By Greg Ritchie
HOUSTON COUNTY – The Houston County Commissioners Court met for a regular meeting Tuesday, April 11 to proclaim “San Jacinto Day” in the county to mark the famous battle for Texas’ independence and to continue making improvements to the new offices occupied by Justice of the Peace Precinct Two Ronnie Jordan.
The court began with public comments, one from The Messenger, inviting the court to the upcoming candidate forum for the Houston County Hospital District elections (see accompanying story in this edition.) After voting to pay the bills and receiving reports from various county offices, the commissioners voted to proclaim the week of April 20-May 7, “Soil and Water Stewardship Week.”
The proclamation read in part, “Whereas healthy soil and clean water is a benefit to everyone, effective conservation practices provide the soil, water, animals, plants and air that can ensure a rich standard of living and our security depends upon the robust management of natural resources, and stewardship calls for each person to help conserve these precious resources.”
The court then approved an application for $3,000 for the Piney Woods Fine Arts Association to use Hotel Occupancy Tax funds to support their upcoming Lightnin’ Hopkins Summer Series in the Park to be held in June in Davy Crockett Park. The commissioners approved this unanimously. Commissioner Stokes reminded the court to make sure beneficiaries of the tax funds followed up with the county to prove the money was put to proper use and generated hotel stays during events.
The court also approved the sale of fireworks in the county to celebrate San Jacinto Day and Memorial Day.
There was some debate about moving the court’s meetings back to a 9 a.m. start, after recently moving them to 10 a.m. Several county employees said the change would make it harder to get items and bills ready for the meetings, while Commissioner Willie Kitchen suggested the public discussion of such bills might be more appropriate during the public portion of the meeting. The commissioners agreed, voting to begin future meetings at the new time.
Justice of the Peace for Precinct Two Ronnie Jordan told the court his office needed a mobile booster installed in his office since there was no cell phone signal in his new facility located at 110 East Houston Avenue in Crockett. The judge was recently forced to move his office from the Houston County Courthouse due to concerns over the lack of fire escapes on the third floor. Judge Jordan told the court many people bring evidence with them on cell phones, but due to the lack of coverage, were unable to access this in court. The commissioners approved the installation of a mobile signal booster and agreed to share the commercial document shredding facilities with the probation office next door.
President of the Athens Chapter of the Sons of the Texas Revolution Clayton Starr was on hand to read a proclamation about the famed battle of San Jacinto, telling the story of the battle and asking Houston County residents to participate in celebrating the memory of the battle which gave Texas its independence.
The proclamation read in part, “Whereas the battle of San Jacinto…was the decisive battle of the Texas War of Independence; led by General Sam Houston, marching into battle with 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, our beloved state, Texas. The citizens of Houston County, Texas wish to join with the James George Chapter of The Sons of the Republic of Texas and all citizens of Texas in observance and remembrance of the 186th anniversary of this important event in Texas history: by Order of the County Judge and Commissioners, let it be known that Friday, April 21, 2023, is hereby proclaimed as San Jacinto Day in Houston County and urge all citizens of Houston County to recognize and participate in the celebration of this historical date in Texas history celebrating the attainment of independence from Mexico.”
Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]