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Comm. Ct. Sets Spending Limits for Lame Duck Officials


April 21 Proclaimed as San Jacinto Day

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – During the Commissioner’s Court meeting held on Tuesday morning, April 10, the commissioners set spending limits for county or precinct officers who were not re-nominated for their office.

Houston County Auditor Melissa Mosley explained the court had one of two options. The commissioners could set a spending limit for all county officials or “… we could set a limit for whichever ones happen to be up at this time.”

County Judge Jim Lovell said after some research into previous instances like this, he found several limits had been set but stressed he didn’t want to interfere with the abilities of officials to effectively do their job.

“What I don’t like about having to do this at this time, is that it looks like you are targeting people who are retiring or whatever and you don’t trust them until they are out of office,” Lovell said. “By statute, you need to put something in place.”

After several minutes of discussion, the court set a limit of $25,000 for county commissioners, $3,000 for the county clerk and $1,000 for the county treasurer.

Prior to the spending limit discussion, Clayton Starr, President of the Athens Chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas, read the first part of the document proclaiming April 21 as San Jacinto Day.

“The Battle of San Jacinto commenced at 4:30 p.m. on the afternoon of April 21, 1836 in what is presently Harris County, Texas and was the decisive battle of the Texas War of Independence,” he said.

“Led by General Sam Houston, marching into battle to the tune of ‘Will You Come with Me to the Bower’ and shouts of ‘Remember the Alamo’ and ‘Remember Goliad,’ the Texians engaged and defeated Mexican dictator General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s forces in a battle that lasted only 18 minutes. This victory assured and resulted in an independent Republic which nine years later became the 28th state in the United States of America,” Starr said.

Starr added a brief background on Santa Ana and said many believed he was a runaway slave. When he was captured after the Battle of San Jacinto, the United States government requested to speak with him. He was brought to Kentucky, where he was nearly lynched but was spirited to Indiana and later to New York. Following the discussion, the court approved the proclamation.

In other matters brought before the court:

  • The commissioners approved the minutes from previous meetings.
  • The payment of bills and expenses incurred by the county were approved.
  • The Houston County Environmental and Community Service Reports were received as information by the commissioners.
  • The Order for Reappointment of County Auditor Melissa Mosley was accepted as information by the Court.
  • The court accepted donations for Precinct One and Four.
  • The court approved allowing retail fireworks permit holders to sell fireworks to celebrate San Jacinto Day and Memorial Day.

Will Johnson may be reached via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.