James Oakley

Thu
06
Sep

Burnet County burn ban lifted

 

 

 

From staff reports

The Burnet County burn ban has been lifted as of Thursday, Sept. 6, Burnet County Judge James Oakley said.

Soaking rains fell throughout Burnet County this week, with some areas reporting up to three inches of precipitation within a 24-hour period ending at 6 a.m. Thursday. The rain caused the county's Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) average to drop 32 points from 523 to 491, with a high of 703 (just north of Burnet) and a low of 320 (near Marble Falls).

The KBDI is used to determine forest fire potential. The drought index is based on daily water balance, where a drought factor is balanced with precipitation and soil moisture (assumed to have a maximum storage capacity of eight inches) and is expressed in hundredths of an inch of soil moisture depletion.

Thu
12
Jul

Road closures leave area officials feeling sidetracked

Courtesy Austin Western Railroad
The above map shows the short line track operated by Austin Western Railroad, including both the line from Llano to Giddings as well as a branch from Fairland to Marble Falls. Recent rail activity has led to delays and closures of roadways in Burnet County and has had an impact on first responders, local officials said.

 

 

 

 

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

Continued closures of Burnet County highways and roads due to railway activity the past several days has left Burnet County officials feeling “sidetracked.”

It has even prompted Burnet County Judge James Oakley to ask Austin Western Railroad officials for a sitdown at the next Commissioners Court meeting on Tuesday, July 24, to see what can be done to get the two sides back on the right track.

Meanwhile, Austin Western Railroad officials on Thursday apologized for the delays motorists and first responders experienced and explained what caused them.

Mon
02
Jul

Burnet County mourns loss of Constable Jimmy Ballard

Precinct 3 Constable Jimmy Ballard

 

 

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

Burnet County Precinct 3 Constable Jimmy Ballard died early Monday, July 2, after losing a two-year fight with cancer and being removed from life support late Sunday. He was 57.

Fri
15
Sep

Stakeholders come together to oppose rock crushing plant

Lew K. Cohn/The Highlander
Baylor Scott & White Hill Country Region president Tim Ols, left, speaks about the impact a proposed rock crushing plant would have on the hospital campus in Marble Falls as state Rep. Terry Wilson, Precinct 4 County Commissioner Joe Don Dockery and Horseshoe Bay Mayor Steve Jordan listen Friday during a meeting at the BSW Specialty Clinic training room. Stakeholders from a wide spectrum of interests came together in opposition of the proposed Asphalt Inc. rock crushing plant, which has an air quality permit before the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

 

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

Homeowners, ranchers, government officials, hospital leaders and concerned citizens met together Friday at Baylor Scott & White Speciality Clinic with one common goal in mind — opposing the construction of a new rock crushing plant south of Marble Falls.

Asphalt Inc. applied for an air permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to operate a new rock and concrete crushing plant with an entrance 90 feet west of US 281 and approximately 2.6 miles south of the intersection of Texas 71 near Flat Rock Road, which is Burnet County Road 403.

Fri
13
Jan

PEC Complaint Committee recommends against removing Oakley from Board

PEC director and Burnet County Judge James Oakley

By Lew K. Cohn

Managing Editor

The Highlander

A Pedernales Electric Cooperative complaint committee has stopped short of calling for the removal of Burnet County Judge James Oakley from the Board of Directors entirely but has recommended his removal as Vice President of the cooperative's board.

The recommendation of the Complaint Committee will be discussed and action taken during Tuesday's regular Board of Directors meeting at the cooperative's headquarters in Johnson City.

The board will also consider a resolution by Oakley to rescind the bylaws for removal and discipline of a PEC director from bylaw amendments that were put in place just one week before Oakley made a post on Facebook which brought national media spotlight to the PEC and cast Oakley in an unfavorable light.

Wed
14
Dec

PEC cancels Oakley complaint meeting

By Frank Shubert

The Highlander Publisher

The Pederenales Electric Cooperative (PEC) Complaint Committee, appointed to review the director complaint regarding board member James Oakley, canceled its called meeting for 9 a.m. today, Wednesday, Dec. 14. The meeting is subject to re-scheduling, pursuant to appropriate PEC notice requirements. On the advice and recommendation of its counsel, the committee is postponing this meeting, pending attorneys work in the matter.

Wed
30
Nov

PEC Board votes 6-0 to investigate Oakley complaint, consider possible removal

James Oakley

The Pedernales Electric Cooperative Board of Directors voted 6-0 Wednesday, Nov. 30, to give written notice to director James Oakley that the board will consider his possible removal on Jan. 17 if a complaint filed against Oakley is found to merit such discipline.

In a resolution approved at a special called meeting, the board voted to establish a committee to investigate the complaint against Oakley and determine what punishment, if any, he may face for a social media post made earlier in the month in which Oakley commented it was “time for a tree and a rope” for the suspected killer of a San Antonio police officer.

Board President Emily Pataki indicated the committee, which will be comprised of directors Kathy Scanlon, Paul Graf and herself, can consider all avenues open to them through the cooperative's bylaws, including removing Oakley from the position he has held since 2013.

Tue
29
Nov

Oakley Facebook comment draws fire

Facebook is a wonderful tool for people to use, but like any tool, it should be used with great care.

The social media site is useful for helping people keep in contact with friends scattered across the globe whom they haven’t spoken to for years. It allows family to reconnect and allows the sharing of photos, ideas and news with others within one’s peer group.

However, it also instantly shows, without context, intent or clarity, the thoughts and ideas a person clacks out on their smartphone or computer keyboard and exposes those posts to instant scrutiny.

Such is the case involving Burnet County Judge James Oakley, who learned a very hard lesson this past week about the lack of anonymity Facebook affords.

On Monday, Nov. 21, Oakley shared a post from the San Antonio Police Department about the arrest of an African-American man, Otis Tyrone McKane, accused of killing San Antonio police Det. Benjamin Marconi on his personal Facebook account.

Tue
23
Aug

PEC directors change board to single-member districts

By Lew K. Cohn, Managing Editor

The Highlander

Proposed changes to the bylaws of the Pedernales Electric Cooperative that change how directors are elected were passed Monday, Aug. 15, by the co-op's board of directors during a meeting that, at times, was very heated and tense.

The amendments to the bylaws — passed by a 5-2 supermajority vote — now create single-member districts in which only members who live within a district may vote for the director from that district. They also create a different quorum requirement for election of directors than that required for the annual PEC meeting, which is when director elections have traditionally taken place. The changes would take effect for the 2017 election cycle.

Fri
29
Jul

County accepts contracts for more inmates, hires additional jail staff

by Alexandria Randolph

Burnet Bulletin

 

Burnet County officials and law enforcement are preparing for an influx of inmates from nearby counties in coming weeks.

Burnet County Judge James Oakley said commissioners court approved contracts with three Texas counties on Tuesday to house inmates in overflow conditions or special circumstances, and the jail has hired additional staff to handle the increase. Hayes, Somerville, and Taylor county jails have all contracted for the ability to send inmates to Burnet County Jail.

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