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Cox to be considered temporary Harrison County elections head

By Robin Y. Richardson
Dec. 19, 2014 at 10 p.m.

<p>Patsy Cox</p>

The Harrison County Commissioners Court will consider giving County Clerk Patsy Cox temporary management of personnel at the elections office, in light of the termination of former elections administration Becky Dotson.

The court will consider the action during its regular meeting on Tuesday, beginning at 9 a.m. at the historic county courthouse.

Dotson was terminated on Dec. 12, at the recommendation of the county's elections commission. She was in her 11th month on the job. The recommendation to terminate her came as a result of various issues raised during her administration of the Nov. 4 general election in which Harrison County was the last to enter returns to the state, nearly 24 hours after the polls closed.

Cox, who is currently county clerk, is one of the five members of the county's election commission. She was also appointed as the first elections administrator for Harrison County, and served in that role for 15 years.

In other business, those wanting to attend the public forum on the state of the county airport terminal will be allowed four minutes of comment per person during the forum, also scheduled for Tuesday's meeting.

According to the agenda, the court will set aside an initial time limit of 20 minutes, as set by rules, for the forum.

County Judge Hugh Taylor said before that the forum is a chance for the court to seek public comment on the fate of the building, which is, at this time, not functional.

"We want to set a public comment session here in a regular commissioners court meeting where the public can give their input as to any proposals, moving forward, at that site," Taylor said earlier this month. "The idea is to give everybody an opportunity to give their opinion."

Taylor has suggested possibly demolishing the existing building and erecting a new building that could be used as a multi-purpose facility, using a grant from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

"It's just an opportunity to upgrade, have a multipurpose, multi functional modern building with many, many uses, but also have a modern aviation center and draw down on a half a million dollars in assistance from TxDOT and get them to help with procurement and monitoring of the project," he said of the idea.

In other business:

Consider approval of the final plat for the subdivision "The Highlands at Karabeth" with all lots facing County Road 3802, Karabeth Lane in Pct. 3;

Consider to approve certification of the 2014 Harrison County tax roll;

Consider action on the appointment of Yancy Murray to fill the unexpired term of Jay Ebarb, and the reappointment of Wayne Allen and Kenneth Write as fire commissioners for Emergency Services District No. 8 for terms of two years;

Consider action on the re-appointment of Jerry Wall and Harry Thornton as fire commissioners for ESD No. 6 for a term of two years;

Consider the appointment of Billie Jean Collins, and the reappointment of Tim Culpepper and Jimmy Ponder as fire commissioners for ESD No. 7 for a term of two years;

Consider action to approve the use of JP technology funds for replacing the main printer in Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Judge Michael Smith's office;

Consider approval of the Odyssey contract between the county and Tyler Technologies;

Consider approval of an interlocal contract between East Texas Council of Governments and the county for GIS Services (mapping) in the amount of $5,000 to be paid from the sundry line item of the fiscal budget.

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