Former county auditor drops lawsuit against judge, county

Jay Hinton
Glen Rose Reporter

GLEN ROSE — Former Somervell County auditor Brian Watts has dropped his lawsuit against Somervell County and Judge Danny Chambers.

County Judge Danny Chambers

The official document was filed in District Court on Tuesday, and Watts said the issues behind the lawsuit have been corrected by Chambers and the county.

“There is no hiccup or interruption with our budget, so 147 employees win because they don’t have to continue worrying about getting paid,” Chambers said. “Payroll can continue to be made and contractors and vendors will continue to get paid.”

Chambers said the county distributed payroll for September, however, had the case continued, there could have been the possibility that payroll would have been interrupted in October.

The lawsuit, which was filed Sept. 29 in the 18th Judicial District, claimed the ad valor tax rate set by the Somervell County Commissioners Court was not valid because Chambers failed to follow proper procedure by putting a notice of a public meeting in the local paper of record 10 days prior to the meeting.

Last week, Chambers, in reaction to the letter written by Watts and emailed to Chambers on Sept. 27, accepted responsibility for the procedural oversight and immediately began rectifying the error.

A notice for a public meeting for the Monday, Oct. 4, Commissioner Court where the tax rate would be discussed, was placed in the Friday, Oct. 1, issue of the Glen Rose Reporter.

At the meeting, the commissioners voted 5-0 to rescind the .5125 tax rate set Sept. 23 and then voted 5-0 to set the ad valor tax rate at .4979, which is the no-new-revenue rate set by the Somervell County Appraisal District.

The 2021-22 tax rate will generate less revenue than the 2020-21 tax rate by $51,128 and will reduce taxes for maintenance and operations on a $100,000 home by approximately $1.59.