More Money Needed To Stop "Trashing East Texas"

Driving 100 to 200 miles a day can get pretty expensive. That's what Constable Charles Williams does for his job in Cherokee County.

"My gas bill averages, every two weeks, anywhere from $185 to $235 every two weeks," he said. "Our allowance on our check is $75. So the rest of it comes out of our pocket."

Finding places where people are "Trashing East Texas" sometimes requires traveling over rough terrain and sharp objects. That has cost Williams three sets of tires in less than seven months.

He says not having enough money for travel expenses is also costing the county and you.

"Speeding warrants and stuff that actually the DPS have turned over to a collection agency, which personally, I think we should take care of in-house, which would have brought more funds into the county," Williams said.

The county auditor says he hears the constable's needs for more funding, especially with gas prices so high.

"Certainly, we hope to at least cover their basic cost of doing business," L.H. Crockett said. "They've requested additional money. And it's certainly being considered by Commissioners Court."

"The people elected us," Williams said. "We work for the people. So we try to do our job, regardless of the cost out of our pocket."

Campaign promises that Williams hopes the county will help him keep.

Constable Williams and another Cherokee County constable, Randy Thompson, say they sometimes work together to save gas money. They're hoping for a higher allowance once the next fiscal year starts, October 1.

Julie Tam, reporting.