William Hatfield1

William Hatfield

East Texas Council of Governments recently announced its newly appointed officers, executive committee members and an adopted $57.4 million fiscal year 2020 budget resulting from its recent Semi-Annual Board of Directors Meeting held in Pittsburg on Sept. 19.

Harrison County’s own Pct. 1 County Commissioner William Hatfield was appointed as secretary-treasurer. Other officer appointments were: Upshur County Commissioner Paula Gentry, chairman; City of Kilgore Councilwoman Merlyn Holmes, first vice chairman; Panola County Judge LeeAnn Jones, second vice chairman; and City of Lindale Councilman Bob Tardiff, third vice chairman.

The board approved two-year terms of service on the ETCOG Executive Committee for the following elected officials: Anderson County Judge Robert Johnston, Camp County Judge AJ Mason, Harrison County Commissioner William Hatfield, Henderson County Commissioner Ken Geeslin, Rusk County Commissioner Bill Hale, Van Zandt County Commissioner Tim West and City of Mineola Mayor Kevin White/

A fiscal year 2020 budget and planning guide for ETCOG operations was also approved by the board. The $57,478,077 budget reflects an overall increase of $772,848 compared to the 2019 budget. Most of this increase is reflected in the Transportation and Public Safety-911 programs due to additional funding received for capital equipment. A copy of the approved budget and other ETCOG financial and reporting documents can be downloaded at www.etcog.org/financials.

According to its website, etcog.org, ETCOG is a voluntary association of counties, cities, school districts and special districts within the fourteen-county East Texas region that assists local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development. ETCOG provides programs and services for East Texas seniors, employers and job seekers. The organization also builds the 9-1-1 emergency call delivery system, provide peace officer training and homeland security planning services; and deliver rural transportation services, business finance programs, grant writing services and environmental grant funding for the region.

ETCOG serves Harrison, Gregg, Panola, Smith, Anderson, Camp, Cherokee, Henderson, Marion, Rains, Rusk, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood counties.