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Fire board president resides outside district

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The Ellis County Press

FERRIS – Mark Hope serves as president of the Emergency Services District No. 5 board, but he resides outside of his Ferris-area district.

Congressmen are allowed to live outside of their districts and still continue to serve, but County Attorney Joe Grubbs’ office told Commissioner Dennis Robinson, whose road and bridge precinct covers ESD No. 5, state law allows for an exception if the board member owns land in the district.

Hope told The Ellis County Press he would continue to serve; the county said since Hope’s house is for sale in the district, he can still be eligible to serve. The other requirement, according to state law, states board members must be eligible to vote within the precinct.

Routinely, when members of city councils and school boards move outside of their district, they are forced to resign their position.

There are nine ESDs in the county, created by the state Legislature to lay and collect taxes for funding certain functions of rural and volunteer fire departments. Members of those boards are nominated and appointed by the four-member commissioners’ court.

Though not a voting member on the court all the time, the county judge is responsible for accepting and approving the expense reports and receipts from each of the nine ESDs in the county.

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