Colmesneil City Council was thankful to their good CISD students who helped with the city's beautification project late last month on Feb. 22, and more is planned. The city was thankful to Pineywoods Sanitation for the roll-off dumpster, and they will be providing another for car tire recycling, the city charging only $1 for each tire received.
Mayor Don Baird convened the city council at its regular time with a quorum on Tuesday evening, Mar. 8. Councilman Bubba Sheffield led the invocation.
After approving the minutes from the previous meeting, the council heard a brief overview by City Secretary Carrie Edwards on the Texas Municipal Retirement System's City Portal Use Agreement, copies of which were also supplied to each council member. In essence, the TMRS agreement stipulated how Edwards will be granted access for city business and gave legal responsibilities between the city and TMRS in boilerplate for the protection of the TMRS and the city. The financials and water and sewer reports were approved without comment.
The office report included the attendance of Mayor Baird, councilman Billy Andrus and wife Sharon, Carrie and Todd Edwards and new city employee Dakota Pentecost to the annual Tyler County Chamber of Commerce banquet. This year it was organized by Edwards, the current president of the chamber.
On Feb. 26, Baird, Andrus and Edwards attended a TML Webinar on the concealed carry laws and how posting vs. not posting a prohibition may affect the city. The city decided to take no action, confident their current practices were sufficient.
On March 17-19, more clean up and tire recycling will be available at the city, 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday.
In February, the Booster printed a superintendent's report from Woodville ISD. In the report, it states that Woodville ISD Board members approved a Bond election, to be held May 7. At that time, voters will be asked to decide on a fund to raise $30 million dollars for improvements to all Woodville ISD campuses. The fund would also include the construction of new baseball fields and softball fields.
The report did not mention that fact that one school board member, Richard Shaw, opposed the Bond election. Shaw's complete remarks on the subject can be found in 'Readers Speak' on page 5A in this issue.
Superintendent Glen Conner told the Booster Tuesday, "The bond will fund a new high school, make improvements to all campuses, add technological capabilities, improve security, address maintenance issues and plumbing issues, and also include construction of new ball fields. We will hold public meetings during the month of April, to present more information and answer any questions."
The Booster will print dates of the upcoming meetings as soon as they are scheduled.
Voters will have the last say on May 7, when they go to the poles to approve or deny the bond. The next meeting for Woodville ISD school board will be March 21.
In a four to one vote, commissioners approved putting attorney David B. Brooks on retainer for $100 per month effective immediately. According to commissioner Jack Walston, Brooks is council for several other counties and effectively fields important legal questions for commissioners and county judges. "This gives us another tool to use when we face important questions concerning county government that need answering immediately," said Walston. In addition to providing legal council to 40 other Texas counties, Brooks is an assistant Harris county attorney and has written several books on county law." Commissioner Mike Marshall opposed the appointment stating, "We have a DA (Lou Ann Cloy) that takes care of this for us – I do not feel it is necessary to hire someone else."
Commissioners voted to begin seeking bids for all types of petroleum products for the county and also all types of road materials for the county. Inquiries can be made at the Commissioner's office.
Former Bastrop county judge Ronnie McDonald, who now represents the Texas Rural Leadership Program from Texas A&M AgrLiife Extention, made a presentation to the court about the possibility of a partnership between Tyler County and the program. The grant program is funded through AgriLife and requires 15 to 20 community members who set a goal for a county improvement project, and work through the process to completion. The cost for other counties has been in the $20-$30 thousand dollar range, according to Judge Jacques Blanchette, but McDonald assured the court that cost should not be an issue and Texas AgriLife will help with any costs. "We will come in and do training, pick a project that will benefit the county, and work on it together," said McDonald. County Judge Blanchette said, "This is the first of many conversations we will have on this."
Casey Gay was in court, as a representative of the Tyler County Red Cross team, as commissioners proclaimed March as Red Cross month in Tyler County.
Paul Erwin resigned his post as ESD #6 representative for Tyler County. Commissioner Walston recommended the appointment of Raymond Holland to fill the vacant position and it was approved.
Commissioners approved the sale of a 2003 Ford F150 pickup truck to ESD #2 at fair market value. In other business, they approved an interlocal agreement with Colmesneil ISD and the City of Colmesneil, approved standard budget line item transfers, approved minutes from two previous meetings, approved a bond for the Tax Assessor Collector, and approved the lease of a new copier for the District Clerks office.
The next meeting will be Thursday, March 24 at 8: 30 a.m.
Colmesneil ISD's performance not only met all the standards but exceeded most in the Texas Academic Performance Report approved by the CISD board Thursday evening, Feb. 25.
President Curtis Pittman opened the public hearing on the TARP report, with no guests present and a quorum, and then convened the board. Board Member Kenneth Adaway led the invocation, and Pittman led the pledges of allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags. First on the agenda, Pittman gave a mandatory report on board members' compliance in training. Several, including Pittman himself, had exceeded requirements, and a few still have to November to meet the minimum hours.
The school calendar was presented by Superintendent Angela Matterson, and she explained several details on workdays, holidays, weather days, etc., and what they would do during the Tyler County Fair and the date for graduation. The board passed the wellness policy that governs the health and nutrition of students. An extensive campus and district improvement plan was also approved as the meeting moved briskly.
Lake Tejas will be getting its drainage valves replaced soon in a new contract by the best of the two bidders. The lake has three valves that are opened each year to drain the lake for repair and maintenance. All three failed, and the work was long overdue. They are scheduled to be finished by April.
