Commissioners to take up Turner contract Tuesday, no action expected in Early

The Brown County Commissioners Court will consider whether to renew a contract with Bob Turner of Rural Issues Consulting when they meet Tuesday at 9 am at the Brown County Courthouse.

Turner, a former state representative, has served Brown County, as well as the cities of Brownwood and Early, and the local chambers of commerce and economic development corporations as a liason to the Texas Legislature. Officials describe Turner’s job as watching for legislation that would negatively impact Brown County, either by design, or by unintended consequences. For his services, Turner is paid $44,000 by the partnership of local entities.

While local officials say Turner is a liason, opponents to his contract say that the agreement amounts to nothing more than taxpayer funded lobbying. Proposed legislation in 2017 would have banned cities from hiring lobbyists with taxpayer funds.

The Commissioners Court passed on considering Turner’s contract during their last meeting, as some members of the court were absent. The item was re-agenda’ed for Tuesday’s meeting so it could be considered by the full court.

The Early City Council declined to renew their part in the partnership with Turner at their last meeting. The motion to renew failed for a lack of a second. Early City Administrator Tony Aaron told KXYL last Thursday that he has received no instructions to put the item back on the agenda, and will not bring it back up for consideration unless instructed to do so by a council member.