Thursday, February 19, 2009







County seeks new treasurer
County treasurer resigns; candidates sought for new appointee
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

ATHENS–Henderson County Commissioners will be appointing a new County Treasurer Wednesday, Feb. 25.
Tuesday, County Treasurer Karin Smith, serving the county six years, submitted her resignation.
Smith plans to take up her previous county job as first assistant auditor.
The person holding that post also resigned last week due to health reasons, The Monitor learned.
Interested candidates may submit a résumé to the county judge through Monday, Feb. 23, and should be available for an interview the following day.
A special meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday will be held to make the appointment, County Judge David Holstein said.
The appointee will serve out the remaining 22 months of the office’s term, county attorney Clint Davis said, and may run for election in the November, 2010, general election.
“The law does not allow the commissioners to appoint an interim treasurer,” Davis said.
Smith looks forward to continuing her service to the people of Henderson County under county auditor Ann Marie Lee.
“I welcome Karin to my staff,” Lee said.
Smith said the main benefit to her in taking the post was the stability of employment, since she won’t have to run again for office, which costs about $10,000 she told The Monitor.
The treasurer is responsible for receiving all monies, dispersing all funds and accounting for all money in custody.
The office also oversees the county’s investments, provides payroll services and fulfills the role of a human resource manager for the county, Smith said.

Council repeals extended hours liquor ordinance
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–Since the bankruptcy of a controversial Gun Barrel City nightclub, city council members have had time to reconsider hasty action taken to approve a late-hours liquor sales ordinance.
The measure was pushed by then nightclub owner Billy Odom and backed by Mayor Paul Eaton, as a business friendly move back in July, 2008.
Feb. 17, the council repealed the ordinance, allowing the sale of alcohol until 2 a.m., if certain requirements were met.
Councilman Melvyn Hayes was one of three members who approved the ordinance during a special meeting July 14, 2008.
“You know we rushed this, and I don’t feel good about it,” Hayes said.
Councilwoman Kathy Cochran, who was on vacation then, agreed to repeal it, as did Charles Townsend.
“I feel it’s the only way to address the noise complaints,” Townsend told The Monitor back in July when asked to explain his reasons for supporting the ordinance.
Odom had told council members that continuing the sale of alcohol past midnight was the only way he could afford to make needed building improvements for sound and traffic containment, two issues addressed in the ordinance.
As it turned out, Odom wasn’t able to complete the renovations and improvements he planned before the club fell into default.
Odom had an undocumented agreement with his backers, which included Donnie Nelson, general manager for the Dallas Mavericks and the now convicted felon Mike Lee “Big Mike” Lloyd.
Loyd is now serving an 80-month federal prison sentence for defrauding banks and his former employer of amounts totaling $5.8 million, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
“I feel they strung me along, waiting until I didn’t have any money left,” Odom told The Monitor in December.
Nelson was making the payments on the bank loan, while Odom paid the operating expenses, Odom said.
When the October, 2008, payment of $7,800 wasn’t made against the $750,000 note, the bank acted.
“What happens if the new owner wants to do the same thing?” Kevin Banghart (the third councilman to support the ordinance) asked.
They can come before the council and ask for a special permit, city administrator Gerry Boren answered.
Boren added that he had met the new owners, an Asian couple, who have owned several restaurants.
“Is Nelson a part of this?” Cochran asked.
“I don’t believe he is,” Boren answered.
According to documents in the Henderson County Clerk’s office, the new owner is VU Investment Properties, LLP out of Garland. Frank and Melissa Vu are thought to be the principals.
Information regarding the managers or plans for the establishment were not available.
Odom had a performance agreement with the city’s Economic Development Corporation for the loan of $125,000 over five years at 5 percent interest.
Odom had been paying on the interest of the loan, he said before the property fell into foreclosure.

PS Fire Rescue mourns Yardley
Monitor Staff Reports
PAYNE SPRINGS–Payne Springs Fire Rescue members and the community were shocked and saddened to hear veteran volunteer firefighter Roger Yardley died in his sleep early Sunday.
Yardley, 71, died one month to the day after losing his mother, Fire Rescue secretary Kay Hardee reported.
His death comes less than a week prior to the department’s annual awards banquet. At last year’s event, Yardley was honored for being the top medical call responder as well as the runner-up fire responder.
A former U.S. Air Force Air Rescue pilot, Yardley’s services will be held at a later date. See full obituary information, page 11A.
“The whole department is sad,” Hardee wrote in an e-mail to The Monitor. “Roger was a big part of us and will be missed.”
Chuck Harley submitted a memoriam on Yardley, noting “Those who did not know Roger would see him as a little man, due to his short stature.
“But to his extended family – the Payne Springs Fire Rescue – Roger appeared 10 feet tall,” Harley wrote.
Harley said Yardley was a committed and dedicated member of the department for many years, many times responding to medical calls in the wee hours unassisted and driving his own vehicle.
“He took his position as a volunteer firefighter very seriously, and never hesitated to help those in need,” Harley wrote.
In addition to serving as a volunteer member, Yardley was also on the department’s board of directors, and provided his time and knowledge in many ways, Harley said.
“No one can say that Roger kept his potential locked up,” he added. “Roger was a ‘key player’ in the department, and the department will miss Roger Yardley.”

Copyright © 2009, MediaOne, L.L.C.