Sunday, March 2, 2008






  Malakoff police receive child advocacy team member award
Special to The Monitor
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff Police Department received the Child Advocacy Center Multi-disciplinary Team Member of the Year Award for 2007.

Courtesy Photo
Malakoff Police Chief Billy Mitchell (left), CAC program director Sheila Durden, officer Sally Simon and Sgt. Floyd Thomas show the department’s award.

The award was presented at Malakoff City Hall Tuesday morning.
The Department was chosen for its aggressive responses and actions taken on the child abuse cases in their jurisdiction for the year.
The Child Advocacy Center has a Multi-disciplinary Team of 26 members.
The team members include the Henderson County Law Enforcement agencies, Child Protective Services, Court Appointed Special Advocates, District Attorney, County Attorney, Probation Department, ETMC and local therapist Summer Wilson, to list a few.
Multi-disciplinary team members for the quarter in 2007 were: Bonny Turnage, Juvenile Probation; Tony Duncan, Henderson County Sheriff’s Department Criminal Investigator; Judie Burley, Child Protective Services; Holly Foxworth, ETMC; and Patrick Johnson, Gun Barrel City Police Department.
The Child Advocacy Center is a program of the Henderson County HELP Center.
For more information call the HELP Center at 903-675-4357.

Council orders special election to change charter
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–Gun Barrel City voters will be asked to approve or disapprove 10 propositions to change the city charter in a special city election May 10.
City council members made slight changes to the proposed ballot language Tuesday to make it easier for the voter to understand the proposed changes.
The proposed changes to the city charter are to:
• eliminate conflicts or inconsistencies with state law since the Charter’s last update
• substitute the word “governing body” for the term “city council” in a sentence in the section titled Composition.
• define the term “governing body.”
• eliminate inconsistencies regarding filling of vacancies in the city council by deleting the last sentence in the section, which provides no special election shall be called to fill a vacancy occurring within 90 days of the next regular election.
• define the term “qualified voter,” as it pertains to a recall election, and delete the sentence requiring 300 signatures for a recall election. (Other language in the charter would remain, requiring 20 percent of the registered voters to petition for a recall.)
• define the term “full city council.”
• define “two-thirds majority of the full city council.”
• require a two-thirds vote of the city council members to authorize the borrowing of money for emergency situations.
• correct for style, form, and typographical errors and clarification by a two-thirds majority of the full city council.
• provide that equality of rights shall not be denied or abridged with respect to an appointment or removal from any post because of race, sex, age, national origin, political or religious opinions or affiliations, disability, color, sexual preference, ethnicity and gender.
Council members also discussed creating a voters guide to explain the proposed changes in depth, along with setting meetings with property owner associations and placing ads in the local newspapers.
The propositions are a result of recommendations made by a citizens group, which met nine times to go over the charter and then a joint workshop with city council members.
City attorney Kevin Curley presented a draft of what would appear on the ballot both in English and Spanish for the council’s approval.
In other business, the council:
• authorized the city manager and city treasurer to complete application documents for Tex Pool, so the city can diversify its investments. “We want to continue to invest in the local banks, but we also need to diversify and create a true 90-day reserve fund,” city manager Gerry Boren said.
Tex Pool is a public funds investment pool created to preserve principal, liquidity, and yield consistent with the Public Funds Investment Act.
Mayor pro-tem Kathy Cochran compared interest rates of current city funds on deposit in excess of $500,000 with rates offered by Tex Pool.
Results showed Tex Pool returns averaging a half percent greater interest between September, 2007 and January. Interest rates steadily fell during that period.
• heard Planning and Zoning will hold a meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, March 3, in Brawner Hall to hear a request to rezone 4.71 acres on the north causeway island, part of the Waitman Construction Co., Inc. tract now owned by TRP, Cedar Isle, Ltd. from agriculture to townhouse residential, or any other appropriate zone.
It will also hear a request for a special use permit for Veronica Lamb who wants to open a tattoo clinic at 114 S. Old Gun Barrel Lane, a general business district.
• received a racial profiling report from police Chief Maybelle Lane.
• amended the Code of Ordinances to increase the reward for information related to arson activity from $250 to $2,500, to be disbursed at the discretion of the fire marshal.
• took the city manager off of probationary status following a six-month performance review.


Utility recognizes employees service
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

TOOL–The West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District Board of Directors and employees took a moment to recognize two employees marking their 20th and 25th year with the district Monday, Feb. 25.
Field technician Doug Wortham started working for the district 25 years ago, having already completed 18 years with the city of Kaufman, part of that time as its public works director overseeing road repair and the city’s water service. He and his wife are residents of Seven Points.
“We’re breaking new ground with this announcement,” general manager Tony Ciardo said in introducing Wortham. He is the first employee to reach the 25-year-mark, Ciardo explained.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District employees and board member Eldon Cox (sitting at front table) gather to honor Doug Wortham (wearing a cap right behind Cox) for 25 years of service and Kenneth Wright (not shown) for 20 years of service.

Board president Clifton Smith presented Wortham with a plaque expressing the district’s appreciation for his longevity and service and an envelope with an undisclosed amount.
“We thank you for all the people you’ve helped train over the years. Your contribution and faithful service makes us a better water district,” Smith said.
Maintenance manager Kenneth L. Wright was also cited for his 20 years with the district.
“When I first met Kenneth, I had a hard time hiring him (Ciardo was maintenance manager at the time) because he had recently shot himself in the foot. I had a hard time thinking this was the right person for the job. But I came to know and like and respect him,” Ciardo said.
A large black double gun case was rolled into the area while a giggling crowd of employees looked on.
Inside, was a 20-gauge shotgun, meant as a joke, and then Ciardo carried in a Thompson Center Arms 300 Winchester mag deer rifle with 3x9x44 Nikon scope. “I could kill some deer with that,” Wright understated.

Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District maintenance manager Kenneth Wright holds his new deer rifle with scope, a gift from the district and employees for 20 years of faithful service.

“Twenty years isn’t a long time,” Wright said. “I appreciate the board and employees that don’t show up for a paycheck but for a job. Being a public servant where we live means a lot to me. It’s where we live and want to work.”
The presentations were followed by a catered spaghetti dinner from Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant and cakes decorated especially for the occasion.
Last year, the district marked office manager Wanda Sanders 20th anniversary with the district. Ciardo has worked for the district for 24 years.
The main business of the West Cedar Creek Feb. 25 was to review its annual audit with J.D. Lambright with Smith Lambright & Associates.
However, Lambright was unable to appear that day, due to a family emergency.
The board also took care of a number of routine activities, such as approving its minutes, financial report and filling out declarations of conflict of interest.

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