident when their agent

  • Gave beer to a minor informant
  • Told other TABC officers that night that the bartender committed the crime Agent Jergins himself had committed
  • Falsely testified that the bartender committed the crime that Agent Jergins himself had committed

In Bentley Nettles' statement regarding that investigation he said that they "found no wrongdoing on the part of Agent Jergins."

Obviously, given the events were on video, this indicates that Nettles is able to make statements that are at odds with the facts in order to ensure that he doesn't have to put forward meaningful changes to policy.

The changes that Nettles put in place would not have affected Agent Jergins' fabricating false testimony. And no doubt Nettles was fully aware that the changes would do nothing to discourage TABC agents from making false accusations in the future. There were changes he could have made (cameras). Instead he made a statement indicating that there was nothing wrong so nothing meaningful needed to be changed.

The grand jury process was guided by the DA's office. No doubt they got the result he wanted. There is no other way the no-bill conclusion was reached given the evidence that could have been presented. Given what happened in that case I have zero faith that criminal malfeasance by someone in the good graces of the powers that be will ever go to a jury.

There is no evidence that the DA's office is a meaningful check to ensure the governments' integrity. If anything, the grand jury process seems to be used as a tool to sweep obvious problems under the rug and assure that meaningful changes are not made.

Edit:
Of course, there are going to be positives and negatives all around. Perhaps Nettles competence in making those changes you listed is more important when selecting a candidate in this race. And for sure I have no idea what was going on in the decision making process. There is probably a powerful constituency in the TABC that didn't want to see meaningful changes made in response to the incident. Maybe it wasn't worth spending Nettles' political capital to take on that fight.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
davido
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Do TABC officers have union representation?

When you have the HR limitations of a public employee, LEO at that, as well as the findings of the grand jury, regardless of how meaningful it may or may not be, I'm not sure there's a lot left to be done publicly. If Nettles says or does anything to indicate that Jergins was in the wrong after being cleared, again regardless of how meaningful that is in reality, I'm not sure where that puts Nettles, the TABC, or the higher ups. I guess he could resign, but it's not as if he didn't know about the issue when he was brought on. It's not as if the public testimony was the first time Jergins would have made those statements.

I'd think Nettles was brought in knowing what was coming and expecting to have to just makes the best of the situation and move on. It's probably why he was selected. If you've watched his interviews, he's pretty levelheaded. It doesn't help the cause of the TABC to prolong the case in public by igniting an HR fire on the backend. Who knows how it was handled internally, but changes were made and TABC ended much better under his watch than it started.

The fact that he knew coming in that TABC was in such a disadvantaged position, yet he took it on anyway says something. When someone is willing to step in to clean up the messes of others, refocus the organization, and move forward to their goals and better serve their constituency, that says something. IMO we could use more of that locally instead of people just throwing others under the bus and outright lying for political gain.
Mr.Short-termMemory
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davido said:

Do TABC officers have union representation?

When you have the HR limitations of a public employee, LEO at that, as well as the findings of the grand jury, regardless of how meaningful it may or may not be, I'm not sure there's a lot left to be done publicly. If Nettles says or does anything to indicate that Jergins was in the wrong after being cleared, again regardless of how meaningful that is in reality, I'm not sure where that puts Nettles, the TABC, or the higher ups. I guess he could resign, but it's not as if he didn't know about the issue when he was brought on. It's not as if the public testimony was the first time Jergins would have made those statements.

I'd think Nettles was brought in knowing what was coming and expecting to have to just makes the best of the situation and move on. It's probably why he was selected. If you've watched his interviews, he's pretty levelheaded. It doesn't help the cause of the TABC to prolong the case in public by igniting an HR fire on the backend. Who knows how it was handled internally, but changes were made and TABC ended much better under his watch than it started.

The fact that he knew coming in that TABC was in such a disadvantaged position, yet he took it on anyway says something. When someone is willing to step in to clean up the messes of others, refocus the organization, and move forward to their goals and better serve their constituency, that says something. IMO we could use more of that locally instead of people just throwing others under the bus and outright lying for political gain.



Nettles did not know about the Jernigan situation when he was brought on. The sting happened in 2016. Nettles appointed in May of 2017. Trial where Jernigan testified and allegedly didn't lie was in 2018, grand jury investigation in 2019.

He could have, based in the facts known at the time, admitted Jernigan was wrong even prior to the grand jury. Nothing would have prevented that.
Brian Alg
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Quote:

outright lying for political gain
Isn't that exactly what Nettles did in that case?

That said, I think it was an understandable choice to make.

Anyone who prioritizes the rights of politically unconnected 22 year old men over the desires of government agents who want to be able to do unlawful things with impunity is probably not going to get far in government.

