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Commissioner goes to work in Precinct 1 after reelection defeat

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JOEY DAUBEN
The Ellis County Press

PALMER - Former Ellis County Commissioner Jerry Holland, who lost his reelection bid in November in the Precinct 2 race, has been hired by current Commissioner Hallie Joe Robinson in Precinct 1.

Robinson said Holland's experience was invaluable as his new crew chief.

'You know, I think any one of the commissioners would be very lucky to get a man who has Jerry Holland's experience,' Robinson said. 'He is serving a useful purpose to the county. He does everything I ask him to. And he earns his pay.'

Some believe the hiring would help Holland receive additional retirement benefits from the county.

Full-time employees, who are enrolled in the Texas County and District Retirement System (Ellis County's benefits provider) and whose position requires 900 work hours or more, can receive additional retirement benefits.

Two months prior to the Nov. 5 election, ex-County Judge Al Cornelius tried obtaining an additional six-percent increase in retirement benefits for county employees.

But, former County Treasurer Mark Price said it couldn't be done because the six-percent increase only applied to certain employees hired after a certain date.

Holland and Cornelius, Price said, wouldn't have qualified.

'Nothing was ever said or printed when Jackie Miller was hired in Charles [Waller's] precinct after the primary, and nothing was said when Bill Woody was appointed to work in Jerry's office,' Robinson said. 'It's like it's a Republican versus Democrat thing. I don't want to stir any trouble, because these men are good friends of mine. But you guys jump on me about this, but don't say anything about the others.'

Robinson said it appeared there was a bias towards the members of the Democratic party only.

Holland, a Democrat, was elected in the early 90s, and was defeated by Republican Larry Jones this November.

'The transition has been smooth,' said Jones, a political newcomer. 'He [Holland] helped me and everything worked out okay.'


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