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Re-elected commissioner votes for pay raise

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The Ellis County Press

WAXAHACHIE – County commissioners approved increases in hourly pay rates for certain road and bridge employees after removing the item from the consent agenda during the regular scheduled meeting Monday, March 8.

Commissioner Heath Sims, pct. 3, cast the only dissenting vote.

"I just wanted to be fair to my employees," said Pct. 4 Commissioner Ron Brown.

"I have been one of the lone underdogs for awhile and my workers had been asking about it [the pay raise] for awhile. They deserved it and I think Dennis [Robinson] is the only one besides me who doesn’t have as much money."

Brown won re-election last week during the March 2 primaries.

In other action, March was declared Meals on Wheels month in Ellis County.

"Meals on Wheels is an incredibly valuable organization that serves our community well," said County Judge Carol Bush, who was just elected to serve a full-term last week. 

"We are proud to be able to partner with them and support them in this effort."

Bush read a proclamation recognizing the organization s contributions to the community, including serving over 600,000 meals to homebound residents 150,000 annually through the efforts of more than 650 volunteers.

"We are going to end the month with a fund raiser, and I would like to invite all of you to Focus on the 40s," said Meals on Wheels Board President Charlie Morton.

"And thanks again for everything."

All members of the Ellis County commissioners court are scheduled to deliver meals during March for Meals Awareness Month.

Commissioners spent some time discussing the possibilities for consolidation of road materials in order to pursue additional quantity discounts, instructing Purchasing Agent Richard Denniston regarding specific preferences and reasons for those preferences.

"Just to bring this topic back up again, to inform the Court, the biggest money saver on road materials is going to be quantity discounts granted by the supplier," said Denniston. 

"There are a lot of things to work through, but the more you consolidate, the more concessions we will get."

"I don’t mind changing if we can get a good price," said Brown-R.

"I think money is going to be harder to find next year, and if we can save, thats good."

Questions from commissioners included whether or not the county would have to guarantee purchase of a certain quantity, whether or not the county would need to provide a place to stockpile materials, delivery costs and availability of materials in higher quantities from a single supplier.

"These suppliers love these types of agreements," said Denniston

"They start out the year looking at a clean slate, and saying how much are we going to need to produce this year. They have fixed costs such as insurance, payroll, light bills, fuel bills and such.  If they can lock up a portion of their revenue in a contract, they love it."

"I am encouraged by the fact that the precincts look at it this way," said Bush.

"We can always negotiate better if we have something to negotiate with. Work your magic, Richard!"

In other purchasing-related items, commissioners declared a list of items from the Department of Development and a list of items granted to the Sheriffs Office as seized items to be surplus and authorized their disposal at auction, pending removal of any items that can be utilized by a county department. 

The auction will be conducted online. 

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