Starek won’t take oath as commissioner
The following has been posted by the Kaufman County judge’s office late Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 7:
Kaufman County Commissioner-Elect, Precinct 1, Greg Starek, submitted a written notification on December 7, 2016 to Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood stating “he will not take the oath of office” to begin his elected term on January 1, 2017. This notice submitted by Mr. Starek serves as a declination of office and creates a vacancy for the office of Kaufman County Commissioner, Precinct 1, beginning on January 1, 2017. Jimmy Vzralik is the current Kaufman County Commissioner, Precinct 1, and his term expires on December 31, 2016.
“To be effective, a public officer’s resignation or an officer-elect’s declination must be in writing and signed by the officer or officer-elect and delivered to the appropriate authority for acting on the resignation or declination. The authority may not refuse to accept a resignation.”
Tex. Election Code, Section 201.001(a). Mr. Starek’s written submission is an effective declination of office, as Mr. Starek has not taken the oath of office, and must be accepted by County Judge Bruce Wood.
According to Texas law, Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood must appoint a person that resides in Precinct 1 as the County Commissioner for Precinct 1. “If a vacancy occurs in the office of county commissioner, the county judge shall appoint a suitable resident of the precinct in which the vacancy exists to fill the vacancy until the next general election.” Loc. Gov. Code, Section 87.042. “Unless otherwise provided by law, the authority to act on a public officer’s resignation or an officer elect’s declination is the officer or body authorized to make an appointment or order a special election to fill a vacancy in the office.” Tex. Election Code, Section 201.002. The Election Code provides that the position of county commissioner be appointed by the County Judge and then, subsequently filled at the next general election. Tex. Election Code, Sections 3.004 and 201.002. Texas Law does not authorize a county judge or commissioners’ court to call a special election to elect a county commissioner.
Pursuant to Article V, Section 18 of the Texas Constitution, county commissioners shall continue to perform the duties of their office until their successors shall be elected and qualified.
As such, Commissioner Vrzalik shall continue to serve as the Kaufman County Commissioner, Precinct 1, until County Judge Bruce Wood appoints a person to fill the vacancy for Commissioner, Precinct 1. The vacancy will not occur until January 1, 2017, at which time County Judge Bruce Wood may make an appointment.
Interested individuals should send a letter of interest and resume to the Kaufman County Judge’s Office, 100 West Mulberry St., Kaufman, Texas 75142. The same information can be provided via e-mail to: ten.y1481352733tnuoc1481352733namfu1481352733ak@eg1481352733dujyt1481352733nuoc1481352733