People, Places & Events

     

 
 

Safety and security top priorities
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–Residents of Henderson County can feel safe and secure when it comes to the county dealing with emergency situations and crime control, Judge David Holstein told Rotary Club members during the club’s weekly luncheon Friday at Vetoni’s Italian Restaurant.
As the club’s featured speaker, Holstein briefly touched on the reason he ran for office six years ago.
“I was the biggest complainer in the county,” he said. There’s only one thing for complainers to do, and that’s to run for office to try and make things better, he said.
Since then, his two priorities have been to improve law enforcement and tackle the ongoing challenge of road maintenance.
Upon taking office, Holstein said he learned that he, like any city mayor, is also the chief executive when it comes to handling emergencies within his jurisdiction.
“Henderson County now has a superior rating when it comes to emergency management,” he said.
“We’ve gone back and forth with the state, FEMA, all the emergency responding agencies and I am confident we’ve ironed out all the details needed to effectively respond to any emergency that may arise,” he said.
Holstein pointed to the county’s response to the evacuees fleeing Hurricane Katrina as a turning point in the county’s emergency response plan.
Holstein also underscored the county’s work at expanding the county jail to nearly double its capacity. When local inmate numbers are down, more beds are available to be rented out to other counties.
“If trends continue this way another eight years, the jail will have paid for itself,” he said.
Due to diligent planning on when to sell voter-approved bonds, the county has been able to build the jail without raising property taxes, something the taxpayers asked for when the jail construction was first approved, he pointed out.
“I’m a taxpayer too – all the commissioners are,” he said. Together, they have been able to lower taxes slightly, even while building the jail and meeting the county’s $36 million budget.
He added that only $23.6 million of that budget comes from taxpayers. The rest comes from a more efficient court system, which included adding a second court-at-law and upgrading payment and collection systems to make it easier and faster to get fines and fees collected, he said.
Looking toward the future, Holstein said the county is busting at the seams, space-wise, and its focus in the coming year will be providing facilities to serve the people of Henderson County over the next 15 to 20 years.

Record KC turnout boosts incumbents
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN–Kaufman County lists 58,372 registered voters, and a record number, 35,619, or 61 percent, turned out for Tuesday’s election.
Some races were easily won by favored incumbents in Kaufman County.
U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling had no trouble carrying Kaufman County and the rest of District 5.
The final vote tally for the county was 23,914 or 85.67 percent.
State Rep. Betty Brown had no trouble carrying her home county with 20,946 votes to 12,614 votes for Democrat candidate Victor Morales and 752 votes for Libertarian James C. Yow.
At least one of the county races was tight.
In the Precinct 3 commissioner’s race, retired fireman J.C. Jackson took the lead.
Early voting totals had him ahead by 404 votes, almost 10 percent more than Republican incumbent Kenneth Schoen.
By the time 32 of the 42 boxes were in, while still behind, Schoen had closed the gap to only 164 votes between them.
But when the last of the 42 voter boxes reported in, Schoen was still behind, with 2,858 votes to 3,092 votes for Jackson, and became the only incumbent to lose Tuesday.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Jerry Rowden kept his lead steadily throughout the night.
With 3,658 votes to 2,989 for Democratic challenger George Mayfield, Rowden maintained his seat.
In the constable races, incumbent Precinct 1 Constable Shelly Don Featherstone finished his race with 3,528 votes to 3,128 for Republican challenger Tress Sisson.
Incumbent Precinct 2 Constable Joe Don Law had no trouble keeping his office, with 10,121 votes to 4,305 votes for Democratic challenger Jason Todd-William West.
Incumbent Precinct 3 Constable Lowrie Sanders defeated Republican challenger Ronnie Breathwit 3,763 votes to 2,163 votes.
Republican Bryant Morris won the party primary in March, and with 100 percent of the vote will become the Precinct 4 constable, the position currently held by Kenneth Garvin.
Several other incumbents won in their primary in March and had no opponent in Tuesday’s election.
Sheriff David Byrnes said he is looking forward to another four years.
“I’m pleased the people have the confidence in me to elect me to a third term,” he said.
The past term has been a productive year, highlighted by the jail just receiving its new certification, Byrnes said.
The Texas Commission on Jail Standards recently passed the jail with flying colors, commending its cleanliness and the staff.
“The citizens of Kaufman County got their money’s worth on the jail, and we have made it a priority to maintain it,” Byrnes said.
The next term is going to bring even more changes, he pointed out.
“We know there will be changes (some connected to Homeland Security) with the federal mandates that are coming down,” Byrnes said, adding at this time they don’t know what they are, or when they will take affect.
“We are continually in a mode of trying to improve,” he said.
“We are looking at new software to help us do a better job of communicating. The software will help us do a better job of record keeping, making us more accountable to the public,” Byrnes added.
Tax collector/assessor Dick Murphy also had no opposition.
“I have enjoyed my term of office and I am looking forward to another four years,” Murphy said.

