Published on -4/23/2013, 9:55 AM
I was one of the few non-county employees at the first Ellis County renovation project meeting at the VFW.
As I entered the room it was poorly lit. I continued by the bar whereupon several items were placed flat down on its top. I initially assumed they belonged to the VFW, as the bar itself was very poorly lit. Continuing on, I glanced over my shoulder at one of the items on the bar, and it appeared to be a block sketch, but I continued on to my seat.
After rearranging tables and chairs, the meeting commenced. Judge Braun rose and introduced himself to the audience. He gave a very articulate and compelling reasons for the need of a new jail.
After his presentation, various people rose and gave their presentations. Not one person, other than Judge Braun, introduced himself to the audience. Not having hardly any interactions with county officials, I don't know you. Those of you who wear a uniform, you appear differently in street clothes than your photos in the media.
I asked one question and received a totally unsatisfactory response. I wanted to ask more questions but was put off by the response of my first question.
Prior to the meeting, I read in the HDN about Ellis and Victoria delaying their commitment to sharing tax revenue until after the election. This is not a very positive sign for sharing or voting for the project in these communities.
In addition, Schoenchen voted to revenue sharing, with the mayor supporting that position.
The mayor happens to be a county employee and the principal proponent for a new fire station. I believe he should have recused himself from that vote as he has an apparent conflict of interest. I believe his no vote will have a very negative impact on the voting residents of Ellis County.
If Commissioner Haselhorst only expects 30 to 40 people in attendance (with 50 percent or more county employees) at these forums, then I believe the project is in jeopardy.