CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Wednesday's marathon Nueces County Commissioners Court meeting turned tense in the second hour, and included several heated exchanges between county judge Barbara Canales and Precinct 4 commissioner Brent Chesney.
At issue was an ad-hoc committee -- a group that is formed to address a specific issue and then is disbanded once its acheived its goal. In this case, the committee would begin plans to re-build Bob Hall Pier, which was badly damaged by Hurricane Hanna in July.
Those in the meeting were all in favor of establishing the committee. The disagreement began when it came time to decide how the committee would be established.
Canales sought to establish the committee on her own, without a vote by commissioners.
Chesney, who looked to form the committee by a full commissioners' court vote, claimed she couldn't do that, and the conversation became strained.
“That’s not right. You don’t get to go form 40 committees," Chesney exaggerated.
"Yes I can," Canales said laughing. "Yes I can.”
Canales got the final word, forming the committee without a vote.
After the meeting adjourned, Canales addressed what she called 'a debate' on the issue.
"There’s no controversy here," she said. "It’s just a process. (Chesney) wants to make it a commissioners' court process. I say, ‘What’s the purpose?' "
Chesney said that the entire commissioners court should be involved in all countywide decisions. He said he'll once again fight for a vote the next time this issue presents itself -- although he's uncertain what the outcome will be.
“We’ll see," he said. "It’s a case-by-case basis. I don’t know what will happen the next time around. We’ll just have to wait and see.”