People, Places & Events
East Cedar Creek Freshwater Supply District meets at 12:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month at the ECCFSD office on Hammer Road just off Welch Lane in Gun Barrel City.
Eustace City Council meets at 7 p.m. in the Eustace City Hall the first Thursday of each month. For more information, please call 425-4702. The public is invited to attend.
Eustace Independent School District meets at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at the Eustace High School Library. For more information, please call 425-7131. The public is invited to attend.
Gun Barrel City Council meets in Brawner Hall at 6 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 887-1087. The public is invited to attend.
Gun Barrel City Economic Development Corporation meets at 1831 W. Main, GBC, at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 887-1899.
Henderson County Commissioner’s Court meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 9 a.m. in the Henderson County Courthouse in Athens. The public is invited to attend.
Henderson County Emergency Services District #4 meets at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at 525 S. Tool Dr. in Tool.
Henderson County Historical Commission meets the first Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. in the HC Historical Museum.
Kaufman County Commissioner’s Court meets the first, second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9:45 a.m. in the Kaufman County Courthouse in Kaufman. The public is invited to attend.
Kemp City Council meets at Kemp City Hall at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 498-3191. The public is invited to attend.
Kemp Independent School District meets the third Tuesday of each month in the Board Room in the Administration Building. For more information, please call 498-1314. The public is invited to attend.
Log Cabin City Council meets the third Thursday of the month in city hall. For more information, please call 489-2195. The public is invited to attend.
Mabank City Council meets at 7 p.m. in Mabank City Hall the first Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 887-3241. The public is invited to attend.
Mabank Independent School District meets at 7:30 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month. For more information, please call 887-9310. The public is invited to attend.
Payne Springs City Council meets at city hall at 7:30 p.m. every third Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 451-9229. The public is invited to attend.
Payne Springs Water Supply Corp. meets the third Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. at the Payne Springs Community Center, located at 9690 Hwy. 198.
Seven Points City Council meets at 7 p.m. in Seven Points city hall the second Tuesday of each month. For more information, please call 432-3176. The public is invited to attend.
Tool City Council meets at 6 p.m. in the OranWhite Civic Center the third Thursday of each month. For more information, please call 432-3522. The public is invited to attend.
West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District is held at 5 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month. For more information, please call 432-3704. The public is invited.
Nichols seeks business
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
GUN BARREL CITY–State Sen. Robert Nichols told a small gathering of business representatives he was looking for ideas from the people who faced business decisions every day.
“The time to work on legislation is not after the session starts,” he said during an hour-long round-table discussion in Brawner Hall Oct. 8.
“We’re trying to sit down with business owners to go over legislation that we passed or killed,” Nichols said, adding the legislature carried 70 bills last spring during the 81st Regular Session.
“I haven’t been in business since I sold out 13 years ago,” Nichols said.
“Y’all are closer to it. If y’all are running into something we need to be aware of, we need to hear it,” he said.
A Jacksonville resident, Nichols represents District 3, which has Henderson County as its northern end.
Nichols said he is on six legislative committees now, including the Sunset Committee.
Under state law, agencies under sunset review must clearly justify a need to remain or be dissolved, and in the upcoming 82nd Regular Session in January, 2011, there will be 29 agencies under sunset review, he said.
During this year’s Regular Session, there was a great deal of controversy over Gov. Rick Perry’s stance against accepting $565 million in federal funding for unemployment insurance.
Some of the “strings” attached to the federal grant included a provision that would have required the legislature to change five different laws, Nichols said.
“If we would have changed any of them, it would have cost us more (in employer costs to fund unemployment insurance),” Nichols said. “The governor vetoed that, and I think he did the right thing.”
Nichols said many of the 11 proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution up for voter approval in the Nov. 3 general election relate to the government’s use of eminent domain to obtain property for “economic development,” particularly in the area of personal property – which includes business machines, such as computers.
“The (U.S.) Supreme Court has a very loose interpretation of eminent domain,” Nichols said. “Most of the things on the amendment list involve personal property issues.
“I’m a very conservative guy, but I voted for all 11,” he added.
In the 2003 Regular Session, the legislature passed a major tort reform package, and in the past session, there was a very strong push by the state’s trial lawyers to overturn that.
“We counted 87 bills to reverse it,” Nichols said, adding the language to reverse tort reform was clearly stated in some bills and subtly hidden in others.
“We had to work hard to stop those things,” he said. “One bill got through, but the governor vetoed it. They (trial lawyers) will be coming back with more attempts (in 2011).”
Turning to public education, the largest single expenditure in the state’s budget, Nichols said the major curriculum revisions passed in the 2006 session effectively killed most vocational education classes.
“We met with all 84 superintendents in the district, and the main subject for all 84 had to do with vocational education in the schools,” Nichols said.
The so-called “4x4” academic requirements set up in 2006 “pretty much eliminated that (vocational) option,” he said. “It said you must have all these other things. Well, that’s great, if you’re going to college.
“A lot of folks are saying now that we want vocational education,” he said. “(School) boards need to have the (funding) flexibility to provide vocational programs.”
Mabank economic development corporation executive director Scott Confer said two programs that have been successful in school, and are needed in the workplace, are emergency medical technicians and auto technicians.
Nursing is also a field facing a chronic shortage of trained personnel, Confer and others said.
Others attending the meeting pointed to the very successful Trinity Valley Community College emergency medical tech training classes at Mabank High School, which allow high school students to obtain high school and college credit simultaneously.
“I’m wide open for that,” Nichols said. “It’s not the degree you have, it’s the person. I think there are a lot of legislators who will support technical training.”
Senior Game Day slated for
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