Hays County Judge Bert Cobb said Oct. 30 that he will relinquish his duties for the next four to six weeks to undergo and recuperate from spinal surgery.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, the senior member of the Commissioners Court, will fill in for Cobb during his absence following a unanimous vote by the commissioners.
"It's not cancer, and it's not terminal. It's from all those knives in my back from being your county judge," Cobb joked.
He attempted to read a statement about his leave but became emotional and banged his gavel on the dais.
"I'm not up to reading it," he said.
In the statement, which was made available afterward, Cobb said he will undergo 11 hours of surgery during a span of three days beginning Nov. 6 to correct damage to his spine caused by a staph infection contracted during his election campaign. The surgery will alleviate pain and allow him to continue to walk, said Cobb, who added that he plans to run for a second term in 2014.
"Judge, you'll be in our prayers all through this time," Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones said.
As the county judge, Cobb is the top elected official in Hays County. He presides over the five-member Commissioners Court, which determines budgets and administrative policies for county government operations.
In Cobb's absence, motions will need a 3-1 vote to be approved. In the event of a 2-2 vote, when action is required, the court will continue to deliberate until a deciding vote is accomplished, according to County Attorney Mark Kennedy.
Also during the meeting, commissioners voted to assist the City of Kyle in making interim repairs to a "really dangerous" section of Bunton Creek Lane in front of Lehman High School. The City of Kyle would pay for the cost of materials, while Hays County would supply labor and equipment to patch the road, which is inside Kyle city limits.
"It's a temporary fix for a long-term need," Jones said.
Kyle could call a bond election in May to seek funds for more substantial roadwork to the thoroughfare. The agreement with Hays County requires approval from Kyle City Council.
In another order of business involving the City of Kyle, Hays County commissioners unanimously approved a seven-year payment plan for Kyle to reimburse the county for $2 million worth of work to Dacy Lane.