Commissioners OK Villa as Precinct 1 constable

Gillespie County Commissioners appointed Hilario Villa Sr. as Constable, Precinct 1 during their regular meeting Monday.

Villa was a deputy with the Gillespie County Sheriff’s Office for the past 15 years.

Villa will take over his position on Thursday, March 16, and the term expires on Dec. 31, 2018. He replaces Sgt. Todd Jennings, retired from the Texas Department of Public Safety, who took office in January but resigned to take a job in private industry.

Mark Stroeher, Gillespie County Judge, said they received 10 applications for the position.

“It wasn’t an easy choice, it was a long day going through a lot of discussion,” Stroeher said. “I think what gave him a leg up is he already is familiar with all the players. He knows Judge J.D. Hickmann, the staff at the annex, the personnel in the sheriff’s office and police department, so he knows who to contact if he needs assistance.” 

County Commissioner Donnie Schuch, Pct. 4, agreed with Stroeher’s support of Villa.

“I was surprised at the quality we had,” Schuch said. “The top five, especially, were very top quality choices, but we feel good with who we have with Hilario.”

Hill Country CASA

Stephanie Cash, executive director with Hill Country Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), spoke to commissioners about what CASA does.

“CASA has provided an advocate for children’s foster care in Gillespie, Kerr, Kendall and Bandera counties since 1989,” Cash said. “We’re appointed to serve abused and neglected children. Our role is to ensure the needs are met, before, during and after foster care. We’re to be their friend and support system and to advocate for safe and permanent homes for their children.”

Hill Country CASA is one of 71 independently-operated programs, and when a child is removed from their homes, CASA steps in.

“Across the state of Texas, there are approximately 42,000 children in foster care,” Cash said. “Fifty-six percent of those children have an advocate. In the Hill Country, 100 percent of foster children have an advocate. We’ve been able to provide a volunteer for every child for the last 17 years.”

There are currently 25 children in foster care in Gillespie County, Cash said, and 11 volunteers in the county who are serving them (along some from Kerr County).

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