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The Henderson County Commissioners Court on Tuesday adopted procedures of conduct and decorum for meetings in the light of new regulations passed in the last session of the Texas Legislature.

County Judge Wade McKinney said HB 2840 changed the rules for public participation at Commissioners Court meetings.

"We had to make just a few, slight changes," McKinney said.

County Attorney Clint Davis said the county will continue to allow members of the public to speak for three minutes on agenda items.

"Now, by law, we have to offer members of the public an opportunity to speak, not only before Commissioners Court meetings, but during," Davis said.

The agenda has long offered members of the audience a chance to address a topic at the beginning of the meeting. Now, a person can speak on the issue at the time the agenda item comes up during the meeting.

"We did put a total limitation so one speaker can not speak more than a total of 30 minutes at any single Commissioners Court meeting," Davis said.

A person who wishes to speak must fill out a form and check a box indicating if they wish to speak before the meeting or wait until the agenda item comes up.

"This is one of these bills that larger cities, larger counties and larger school districts will be impacted more than it will impact Henderson County," Davis said. "I'm been here 11 years and probably, by far the largest speaker turnout I've seen is when we went to vote centers."

Commissioners also voted to approve:

• re-appointing Fire Marshal Shane Renberg to another two year term;

• a county drug and alcohol testing policy;

• allowing the Henderson County Sheriffs Office to use inmate labor at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek for certain projects;

• appoint Bradford Skyles and Jesse Richardson to the Henderson County Emergency Services District No. 11 board;

• a right of way permit for Bethel-Ash Water Supply Corporation to bore under County Road 3910.Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin was not present due to an illness.

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