New order in the court
By 02/13/2003 00:00:00
The Ellis County Press
ELLIS COUNTY - The addition of County Judge Chad Adams and Commissioner Larry Jones has given residents and county employees reason to believe the county is headed in a positive direction.
Since taking office Jan. 1, Adams has adjusted quickly to commissioner court meetings. Jones, according to some Ennis residents, has already taken up his promise to be a taxpayer's advocate.
'I do not believe that the commissioners' court can make good decisions without first becoming educated on each issue,' Adams said. 'Whether it be learning about the responsibilities of the members of the board for the Ellis County Women's Building or discovering where we will get the funds for a particular purchase - the education is part of the decision.'
Adams has mentioned numerous times the meetings are an 'educational process,' and has even called certain county officials to explain an issue more in-depth before commissioner court meetings. A county clerk assistant said she was relieved Adams takes the time to go through the court proceedings clearly and slowly.
'This is also an important opportunity for the public to learn about what is going on in county government,' Adams said. 'A well-educated public contributes to good decisions by a government that is responsive to the people.'
At the Feb. 10 commissioners court meeting, Jones sought to have county furniture moved from an Ennis warehouse to the SSC property because of high rent costs.
'It is costing us $2,162 a month to warehouse it,' Jones said. 'I have negotiated a year of free storage out at the SSC. This will save $25,944 in one year.'
The furniture, according to Jones, was intended for the Ellis County Justice Center, a government building Al Cornelius' administration built even after voters rejected it at the polls.
The justice center is completed, but mold and water damage has delayed the opening. The second floor of the facility cannot hold heavy furniture because of contractor, architectural designs, according to the county's lawsuit against the companies.
Adams replaced Cornelius, who decided not to seek a third term after eight years.
'I am probably more reserved in my expectations for the new court,' said Ennis resident Kenneth Haskovec. 'The election results represent a first step to restoring common-sense government. It will take more than sound management and practical common-sense solutions. Their success will require continued citizen vigilance.'
At a recent Taxpayers Alliance for Good Government meeting, an Ennis resident said she was glad to see road crews working again.
'I would drive by there on Oak Grove Road and see trucks going out at 7, 8 o'clock in the morning,' she said. 'It's been a long time since I've seen that.'
'They need and deserve our help as they confront and resist assimilation by the special interests that have manipulated county government,' Haskovec said.
'Elected officials are placed in positions of leadership, positions of service,' he said. 'We fail when we become too lazy or too self-serving to listen to the citizens.'