Seven Points de-annexes Oak
Council receives petition with majority of registered
voters wanting out
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
SEVEN POINTS–Seven Points City Council members granted a petition to
de-annex the Oak Landing Subdivision.
The petition was submitted to Mayor Gerald Taylor about a week ago.
A special council meeting was held at 8 a.m. Dec. 19 to decide the
issue. About 20 people attended, most to testify against the action.
The law allows newly annexed subdivisions to petition for de-annexation
after one year and less than three years from date of annexation.
The city annexed Oak Landing into the city more than a year ago, and one
of its residents, Richard Smith, was narrowly voted onto the council in
“I checked the list of updated registered voters and there’s a majority
there (on the petition to de-annex),” Taylor said. In all, there are 79
registered voters and 42 of them have signed the petition, he said.
Only 40 were needed for a majority.
Three council members agreed with Taylor’s findings and approved the
de-annexation. Tommy Taylor abstained and Smith opposed Hank Laywell’s
“Don’t you think there’s a conflict of interest for you?” City secretary
Debbie Mosley asked Smith. “No. There’s no conflict,” he answered.
Jason Beechwood, Oak Landing POA president, tried to point out
irregularities in the petition , starting with the fact no one has taken
responsibility for submitting the petition to the city.
Larry Larson identified himself as being behind the petition. “We only
took it around to those we knew would want out of the city,” he
responded when some said they were not presented with a petition.
Others asked why so many wanted out of the city.
Resident Alvis Eilers responded with a touch of sarcasm, that perhaps it
was they didn’t like the police cars cruising the neighborhood or didn’t
like how code enforcement was being done.
Joe Halpain went on record to say he was happy being in the city.
“I think someone is worried about the possibility of being taxed,” he
Larson helped gather the signatures and submitted the petition to right
a wrong he feels occurred when the POA took a vote of its members about
annexation. At that time, a majority voted against it (annexation), he
“Fifty lot owners voted to go into the city, and 74 lot owners said no
(to annexation),” he said. “This thing slipped through, due to a couple
of individuals,” he said.
Repercussions from the de-annexation are sure to develop.
Now that Oak Landing has been de-annexed, can one of its residents
continue as a council member?
At the very least, some of the conflicts among the residents of Oak
Landing are sure to intensify.
Mabank school district moves ahead
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–There’s nothing like good news to lift the spirits of school
administrators and trustees.
Mabank trustees and administrators got a bird’s eye view of the progress
the Mabank Independent School District has made over the past several
Curriculum director Dena Mojica began the presentation at the Dec. 15
• The district has earned Recognized status for three consecutive years,
• The special education student enrollment has dropped from 19 percent
in 2003 to today’s 9.4 percent.
• The district had only one student enrolled in its career and
technology program in 2003. Today, enrollment includes 213 students.
On the financial side, amounts awarded through grants is enough to
increase facilities by 250,000 square feet.
Enrollment at the employee daycare has grown from 32 to 43 children in
And finally, the district’s fund balance has continued to increase over
the past five years, keeping up with growing expenses.
In other business, trustees:
• acknowledged Central Elementary students Derek Cathey, Ray Martin and
Sara Taylor as leaders in the Pledge of Allegiance.
• approved the consent agenda, which included November disbursements,
budget amendments and donations.
• amended the MISD local policy, DIA Employee welfare, Freedom from
Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation, second reading. FB Equal
Educational Opportunity and FFH Student Welfare Freedom.
• adopted a new Mabank ISD Policy FFC.
• adopted an amendment to Local Policy FDA.
• adopted TASB (Texas Association of School Boards) local policy Update
• heard all board members have completed or exceeded the continued
• set a special board meeting for Jan. 8, and the upcoming board
• heard the monthly financial report as presented by assistant
superintendent of business administration Scott Adams.
• authorized the superintendent to perform services for other
Trustees OK wireless routers
$150,000 for notebook computers discussed, Cox
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
EUSTACE–Eustace Independent School District trustees agreed to install
wireless router hubs throughout the high school campus and said good-bye
to a veteran member Dec. 18.
Trustee James Cox, who once served as the athletic booster club
president, as well as on the school board, recently submitted his
resignation, and was attending his final board meeting.
Superintendent Dr. Coy Holcombe presented Cox with a plaque, thanking
him for his years of service to the school district.
An accountant for Brinker International (which owns several restaurant
chains, including Chili’s, Red Lobster and On the Border), Cox said he
felt it was time to step down, now that his children had graduated.
“My wife and I are traveling more,” he added. “My focus and attention
have changed as my life has changed.”
Trustees placed their focus on long-term additions to technology in the
classroom, as they agreed to spend about $53,000 to install wireless
router hubs throughout the high school campus.
“This is included in the Murchison Foundation grant (announced
earlier),” Holcombe said. “This is the sort of bridge we need to bring
in one-to-one sets of laptops in the classroom.”
One wireless hub was installed as a test at the start of the school year
in August, “and we have had zero problems. Not a glitch, not a bleep,”
“If we’re wanting to bring more laptops into the classroom, this has to
be the backbone of the system,” he added.
Trustee Gary Walsh said the trustees had been talking for some time
about providing laptop computers for every high school student.
“You’re talking about $400 for about 400 students,” he said.
“We ought to authorize $150,000 and let him (Holcombe) finagle (on the
purchase price),” Walsh said
He also noted the costs were coming down, but at some point, the
district has to make a purchase, and Holcombe agreed.
While $400 will buy a lot more laptop now than it would when the
trustees first looked at the book-sized computers several months ago, no
matter what the district purchases, those computers likely will be
obsolete (or at least outmoded) within a couple of years, Holcombe said.
Holcombe said he would get a list of available laptop models together
for the trustees to review at their January meeting.
In other business, the trustees:
• recognized members of the boys and girls cross country teams, which
advanced to regional competition, the volleyball team, which advanced to
the regional quarterfinals, and the football team, which advanced to the
bidistrict playoffs for the first time since 1997.
• heard Holcombe report that scoreboards have been ordered for the new
competition gym, still under construction.
“We think you will be very pleased with how they are going to look,” he
told the trustees.
• heard Holcombe report the district had received a $100,000 grant from
the Ginger Murchison Foundation.
Most of the money will be going for new computerized displays, replacing
the venerable blackboard in classrooms.
“We’ve put in an order for 72 boards,” he said. “The teachers cannot
• reviewed and adopted the Texas Association of School Boards Policy
Update 84, following a second reading.
• accepted a $3,755 bid for a property in Enchanted Oaks. The property
is appraised at $4,000, Holcombe said.
• heard the district’s enrollment was 1,482 students as of Dec. 15, or
12 fewer students than were enrolled at the Christmas break last year.
While the number of students is down, attendance has been excellent,
96.56 percent district-wide, Holcombe reported.
• delayed the board’s January meeting one week, to Tuesday, Jan. 27,
because the annual audit report on the 2007-08 school year won’t be
ready until then.