Houston County Commissioners Close Out 2018

Dec. 22 Declared Bridget Lamb Day

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – In their final meeting of 2018, the Houston County Commissioners Court took time to honor those whose service to the county would come to a close with the start of the New Year.

As the meeting began on Friday, Dec. 21, County Judge Jim Lovell said he would like to honor “… the elected officials who are retiring. After Commissioners Court, we will have a reception in the bank next door.”

“Especially on our commissioners court,” the county judge continued, “Kennon Kellum (Precinct Four Commissioner) – this will be his last court. I thank him for the service to this county for the past 16 years.”

Precinct Two Commissioner Willie Kitchen also expressed his appreciation for Kellum’s service to Houston County.

“I served with Kennon longer than anyone else has. He has been a voice of wisdom and someone I call on to confide with about things on the court and ask what he was thinking. He was always a person I could count for advice,” Kitchen said.

The commissioner recalled when his mother passed away, Kellum was the first person to come up to him. Kitchen said it gave him “… a sense of comfort that nothing had given me. I’ll never forget that Kennon. Thank you so much for what you’ve done for me personally and for what you’ve done for the court.”

Once Kitchen concluded, the judge added the court would like to recognize two other elected officials who would be leaving the county’s service – County Treasurer Dina Herrera and County Clerk Bridget Lamb.

Lamb is dealing with some health issues and Lovell asked those in attendance to keep her in their prayers.

As the meeting continued, Lovell turned the floor over to County Auditor Melissa Jeter who said she had recently received an update from the IRS concerning mileage rates. Jeter said the mileage rate reimbursement had gone from 54.5 cents per mile to 58.

Another area addressed during the Friday morning meeting concerned the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Roger Dickey, County Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Coordinator, said representatives from TDEM and FEMA were recently in the county to conduct a preliminary assessment of the damage caused by the heavy rainfall of the last few months.

“They came to get a sampling to get our county numbers above the threshold to get us in the ballgame (for federal damage funding.) The presidential declaration should be forthcoming. If there is any blessing from all the rain, your damage numbers will go up. FEMA must be our new timber fund, I guess,” Dickey chuckled.

The final item of business considered by the commissioners pertained to the adoption of a proclamation to celebrate “Bridget Lamb Day” on Saturday, Dec. 22 in honor of the county’s outgoing County Clerk who has 34 years of service to Houston County. Saturday is also Lamb’s birthday.

The proclamation – in part – states, “Whereas Bridget has served on the board of the Crockett Housing Authority and the Pine Manor Apartment Board; whereas, during Bridget’s time, Houston County has seen the advancement of technology going from paper to computer and the ‘e-filing’ system; whereas Bridget Lamb has worked for Houston County since 1984 and served as County Clerk from Jan. 1, 1998 to Dec. 31, 2018 where she has been known to treat everyone with her kindness and has given her all to the citizens of the community and county.”

“Now therefore, be it resolved,” the proclamation continued, “that I Jim Lovell, County Judge of Houston County, Texas, by through the authority vested in me, do hereby recognize, honor and declare Dec. 22 as ‘Bridget Lamb Day’ in Houston County, Texas and further direct all citizens of Houston County participate in the joy and celebration of wishing Bridget Lamb a very happy and well deserved retirement.”

Once the county judge finished reading the proclamation, Lamb’s daughter TaNesiah “Cookie” Johnson had the opportunity to address the court.

Speaking on behalf of her mother, Johnson said she really appreciated all the county has done for her.

“She is doing awesome. I spoke with her this morning. She truly appreciates it. She loved her job and will continue to love it. She did it for a numerous amount of years and she thanks and loves each and every one of you guys. Thanks a lot!” Johnson said.

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 Treasurer’s report and Compensatory report were received as information by the commissioners.
  • The court approved the Deep East Texas Council of Governments County Gold sponsorship for the Deep East Texas Legislative Reception.
  • The purchasing, bidding and finance options concerning the purchase of a new truck for the Office of Emergency Management were approved by the court.
  • An interlocal agreement between the county and the Ratcliff Senior Center for services to be provided in fiscal year 2019 was ratified by the court.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

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