Or at least that seems to be what a lot of people in government think around here.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
Passwordgone
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"As a law enforcement agency, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission sets high standards of professional conduct for its peace officers. Any allegations of wrongdoing by one of our agents is taken extremely seriously. That is why TABC began an internal review of Agent Jergins' actions during the undercover operation, as well as his behavior at trial. Our review found no wrongdoing on the part of Agent Jergins, and I'm pleased that the grand jury declined to issue an indictment following a careful review of the evidence

That he was pleased that a law enforcement officer was not held accountable for wrongdoing is troubling.

Mr.Short-termMemory
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Passwordgone said:

"As a law enforcement agency, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission sets high standards of professional conduct for its peace officers. Any allegations of wrongdoing by one of our agents is taken extremely seriously. That is why TABC began an internal review of Agent Jergins' actions during the undercover operation, as well as his behavior at trial. Our review found no wrongdoing on the part of Agent Jergins, and I'm pleased that the grand jury declined to issue an indictment following a careful review of the evidence

That he was pleased that a law enforcement officer was not held accountable for wrongdoing is troubling.




Whether intentional or not, Jernigans actions in the operation and testimony would have convicted an innocent man. The fact that's not considered by Nettles to be any wrongdoing is concerning.
davido
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Quote:

Nettles did not know about the Jernigan situation when he was brought on. The sting happened in 2016. Nettles appointed in May of 2017. Trial where Jernigan testified and allegedly didn't lie was in 2018, grand jury investigation in 2019.
Is that a typo? Not sure how you make that jump.

If you think that Jergin testimony on the stand was the first time Nettles would have heard of the contents of that testimony, I don't know what to tell you.

As you pointed out, the sting was in 2016, TABC gets a new director in 2017, and you think that's just coincidence? That he wasn't aware?

Do you not think the bartender hadn't yet retained an attorney by 2017?

Do you think TABC as an organization was not aware in 2017 that there was an issue?

Do you think that there was no prior conversation about Jergin's position on the arrest?

Do you think they would appoint a new ED without bringing them up to speed on any current or pending litigation?

Really?

Barking up the wrong tree.
davido
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Brian Alg said:

Quote:

outright lying for political gain
Isn't that exactly what Nettles did in that case?

I was thinking more along the lines of claiming a $21 million surplus when it's just funds waiting to be spend.

Calling funds that have been earmarked for previous obligations a "surplus" is more than disingenuous. A surplus would be in excess of those obligations. Aldrich either doesn't know the difference, or more likely doesn't care about lying about it in order to make his tantrum look appropriate. But sure, let's get caught up in wordsmithing of an event that happened a year before Nettles arrived at his position.

I didn't read it all, but someone mentioned in the sting thread that the defense doesn't have to share everything prior to court like the prosecutor does. They were alluding to the bartender's attorney not sharing the video prior to the court case., for shock value in court. Not sure if that's the case or not, but if it changes the stakes of the case. Potentially Nettles didn't know about the video until after the jury learned about it.

There can be disagreement about whether an internal investigation or grand jury should or shouldn't have turned up charges, but evidently it didn't rise to the level of violation that brought charges. At least not publicly. Who knows what happened behind the scenes, but it brought changes to the procedures that existed prior to Nettles arrival. As an ED of an organization that represents hundreds of employees, including 239 other agents, working for 54,000 licensed businesses and 100,000 producers and distributors, you can be thankful for it being over. Regardless of where you fall on guilty, it's a giant distraction to the rest of the mission of the organization. Having that continuously circulate in the press casts a bad shadow on a lot of other people who just show up every day and do their job to the best of their ability. The ED has an obligation to them also.

But we don't have to deal with those obligations, so we can just consume our popcorn from the cheap seats. Cheers.
Brian Alg
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davido said:

There can be disagreement about whether an internal investigation or grand jury should or shouldn't have turned up charges, but evidently it didn't rise to the level of violation that brought charges.


Okay, now I know you are messing with us. If anyone legit thinks there is ambiguity, I can point you to the video.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
Passwordgone
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Maybe because they don't want Bryan controlling all of Brazos County. Not to long ago, south College Station got crumbs of county consideration and project funding in spite of being the fastest growing portion of the county. That has changed to some degree it seems. The county judge is still reluctant to take care of the south end of the county. Look at the not so long ago closings of the railroad crossings. He and Wasserman did not stand up for county residents AT ALL. The same has been true of funding for roads. Aldrich has had to fight for funding. And from my observation, once the judge did not have sole control of the county budget and its priorities, commissioners could see actual numbers and not be told "we don't have the money".
The good old boys are deathly afraid of losing control. Nettles is strongly backed by the Bryan group. Especially the elected and former elected officials. Don't want to lose the ability to tax and spend, whether raising our taxes is necessary or not.
techno-ag
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Passwordgone said:

