Jim Wells County commissioners Monday cut nine positions, one full-time was changed to part-time and another was recommended and pending for termination, all due to a budget shortfall.

The nine eliminated positions were created in the past five years.

They are one county judge secretary, a veteran's office secretary, county attorney secretary, a district attorney investigator, one deputy from tax assessor-collector office, two deputies and two dispatchers from sheriff's office.

A clerk from Justice of Peace Precinct 1 was changed from full-time to part-time position and assistant county auditor position was recommended and pending under the district judge's approval.

“We are trying to do it as fair as possible...,” County Judge Pete Trevino said. “If I expect everyone else to cut, I have to swallow that pill myself too. Right off the bat we voted to eliminate one of my (secretary) positions.” 

Phase 1: salaries from vacant positions resulted in $360,933 in savings.

Phase 2: six positions including four deputy constable, HR secretary and IT assistant were cut, saving the county $165,000 this year and annually $271,218.

Phase 3: total numbers will be in by Friday after each department notifies the auditor's office which employee will be let go for more savings.

Phase 4 will come after county officials know the exact total of salaries and fringed benefits from the nine eliminated positions in an effort to cut $1.5 million from the original total 2015 general fund expenditures.

“What we want to make sure we are doing here is taking care of our taxpayers and taking care of our employees because right now we have to show our taxpayers...that we are doing everything we can to lower down our expenses,” Trevino said. “We know we are going to have a tax increase, but we want to make that as little as possible.”