Matterson noted that a new 30-foot sign will be up soon properly designating the Hadley Stewart Field, placed over the current FFA sign, in long-time remembrance of that esteemed superintendent.
Mayor Don Baird convened the Colmesneil city council Tuesday evening, February 23, to a nearly full quorum. After the invocation by a council member, Baird opened for public comment.
Citizen and regular visitor Chuck Polito thanked the council for its prayers and kind words for the loss of his grandson who died last month in a tragic accident. Sadly, Polito noted how the grandson who died had just attended the wedding of his brother three days prior. An exceptionally tragic event that left the council feeling his loss deeply.
A resolution to authorize a grant submission to the Texas governor for juvenile intervention was passed. The goal of this program will be to "involve a mutual interaction" between local, county and school officials and the parents. Counseling on many things and aids will be provided, like for sexting, pregnancy, substance abuse and truancy. The candidates for constable have all given their support and willingness to help with implementation of this grant.
Thankful to Entergy for a $1,000 grant, and with other money set aside, City Secretary Carrie Edwards reported they had several opportunities to help clean up. Among them, she had already worked out with Piney Woods Sanitation and Woodville's Modica Brothers, the sanitation company will transport at no cost and the tire store will dispose of old tires at cost. Working with students and others, and the aid of a dumpster, the city is planning on a three-day cleanup March 10-12. The city will post a notice in the paper and notify residents as soon as all the plans have been implemented. Paving of some streets was discussed, and the plan to buy a dump truck was scuttled, Pct. 3 Commissioner Mike Marshall offering to loan a heavy duty trailer.
A workshop for the council members was set for February 29 at 5 p.m. to work through a workshop that Edwards had attended. The goal was to aid the council in how to work up ordinances that will be successful in helping the city maintain itself and its citizens.
The council went into executive session to discuss some personnel issues.
Chester ISD Board honored their football team at their meeting Monday evening, Jan. 19, for their outstanding performance: students surrounded by board members, front row (L-R), Ladarius Kirkwood, Tyler Blevins, Jutty Vaughn, Levi Watts, Coach Chris Fudge, Vernon Lewis; back row (L-R) Board President Ray McKnight, Dakota Thomas, Bryan Martin, Clay Thomson, Steve Havis, Chris Carter, Tyler Olds, Jake David, Colten Martin, Billy Thompson, Jared Greer, Wade Read and Cord Neal.
by Michael G. Maness
Chester ISD Board honored their football and volleyball athletes at their meeting Monday evening, January 19.
Before the meeting was officially convened, Chester Superintendent Wayne Ivey welcomed the student football and girls volley ball teams and with the aid of their coaches handed out certificates to each one present. The students had excelled in many areas.
Coaches Chris Fudge and Ryan Hall brimmed with pride. Those from the football team present included Ladarius Kirkwood, Tyler Blevins, Jutty Vaughn, Levi Watts, Dakota Thomas, Clay Thomson, Chris Carter, Tyler Olds, Colten Martin, Billy Thompson, Jared Greer and Cord Neal. Those from the volleyball team present included Amory Parker, Maddie Read, Kalee Thomason, Meagan Clarke, Cayla Greer, Donna Martin, Jaci Davis and Haley Cawan.
Chester President Ray McKnight convened the board, and member Vernon Lewis led in the invocation and the pledges of allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags.
Citizen Rebecca Chambers was welcomed by Ivey and McKnight, and Ivey, familiar with her case, said the board would consider her case and instruct him.
As mother of two students, Chambers gave a heartfelt plea to the board on behalf of her special-needs child. Her tears were heavy with concern for how he was treated by one teacher. Knowledgeable of the law and district policy, quoting a couple statutes, she outlined several very serious allegations against the teacher citing the exact words used, several specific humiliating actions and several instances where the teacher withheld required performance. She wanted to keep her child in school and pleaded with the board to do something. The board takes up personnel issues in a closed session.
The board approved the previous meetings' minutes and the financial statements.
Ivey presented the audit by Preston Singleton, Clark and Company in writing and through a video presentation by the accountant. The law has changed on a couple of things, leaving all schools in a bit of quandary regarding how to relate their pension items. Not an easy thing to relate in an audit, the accountant joked to the pages as items that would surely put one to sleep. The essence of all was that the schools will have to wait until their specific portions were spelled out further by the state before they will know how much, more or less, will be needed to correct those line items. Chester was well within the current guidelines. After all, the board approved the audit.
Citizen Chuck Davidson was present, a regular guest, and the board heartily approved the donation from Shell that came via his wife Beverly Davidson's volunteer hours in the library, which once submitted to Shell yielded a $500 donation to the school. The board also received a donation to the general fund of $2,500 from the Athletic Booster Club.
Beards now allowed. Upon considering the facial hair dress code in previous meetings, Ivey came with a recommendation from a committee of parents and teachers to allow the students to grow facial hair. Though positive that most would remain honorable, there was concern that someone might take advantage and get shaggy. Though there may be a need to refine the code as they went along, yet reflecting the current trend, the board unanimously approved student facial hair.
Chester ISD Board honored their girls volley ball team at their meeting Monday evening, Jan. 19, for their outstanding performance: students surrounded by board members (L-R), Board President Ray McKnight, Coach Ryan Hall, Amory Parker, Bryan Martin, Maddie Read, Steve Havis, Kalee Thomason, Wade Read, Meagan Clarke, Cayla Greer, Donna Martin, Vernon Lewis, Jaci Davis and Haley Cawan.