Commissioners Court Names New Veterans Service Officer, Supports Local Events

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – The Houston County Commissioners Court met Tuesday, Mar. 14 to approve the hiring of a new veterans service officer and to offer HOT (Hotel Occupancy Tax Fund) support to upcoming local events. 

The court named new employees including to the positions of part-time railroad hand for precinct two, a full-time jailer and approved Dusten Persons to be the new Veterans Service Officer for the county. 

The position was left vacant with the retirement of Milton Ladner and the commissioners said they interviewed many worthy candidates. Precinct Two Commissioner Willie Kitchen said they were all good candidates with a deep appreciation of the needs of veterans. He told the court he was amazed during the interview process by some of the stories the applicants told them and realized how much Americans owe to our veterans. 

Precinct Three Commissioners Gene Stokes said veterans remind us, “Freedom isn’t free.”  Houston County Judge Jim Lovell introduced Persons saying he will make sure veterans in our area receive the support they deserve. Persons himself thanked the court for their trust in him and said he will begin work next Monday, Mar. 21. 

County Clerk Terri Meadows presented her certificate for continuing education which the court received and Meadows thanked the county for allowing employees to continue to train and learn which helps them in their jobs. 

Crockett Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Liza Clark addressed the court reminding them the chamber banquet will be held next Tuesday, Mar. 22 at the Crockett Civic Center. She invited the court and all present to please attend joking Judge Lovell would be baking a cake all could try. 

“Really?” Judge Lovell deadpanned. “I didn’t know that myself until now…”

The chamber was approved use of the county HOT funds for the Davy Crockett Festival to be held May 13-14 in Davy Crockett Memorial Park. 

Crockett Police Chief and Houston County Fair President Clayton Smith addressed the court asking for approval of HOT funds for the upcoming fair. He told the court the two concerts at the beginning and end of the week’s festivities will bring in not only the musicians themselves but fans from all over the area. Smith told the court the first concert, Mar. 25, will be held for the kids to thank them for all their hard work. The second show, Apr. 1, will be to thank the buyers for helping make the fair possible. The money raised goes to pay for the fair and for a scholarship fund benefitting the kids. See the Houston County Fair schedule in this week’s edition. The court approved the request unanimously. 

In other business the court:

  • Approved equipment purchases for precincts one and two for motor grader equipment
  • Approved the purchase of a platform trailer to haul heavy equipment to worksites for precinct three
  • Approved an event and display permit for Houston County Child Welfare and Kalin’s Center to be held Apr. 14 for Child Abuse Awareness Month. 
  • Accepted a donation from C&C Logging for $2,000 for road improvements on CR 3080 in precinct two. 

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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