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Commissioners focuses on health and safety

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Diana Buckley
Ellis County Communications
WAXAHACHIE - Two health-related proclamations were approved by the Ellis County Commissioners' Court
during a regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 22.

The first declared the Month of November 2007 as Hospice and Home Health Care Month in Ellis County, while the second designated the week of Oct. 23-31, 2007 as National Red Ribbon Campaign Week in Ellis County.

'My son died in May and it is hard, but I love my job,' said Margie Norum of Family First
Hospice.

'We start off by praying for all of our patients, and all our staff - God's light shines
through us.'

Citing quality of life and dignity in death, Norum said the group was working hard to make the public aware of the value of hospice care.

Three representatives of the Texas Department of State Health Services - Sandra Cobb, Irene Key and Danny Anderson - were on hand to talk to the Court about the National Red Ribbon Campaign.

'The Red Ribbon Campaign began in 1988 and is currently the largest and oldest drug abuse
awareness campaign to encourage students to live healthy, drug free, and violence free lifestyles,' Cobb said.

'Red Ribbon week serves as a vehicle for communities and individuals to take a stand for hopes and dreams of our students to live drug free lives, with the ultimate goal being the creation of a drug free America.'

According to Cobb, former First Lady Nancy Reagan was the first to get involved with declaring the last week of October as Red Ribbon Week.

'It is a national event, but the Texas Department of State Health Services is very much involved in ensuring that schools and communities have all the red ribbons that they might want to have to carry the message,' Cobb added.

The Court also approved an agreement with Navarro College that will facilitate work zone safety training late in November, at no cost to the County or to the participants.

'I would also like to extend an invitation to member cities to receive this training at no cost,' said Commissioner Dennis Robinson, pct. 1.

'There will also probably be some future classes on roadwork safety and things of that nature.'

Robinson said letters would be going out to cities in the near future.

'And I want to thank Barbra (Leftwich) for her work in getting this together,' he added.

Navarro College will provide the classroom facilities for the class, which will cover 'principles and standards for the design, application, installation, and maintenance of traffic control devices required for construction and maintenance work.'

It is funded by a grant through the Texas Department of Transportation and taught by the University of Texas at Arlington Division for Enterprise Development.

In other business, Commissioners:
• Approved two work orders under existing interlocal agreements with the City of Italy and the City of Milford;
• Authorized the Emergency Management Coordinator to submit an application through the Office of Rural Community Affairs for disaster relief funds;
• Reappointed the following Law Library Advisory Board members for a two year term: Dan Altman, Danny Freisner, Michael Hartley, Cindy Hellstern, Clay Jenkins, Jerry McCarty, and Rhonda Rieken;
• Approved a resolution in support of Proposition 12 on the November 6, 2007 State Ballot that will authorize the Texas Transportation Commissioner to issue up to $5 billion in general obligation bonds to provide funding for highway improvement projects;
• Approved two replats and one final plat under the Department of Development;
• Approved an interlocal agreement between Ellis County and the Texas Cooperative Purchasing Network sponsored by the Region Four Education Service Center along
with a resolution agreeing to the terms of the Cooperative Purchasing Network;
• Awarded the purchase of 12 Crown Victorias to Grand Prairie Ford ($244,776) and one E350 Ford Van to Sam Pack's Ford ($20,478);
• Rejected the bid from Maverick Metals for the annual steel requirement for Ellis County due to non-compliance to bid instructions, and upon finding that the purchase of steel and steel products is necessary for the protection of public health and safety, authorized an exemption from standard bid practices, opting instead to seek bids on a project-by-project basis;
• Declared an IBM AS400 Server, a 1992 Ford F150 Custom, a 1993 Ford F150 XL, a 1987 dump truck, a 1985 International truck with trailer, a Xerox Work center XL21301 copier with toner cartridge, a Brother Intellifax 1270 fax machine with fax cartridge, and a GE digital messaging system as surplus to be disposed of at auction;
• Took no action on a request to accept and award a late bid for a vehicle for the district attorney's office;
• Declined to discuss a revision of the Ellis County Personnel Policies and Procedures relating to vacation leave and sick leave while on any type of leave;
• Took no action on a request to give back to Sidney Osteen up to 173 vacation hours and up to 84 sick hours from 2004 and 2005.

'Mr. Osteen, thanks again for coming to talk with us about this,' said County Judge Chad Adams.

'It is not necessarily a black and white matter. We would encourage that your legal counsel would go ahead and contact our legal counsel to continue on in this process.'

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