Malakoff goes wet, funds crime control, EDC
By Michael Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer

MALAKOFF–Despite a massive voter turnout, the most controversial issue on the ballot in Malakoff passed by the narrowest of margins.
Voters in Malakoff approved the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption 331 to 316.
Malakoff saw lines at the poll all day, and 705 voters, nearly 55 percent of the registered voters in the city, cast ballots.
The off-premise proposition was just one of four approved by voters Tuesday night. Malakoff also approved:
• The sale of mixed beverages in a restaurant, 383 to 248.
• Raising the sales tax rate three-eighths of a penny to fund a Crime Control and Prevention District, 392 to 226.
• Raising the sales tax rate one-eighth of a penny to fund an Economic Development Corporation, 383 to 204.
“I’m glad all four propositions passed, giving the Malakoff City Council the tools to help the citizens,” said Randy Norwood, who is treasurer for Malakoff Citizens for Economic Growth, the group that pushed for the alcohol sales election. A recent rollback election triumph had seriously cut funding from the council’s proposed fiscal year 2009 budget.
The alcohol propositions attracted strong opposition.
“Obviously, we are very disappointed it turned out this way,” said Nathan Lorick, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Malakoff. “But the results, especially in the off-premise election, shows how much this issue divides the community, and I would ask again if this is an important enough issue to divide the community over?”
There were no decisions on taking a recount Tuesday night.
“We are going to look at all our options, and we feel it is possible that the citizens of Malakoff might not have heard the last of this issue,” Lorick said.
Malakoff Mayor Pat Isaacson said she was excited to see the two sales tax proposals pass.
“I am thrilled,” she said. “It will make all the different in the world. It will just make Malakoff so much better.”
Officials have said approving both propositions could raise an additional $107,000 for the city, based on last year’s sales tax figures. That would be about $80,000 for the Crime Prevention District and about $27,000 for the EDC.
As part of the required process for setting up the police district, a proposed two-year budget had to be approved by the City Council.
The budget calls for the following in Year 1 (funds only available from July to the end of the fiscal year):
• $8,000 for one officer
• $7,500 for three radar units
• $1,200 for training
• $1,200 for youth education
• $2,162 in reserve
The budget calls for the following in Year 2 (first full year of funding):
• $60,817 for two officers
• $5,000 for two radar units
• $1,500 for training
• $1,500 for youth education
• $5,000 for six shotguns and locking racks
• $6,433 in reserve
The EDC can use its money to help with job creation, infrastructure improvements, downtown development and a variety of other eligible projects.
Isaacson was especially pleased voters approved the EDC funding proposition.
“It was extremely important,” she said. “We need that to bring businesses and jobs to our area.”

Come Adopt Us At
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake

My name is Nelson. I am a beautiful male Dachshund. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. So far, I seem pretty laid back and gentle. I am a wonderful boy looking for my new forever home.

My name is Oreo. I am a beautiful female black Lab. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I seem to get along with other dogs. I need help with leash training. I have been started on my shots and need to be fixed. I am a beautiful girl looking for my new home.

We are a whole litter of Shepherd mix babies. We were brought to the shelter by animal control, so we have no history. We have been started on our first set of shots. We are good kids looking for our new forever homes.

I am a beautiful Border Collie, who is four months old, or so. I was brought to the shelter by animal control, so I have no history. I have not been at the shelter long, so not much is known about me. I am a beautiful kid looking for a new home.

Pictured are just a few animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals. The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220 County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422 after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.

For further information visit our website at petfinder.com


 


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