By Jason Jones
HOUSTON COUNTY – The Commissioners Court of Houston County held a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday morning, December 14.
After covering several routine matters, Houston County Judge Jim Lovell opened the floor for discussion regarding proposed moving of voting precinct lines in Precinct 1.
The proposal affecting the voting precincts within Precinct 1 are as follows:
- For precincts 5 & 14 to coincide with the Grapeland School District lines.
- For precincts 14 & 16 to coincide with Latexo School District lines along Farm to Market 2022 N.
- Precincts 8 & 16 to coincide with Grapeland School District Lines.
- Moving precinct 16 voting location to the New Energy Community Church located at 9733 SH 21 E Crockett, TX.
After a brief overview of the proposal by Houston County’s Elections Administrator Cynthia Lum, area resident Tami McCreight spoke regarding the redistricting.
“I just don’t agree, after attending the second meeting and talking to others that attended the first meeting, that it was well presented as to why we’re going to redefine some of the precincts,” McCreight said. “It was more on voter confusion as related to hospital districts and where to vote.”
“I think there needs to be more education and more information provided before we make a decision,” McCreight continued. “I just don’t feel that it was presented well enough for us to make a decision.”
Precinct 1 Commissioner Gary Lovell attended both public forums. “I talked to people who live in these areas and a majority of the people don’t want any change,” said Lovell. Lovell then made a motion to not make any changes at this time. The motion was seconded, and the proposal was unanimously rejected.
A second agenda item regarding redistricting affecting District 4 followed.
- Removal of voting precinct 12 – Belott Community and the split based off of the Kennard School District line from SH 21 E, down to FM 1050. Everything west would be consolidated into precinct 4 and everything east would be consolidated into precinct 20.
- Moving the voting precinct lines for precinct 11 to run along CR 4550 in precinct 4 so that voters south would be moved into precinct 11 and extend the line from CR 4505 to US 287 S to include CR 4520 and those CRs and voters that run along US 287 S toward Pennington, TX until you reach the current precinct 11 border.
- Renumbering precinct 22 – Porter Springs Community to precinct 12 (if a. is approved.)
“Everything I’ve heard has been ‘hey guys, please don’t do this,’” Precinct 4 Commissioner Jimmy Henderson said. “There may be a time when something has to happen, but I just don’t feel like it’s right now.” Henderson followed with a motion to leave voting lines as they currently are. The motion was seconded and again the proposal was unanimously rejected.
In other matters brought before the court:
- The commissioners approved the minutes from previous meetings.
- Budget amendments were approved.
- The payment of bills and expenses incurred by the county was approved.
- The court approved salaries for new and/or transfer employees.
- Approval of payment of compensatory and vacation time for County employees and necessary budget amendments.
- Approval of adoption of a previously private roadway in Precinct 4 as County Road 4630 as pursuant to section 251.052 of the Texas Transportation Code as per a petition from Precinct 4 citizens.
- Donations from Thomas A. McLendon and Mario and Judy Dell’Osso were accepted by the court.
- The Commissioners approved the extension of the position for the part-time employee in the Elections Administration office until year-end.
- Approval of increasing the cash/change fund by $200 in the cCounty Tax Office due to the addition of two stations.
- Rental and use agreements with the Crockett Civic Center were approved by the court for jury selection for Houston County Court at Law on January 25, 2022.
- Approval of the renewal and update of the Interlocal Housing Agreement for Inmates to be housed in the Houston County Jail:
- Trinity County
- Leon County
- Madison County
- Walker County
- Angelina County
- Approval of an agreement between Houston County Sheriff’s Office Training Facility and Angelina College Law Enforcement Academy for a police academy to be held in Houston County
- Approved bid award for road materials for the CTIF Grant projects for precincts 2 & 4.
- Approval to advertise to accept bids for contract hauling for the CTIF Grant projects for precincts 2 & 4.
Jason Jones may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com