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updated 1:08 PM UTC, Jun 18, 2019

Meetings

City of Chester grants employee raises

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By Michael G. Maness

CHESTER – The City of Chester voted to give a five percent raise to all its employees at its city council meeting on Monday evening, June 3.

After some discussion, Councilwoman Sandra Fails mentioned several cities surrounding Tyler County were struggling to compensate competitively. Mayor Floyd Petri opened discussion after City Secretary Annette Hickman outlined how long ago they had seen a raise. Councilwoman Jeannie Johnson proposed the five percent, and a majority approved.

During the month, Petri heard several concerns about dogs threatening citizens. Research turned up an old ordinance passed in 1990 under the term of MayorBryan Davis, Ordinance #115, which specifically spelled out that loose dogs “will be impounded” and violators “prosecuted,” with convictions resulting in a fine. Petri had the council’s encouragement to update, and Petri said he would get with their constable and justice of the peace on enforcement options.

The high-resolution security cameras were up and running, thanks largely to the initiative of Constable John Fuller who first offered to pay half the cost. In consultation with Fuller, Public Works Director Dale Clamon, and Tyler County Sheriff’s Deputy Donald Calhoun, the latter helping to install, the city was glad for this upgrade in security. “Even if the cameras are tampered with,” said Clamon, the system will know and “automatically back up and store” what was done prior to any damage.

Dalton Woodrome was hired by the city to be a public work assistant to Clamon on the city water and Chester Gas Company maintenances.
The past due accounts were in better shape than usual. The city park will be getting some lights fixed and some new playground upgrades.

The minutes from the previous meeting and the financials were approved with little ado, and the new Chester Gas Company budget was approved, roughly the same as the year before.

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Warren ISD names Boyette as lone finalist

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By Chris Edwards
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Boyette 060619WARREN - At its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 28, the Warren ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name Tammy Boyette as the lone finalist for the position of district superintendent.

Boyette will begin her role as superintendent following a 21-day waiting period, required by the Texas Education Agency. At the meeting, members of the board expressed excitement to have Boyette named as the lone finalist. Assistant Superintendent Mike Paddie said the district will host a welcoming reception for Boyette at a date in June.

Paddie also spoke on behalf of Warren ISD to thank outgoing superintendent Brad McEachern for his six years of service to the district. In February, McEachern was named lone finalist to fill the superintendent position at Hardin-Jefferson ISD.

Prior to being chosen to lead Warren ISD, Boyette served as the chief academic officer of Stafford Municipal Schools District in Stafford, where she served for three years. Stafford MSD recently received an A- rating from TEA under its letter grade system of accountability. Before that, she opened Ridge Point High School in Fort Bend ISD, where she worked as principal for six years. Under her leadership, Ridge Point became known as one of the top schools in Texas.

Boyette has also served as an administrator at Gentry Junior High School in Goose Creek CISD. She has worked in a variety of settings throughout her career as an educator, including rural, urban and suburban schools, ranging in size from class 3A to 6A with students from all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, according to Paddie.

She holds degrees from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, where she received a bachelor of science and from the University of Houston, where she earned her masters degree in education. She is on track to receive her doctorate this summer from UH.

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Colmesneil council hears CDBG grant update

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By Mollie LaSalle

COLMESNEIL – Colmesneil City Council held a brief meeting on Tuesday, May 14 and was given updates on the city’s Community Development Block Grant progress by Susan Stover, of David Waxman’ s firm, and Engineer Troy Whitehead.

Stover explained that by law the city is required to advertise for bids in the Tyler County Booster for two weeks. Bids will be collected for consideration by June 4, at which time council will have the opportunity to consider all bids prior to the June 11 council meeting, when the contract will be awarded. Plans are to start on the North Pitzer street project as soon as possible after that date, weather permitting.

The project will involve rehabilitating existing roadway, removing and replacing 15” RCP with 18” RCP, removing and replacing existing timber railing on the bridge south of Matthews Street, and regrading and cleaning 620 feet of roadside ditches.

A discussion was held on bringing well #3 back up to state standards. The city received several bids for the project; most were deemed too high for the work needing to be done. One company wanted over $5k just to send a camera down to look in the well.

Mayor Don Baird advised that the pump will have to pulled and plugged. After much discussion, council approved a reasonable bid for the repairs, which entail modifying the pipe, welding, and sealing it down. Maintenance will consist of sending a camera down every five years to make sure it is in good working order.

In other business, council approved the fiscal year 2018 budget, minutes from the previous meeting, and all office reports.

Baird and City Secretary Wendy Bendy wanted the council to know about Colmesneil resident Sherry Walker’s efforts in helping to keep trash picked up in the city. “She is out there six days a week on her bicycle picking up trash,” Baird said. “She also keeps the area around city hall free of trash. She is to be commended in her efforts”. Baird encouraged all who were present to follow Walker’s example and help keep the city clean.

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Amplified music in park discussed; updates given

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By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – Amplified music and updates were among the items on a short agenda for the Woodville City Council at its regular monthly meeting held Monday night.
Kendall Coleman made a request to have amplified music at the city park during a community-wide event on Sunday, May 26 for Memorial Day weekend. City ordinance does not permit amplified music of any kind in the city park, unless the council permits it.

Woodville Chief of Police Scott Yosko said during discussion of the item that state law caps amplified music in residential areas at 80 decibels and said that his department had received several noise complaint calls from past events.

The item was approved with the stipulation that the police department has discretion to control the volume if complaints are received.

During her monthly report to council, city administrator Mandy Risinger gave some updates on grant monies the city is due to receive. She said that the city is awaiting the General Land Office to send contracts for the $2 million grant it was awarded in February through the GLO.

The funds from this grant will go toward street improvement projects in the southwest portion of the city.

Risinger also gave information about the program that Woodville ISD is entering in with Stephen F. Austin State University and Lamar Institute of Technology. The program, which is operating under the name Deep East Texas College and Career Alliance, will allow area high school students in grades 9 through 12 the opportunity to receive dual credits for classes. The classes will take place at the old Angelina College teaching center in Jasper.

Risinger said she met with WISD Superintendent Glen Conner, who presented her with information about the program. She said it looks to be a great benefit for high school students in the area.

In Muncipal Judge Judith Haney’s monthly report, she said that the bugs have been worked out of the COPSync software, which Woodville police officers have in their patrol units.

The software, which connects law enforcement officers nationwide, allows for instant access to warrants and other information when a stop is made.

Error-free operation of the software will allow for collection of more fines, Haney said, as the amount from fines deposited from October to April was $160K, which should have been closer to $300K, she said.

Haney also said in her report that out of speeding violations recorded in April, the average speed over the limit was 20.8 miles per hour.

During her remarks of community interest items, Mayor Paula Jones read a proclamation to denote May as Motorcycle Awareness Month in Woodville.

The proclamation made notes of the danger faced by motorcyclists on the road, and urges the community to be aware of those dangers and to share the road with motorcycle riders.

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