The Henderson County Commissioners Court approved $14,000 Tuesday for the Smarsh software service, which provides an archiving system for text messages.
“They are set up to save our text messages for a minimum of two, up to seven years,” County Auditor Ann Marie Lee said. “This will automatically be done so if anyone accidentally deletes a text message from their phones they'll have the history there.”
The county will contract for service for 141 phones and will pay for it from the records management funds.
Legislators said a new state law that became effective Sept. 1 puts more clout in laws that make job-related text messages, even those delivered after hours or with personal phones, subject to public view.
Even if an employee is using his or her own phone, the information may be public information.
A county must have procedures in place to retrieve messages in a timely fashion to comply with Public Information Act requests.
In other action, Commissioners voted to:
• appoint Precinct 2 Commissioner Scott Tuley to the County Insurance Committee;
• appoint Tuley to the East Texas Council of Governments Board of Directors;
• appoint Mike Riorden to the Emergency Services District No. 7 board;
• appoint John McMakin and Mark Wade to the ESD No. 3 board;
• apply for the Statewide Emergency Infrastructure Grant;
• close County Road 1301 in Precinct 1;
• allow the Leagueville Water Supply Corporation to bore under a road in Precinct 3;
• authorize payment of 2019 bills totaling $6,817.27;
• authorize payment of 2020 bills totaling $502,561.97 and;
• authorize payment of 2020 bills totaling $158,695 for payment for two trucks for Precinct 2.