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County to ask city for more time in health district split

Posted at 7:11 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 20:48:20-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Nueces County wants more than 90 days to prepare for the City of Corpus Christi’s split from the Corpus Christi - Nueces County Public Health District.

The pending split was a major talking point at Wednesday’s Nueces County Commissioners Court meeting.

Most of the discussion was behind closed doors in executive session. After commissioners returned to public session, they voted unanimously to have county attorney Jenny Dorsey meet with city attorney Miles Risley and city manager Peter Zanoni to discuss how to move forward.

READ MORE: Confusion about split already raises questions at commissioners' court

That includes asking the city for more than the 90-days notice it gave when the city council voted to withdraw from its joint agreement to operate the Public Health District eight days ago.

“We've got to have a little more time on this,” said Pct. 4 Commissioner Brent Chesney. “There's some legal things, some practical things, some unraveling of things. There's some maybe working together on things, all kinds of things, that can spur off of this, but we've got to have more than 90 days.”

Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales echoes the calls for more time.

“Time is a big factor," Canales said. "There can't be a naïveté to what we're talking about here. We have a lot of important issues and interests, and they all need a forum.”

Chesney also made it clear that there is no hostility between city and county governments

“This is not a war," he said. "This is just — the city wants to do things differently. That's OK — nothing wrong with that. We just have to figure out how it doesn't hurt our citizens and I don't think they want to.”

Canales also believes that while the two sides disagree on this issue, the working relationship between city and county is strong.

“No one has to worry that this will be an impediment to all of the other areas that we work together on,” Canales said. “But this one is important.”

There was no public discussion on whether the city acted appropriately in its decision to split from the health district.

Saturday, Canales sent Zanoni a letter which listed several reasons why Nueces County felt the City of Corpus Christi acted improperly.