Maybe because they don't want Bryan controlling all of Brazos County. Not to long ago, south College Station got crumbs of county consideration and project funding in spite of being the fastest growing portion of the county. That has changed to some degree it seems. The county judge is still reluctant to take care of the south end of the county. Look at the not so long ago closings of the railroad crossings. He and Wasserman did not stand up for county residents AT ALL. The same has been true of funding for roads. Aldrich has had to fight for funding. And from my observation, once the judge did not have sole control of the county budget and its priorities, commissioners could see actual numbers and not be told "we don't have the money".
The good old boys are deathly afraid of losing control. Nettles is strongly backed by the Bryan group. Especially the elected and former elected officials. Don't want to lose the ability to tax and spend, whether raising our taxes is necessary or not.
Sounds like yet another side effect of the dueling city camps. If we had the attitude of all living in one community instead of smugly asserting one town is superior to another, you wouldn't have issues like this.
Reload84
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Interesting thread on TexAgs Politics Board pertaining to local Political Action Committee involvement in local elections:
https://texags.com/forums/16/topics/3443308

Crowdsourced news on TexAgs continues to be the best source of local news!
doubledog
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EliteElectric said:

Mooney announced for Pct 1 on twitter last night


Maybe the county will build his legacy project (YMCA)
davido
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Brian Alg said:

davido said:

There can be disagreement about whether an internal investigation or grand jury should or shouldn't have turned up charges, but evidently it didn't rise to the level of violation that brought charges.
Okay, now I know you are messing with us. If anyone legit thinks there is ambiguity, I can point you to the video.
I'm not talking about my personal opinion. I'm talking about what's right versus what's technically legal or per procedure.

Those don't always align.
davido
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techno-ag said:


Sounds like yet another side effect of the dueling city camps. If we had the attitude of all living in one community instead of smugly asserting one town is superior to another, you wouldn't have issues like this.
This. Cities should have been combined 50 years ago. Would solve a lot. It's constantly an issue with economic development also.
Hornbeck
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They can definitely afford it with ol Duane's "Rainy Decade" Fund
taxpreparer
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davido said:

techno-ag said:


Sounds like yet another side effect of the dueling city camps. If we had the attitude of all living in one community instead of smugly asserting one town is superior to another, you wouldn't have issues like this.
This. Cities should have been combined 50 years ago. Would solve a lot. It's constantly an issue with economic development also.


Sure. That way we can all complain about one set of city council making us all pay for their pet project du jour, instead of competing councils maintaining a minimal check on each other. Rosemary drive sewer project, anyone?

However, this thread is about county commissioners.
Bryanisbest
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[You have had that term removed from this board for the last time without getting a long ban. -Staff]
Brian Alg
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davido said:

I'm not talking about my personal opinion. I'm talking about what's right versus what's technically legal or per procedure.

Those don't always align.
Maybe we are talking past each other.

Given what was made plain in the video, there was probable cause to believe that the crime of aggravated perjury was committed. And obviously wrongdoing was committed. I am skeptical that there can be good faith disagreement on that. The video is too clear. The law is too clear. Someone could lie about it for pragmatic purposes and political expediency. But it is clear that Nettles was intentionally lying in his statement.

The the DA's office and TABC apparently decided to use their positions to distort the procedures they were in charge of for political gain. Sometimes what is right and what seems personally desirable are out of alignment. In this case, officials used their power to ensure personally beneficial outcomes instead of the right or truthful outcomes.

You might choose to call this being pragmatic or levelheaded. I call this corruption.

Edit: And to be clear. I don't think this should necessarily be the big issue in this race. But I spent a lot of time digging into what happened there. I got into the nitty gritty of how TABC, and specifically Nettles, lied about the situation in order to prevent sensible adjustments to their procedures (body cameras to ensure nobody is falsely accused of crimes). It seems Nettles did all kinds of other groovy stuff that you like when he was Ex Dir of TABC. And this was one little tiny thing in his tenure in charge at that big institution. But don't bulls*** us and tell us he didn't lie. Don't bulls*** us and say he fixed the procedures when he did nothing of the sort.
Brian Alg

Brazos Coalition for Responsible Government
davido
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You seem to be the expert.

What were the procedures leading up to the sting?

How were they distorted?

What changes were made to the procedures after?

Why didn't the grand jury indict? They're all corrupt also? They were all in on it?

Point being, as much as you think you know about the situation from some open records request is far from the full picture. You think everything that happens shows up in a few records requests? Especially in law enforcement? Get real.
Hornbeck
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His narrative is pretty well established.

TABC tried to pin their actions on someone who was innocent.
GSS
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During the Monday night candidate forum, Nettles stated he was a leader, would always be there (attend every meeting), and that Aldrich's absence was a "dereliction of duty", unacceptable.

