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Was Adams second legal?

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The Ellis County Press

WAXAHACHIE – A slaughterhouse in west Ellis County was defeated by county commissioners Monday, Jan. 12, but questions about a parliamentary vote to spend thousands on advertising in a local daily newspaper were raised after the court’s regular meeting.

The decision by commissioners and County Judge Chad Adams, R-Midlothian, to authorize spending no more than $3,000 on an eight-page advertising feature in the Waxahachie Daily Light was called into question after Adams, elected in 2002, seconded the motion by Commissioner Heath Sims, R-Waxahachie, to approve the expense.

Robert’s Rules of Order, which govern meetings like the ones county commissioners conduct, stipulates the chairman of a governing body – in this case the five-member court – has the same right to make motions and vote on matters.

"Yes, the chairman, if a member, has the same right to make a motion as any other member," states Parliamentary Procedure Online. "In small boards of not more than about a dozen members present, the chairman usually participates the same as other members. However, in larger assemblies, the chairman has a duty to remain impartial, so would usually not make a motion directly. The chairman could say, for example, "The chairman will entertain a motion to..." and then wait for a member to make it, or "Is there a motion to suspend the rules that interfere with hearing the speaker at this time?"

The questions came up after Adams called for a second to Sims’ motion and received none.

After a silent pause, Adams seconded and called for the full vote, which passed unanimously.

A discussion topic presented by The Ellis County Press on allowing other newspapers to compete for tax dollars for advertising sections preceded the vote.

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