County Commissioners met Friday morning

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The Gray County Commissioners Court met on Friday morning after having the wintry weather move the meeting from its originally-scheduled date of Tuesday. 

In what was a heavier agenda, the Commissioners first addressed moving from their physical hardware-based server to a cloud-based server for District Attorney, District Clerk, County Attorney and County Clerk Under the Umbrella of Gray County’s LGS Contract.

LGS provides the server that stores all of the information to the County in regards to legal cases, records management and more. The server crashed last week for the third time in four years. LGS suggested the County move to a cloud-based server.

“The difference between the two is, first of all, you don’t have on-site storage,” County Judge Chris Porter said. “Second-of-all instead of a daily snapshot (back-up), it’s an hourly snapshot.”

County Clerk Jeanne Horton said the current system backs up in the evening at 8 p.m. and that she would really appreciate the hourly back-up.

The cost to the County would be an additional $85/month for each of the two clerks (District and County), County Attorney $53/month and the District Attorney would be $200/month.

“The District Attorney is paying for his own and the reason for him being so much more is because he has Discovery items, including videos that takes up a lot of space,” Porter said. “Our entire legal information for current cases are stored on this cloud-based server we want to go to.”

Porter noted that about every two years, the County has to request 10 more tera-bytes of storage and this causes at least the District Attorney’s server to shut down for two to three days to re-install the storage and takes four to nine days for all of the data to come back to the office.

County Commissioner Jeff Haley asked each of the elected officials affected in the room if they were on-board with switching to the cloud-based and all except for County Attorney Joshua Seabourn, who said he was neutral on it because he mostly uses hard copies of his documents, were emphatically on board.

Haley also asked Porter what the firewall and cyber-security is like with LGS and Porter said the company compared it to the FBI’s security.

The actual agenda item was to approve addendums to their contract with LGS. Those addendums were not available for the Court as of Friday morning. The Commissioners would like to look over those addendums before approving, so they tabled the item.

The Commissioners also discussed at length a situation where an employee was on a name-brand medication that was paid for through the County’s health-insurance. The medication went generic, therefore moving the employee to the generic medication. The employee has noted that the new medication is not as effective as the name-brand medication and requested through the health insurance company to be moved back to the name-brand medication.

“They want to override the policy and move to the $300/month (name-brand) instead of the $10/month,” Teresa Davis, who handles the human resources for the County, said. “One case would be no problem. But, we have some employees that are on some extremely expensive drugs and if they were to go generic [and decided the medication didn’t work as well], they could say you did this for another employee.”

The Commissioners discussed at length how to handle the situation, including asking for multiple opinions from doctors as suggested by Commissioners Jeff Haley and Logan Hudson. Commissioner Lake Arrington and Hudson also asked if there was a possibility the doctor could prescribe a different generic drug that may be more effective. 

Davis couldn’t disclose too much information on the particular case due to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPA) laws. Davis added in the past the Commissioners have the policy currently to be handled case-by-case and haven’t seen a case like this in several years.

“It’s once and it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a situation like this,” Davis said. “We’ve had other exceptions. We had a chemotherapy drug that hadn’t made it to the FDA to be given, but it was the standard. The Court approved that. It comes up maybe every other four or five years. This is the third one, I guess.”

Porter said he is on the fence on the topic, but sympathizes and finds it hard to not allow the employee to use the name-brand prescription.

“I hate to take somebody who finds something that works for their life and take it away from them,” Porter said. “It’s like you were fixed, and now you’re not. Part of the reasoning on that, and I don’t know the specific situation. I’m not saying this is the case but with anxiety medications and other things that stabilize a person’s mental faculties; when one drug is working well and has fixed problems, then you switch to a generic and problems start to creep back up, you can only imagine the mental part of that is this isn’t working and won’t work.”

The Commissioners decided to keep the situation case-by-case, but in this instance to require a doctor’s note confirming the name-brand is needed for this patient.

The Commissioners also approved:

• Pay Bills as Approved by the County Auditor

• Accept County Treasurer’s Report

• Accept County Clerk’s Report

• Resolution in Opposition to SB 234/ HB 749 Efforts to Silence County Officials. This item is a resolution against state-wide lobbyists and political-action groups who work against the best interest.

• Hanger Lease Transfer from Ralph Baker to High Plains Aero Consulting Inc.

• TAC Cyber Security Training

  Constable Precinct 2 Racial Profiling Report. There were no racial-profiling complaints.

• Allowing the County Judge as the Representative of the County Commission for Deaccession of Donated Items at the White Deer Land Museum. This item allows for Porter to work with Anita Gullett of the White Deer Land Museum to dispose or return donated items to their owners if the item doesn’t have anything to do with Gray County.

• Tax Bids for Delinquent Properties in McLean, Texas

• Paid Time Off for Vaccination Appointments.

• Pipeline Crossing for County Road 3

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