In his closing, Aldrich stated he considered his constituents his army, and he would never lead them into an ambush....
davido
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GSS said:


In his closing, Aldrich stated he considered his constituents his army, and he would never lead them into an ambush....


Lead?!?!?

He wouldn't lead them at all. He wouldn't even show up!
taxpreparer
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GSS said:

During the Monday night candidate forum, Nettles stated he was a leader, would always be there (attend every meeting), and that Aldrich's absence was a "dereliction of duty", unacceptable.

In his closing, Aldrich stated he considered his constituents his army, and he would never lead them into an ambush....


He showed this by holding the line and waiting for the ambush to self-implode.
AggiePhil
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KBTX video of the recent Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum:

https://www.facebook.com/kbtxmedia/videos/404893425280391/
etj77845
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The website http://cf.vistasg.com/BrazosCo/ does provide some interesting information concerning just who is providing out of county $$ or $$$ in the case of one Pct 1 candidate.

Gotta ask myself why, then I ask myself why are so many Bryan folks interested in what we do is S. County???
oldag76
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davido said:

GSS said:


In his closing, Aldrich stated he considered his constituents his army, and he would never lead them into an ambush....


Lead?!?!?

He wouldn't lead them at all. He wouldn't even show up!
You do realize that all of the name calling and hand wringing by Berry turned out to be FALSE don't you?
WE need more principled office holders and fewer rubber stampers who cannot even do basic math. Final budget they rammed down Aldrich's throat produced $20 million in excess revenue.
same folks who dropped the ball totally on working with COCS on Greens Prairie, and dragged their feet for 5 years on I&GN rebuild after UP closed off the two points of egress from at least 100 homes south of there and forced even more trucks onto I&GN. Heck it took the County 18 months to repair a washout on I&GN. Too bad Berry and Judge do nothing didn't have to drive it everyday.
deh40
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etj77845 said:

The website http://cf.vistasg.com/BrazosCo/ does provide some interesting information concerning just who is providing out of county $$ or $$$ in the case of one Pct 1 candidate.

Gotta ask myself why, then I ask myself why are so many Bryan folks interested in what we do is S. County???
Very interesting how little is actually from precinct 1.
Reload84
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Interesting. How do you open this to view these documents?
davido
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oldag76 said:

Final budget they rammed down Aldrich's throat produced $20 million in excess revenue.


Spot the lie. I'll narrow it down for you.

Might call the county office and get clarification on that "surplus" amount that's claimed. it paints quite a different picture than what you're thinking.

While you're talking, ask a little more about the budget creation process. The timeline. The conversations. Find out how many meetings he sat through along the way, leading up to his grandstanding no-show? How many years did Aldrich sit there and "rubber stamp" things, as you say? Right up until what year? What's happening in this year that's different from the previous ones?

Dig just slightly deeper and what you find may not as neatly match up with what you've been fed to believe.

Cheers.
Reload84
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We are in a very challenging time for many local folks and businesses in this tough economy. Thanks to Steve Aldrich for standing up for me as a taxpayer and small businessperson and for working to hold the line on the taxes I pay out of pocket. I also want to thank Fred Brown for providing clarity about how the Brazos County Judge and most commissioners are continuing to push efforts to raise taxes. The bottom line is that the county is collecting more money from taxpayers than necessary to fund the county's budget and provide a reserve fund. This is why I think Aldrich should be re-elected to Pct. 1 Commissioner and Fred Brown should be elected as the new Commissioner for Pct. 3.

Steve Aldrich stood up for me and other taxpayers in 2022 when political forces were trying to ram through a vote to raise taxes for homeowners and small businesses. He had a choice to stand up for taxpayers or succumb to the political pressure and name calling. This is what political leadership looks like in my view---standing up against the tax-and-spend political machine on behalf of those of us who work hard to make ends meet and pay taxes. By not attending the meetings when a vote was to be taken, Aldrich and fellow Commissioner at the time Russ Ford, prevented the other Commissioners from voting to raise taxes.

Read the press release posted on the Brazos Valley for Tax Responsibility Facebook page.(https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10229406293434522&set=p.10229406293434522&type=3)
Aldrich put this out in 2023 (after the tax-and-spend machine worked to defeat Commissioner Russ Ford.) Interestingly, Aldrich warned about a "money grab" in the making. He was right. The vote to hike taxes was 4-to-1 with Aldrich as the lone commissioner voting against a tax hike. As a result of that vote Commissioners raised the amount of money we pay out of pocket in taxes. Aldrich's actions show he's willing to go against the grain when necessary and that's leadership in my view.

BTW- As I recall during 2022 Aldrich was fighting cancer. Despite this personal challenge he stood up for us to prevent an unnecessary tax hike.
 
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