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County judge, treasurer tangle over budget

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Langenheder: ‘He's just trying to intimidate me'
The Ellis County Press

WAXAHACHIE - Ellis County Treasurer Ron Langenheder said County Judge Chad Adams used a personal agenda to decrease his budget by $42,000.

The treasurer, who lives near Red Oak, said a situation involving Republican Party County Chairman John Tabor is what has fueled Adams' 'power play.'

Adams and Tabor 'have a lot in common,' he said. Adams proposed cutting out approximately $44,222 from Langenheder's budget to create a new human resources office, which in turn, would require the county to spend an extra $23,000, according to Langenheder.

'He's just doing this to intimidate me,' Langenheder said after Monday's commissioners' court meeting Sept. 8. 'He's trying to [bypass] the commissioners' court.'

The situation with Tabor, Langenheder said, started early in his campaign, and because of it, there has been a rift between him and Adams.

'He [Tabor] asked me some personal questions, and I said that's none of your [expletive] business,' Langenheder said. 'He said ‘you just lost 200 votes from my church' and I said ‘Oh well, I'm not going to answer those questions. I'm not in lock-step with every Republican in the country.''

Langenheder wouldn't elaborate on the nature of the questions, but did say tension between him, the judge, and the county chair has been ongoing.

Tabor, though, said he wasn't aware of all the details of the budget situation, or a feud.

'This is the first I've heard of a rift,' he said. 'I probably haven't talked to the judge but six times since he was elected.

'I run the county party, not the county government.'

Langenheder also pointed out the new human resources office would have a fiscal year budget of $65,640; if the duties of the office were not separated, Langenheder said the county could afford to reduce the tax rate even more than it has, and still come out on top.

'Not dividing the treasurer's office and [Human Resources] will save the county a little over $23,000 off the proposed 2004 budget,' Langenheder wrote to commissioners. 'I am confident the right people are in place to establish a more pro-active system and get us out of the ‘crisis mode' in which we have been operating.

Employees, Adams said, would still be under the treasurer's authority, but in his office.

'This is simply an accounting procedure,' Adams told Langenheder. 'For example, Indigent Health Care is supervised by the County Judge's office, but they have a stand-alone budget.'

After repeated e-mails and phone calls, Adams could not be reached to comment on Langenheder's personal agenda allegations.

The situation, Tabor said, could have been a result of Langenheder not fulfilling some state certification requirements for treasurers.

'To [deal with] public money and investments, you have to be certified with the state, and I [don't think] he's done that yet,' Tabor said.

Langenheder said he would use the media as a way to expose the situation, and to get things straightened out.

'The question still remains ‘why spend an extra $23,000 to separate administratively,'' he asked. 'He'll [Adams] be fielding a lot of questions, I can assure you.'

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Nelson Propane

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