The Henderson County Commissioners Court tabled a request to call a special election to fill three seats on the Seven Points City Council.
County Judge David Holstein said a citizen’s petition asking for the election, with the required amount of signatures, had been received and verified by County Election Administrator Denise Hernandez to be valid.
Despite the signatures, County Attorney Clint Davis advised Commissions to steer clear of calling an election because the question of whether or not the seats are actually vacant has not been determined. The controversy is currently being debated in 173rd District Court.
Davis said Commissioners can only do what it is prescribed to do in the Texas Constitution or the Government Code. There is no provision for Commissioners to declare the seats vacant and without vacant seats Commissioners can’t call an election to fill them.
“I could find no precedent whatsoever that will allow the Commissioners Court to do this,” Davis said.
In other action, Fire Marshal Darrell Furrh advised Commissioners Court that recent rains improved conditions enough to let the burn ban expire. Commissioners took no action on extending the ban which expired Tuesday.
“Our prayers have been answered,” Furrh said of the long needed precipitation. “The change over the last few days has been dramatic.”
The Keetch—Byrum drought index which measures moisture in the soil places Henderson County well below the 575 mark, which is the threshold at which a burn ban is recommended.
“When burning, you still need to be very, very careful, Furrh said. “ It’s still dry, just not as dry.”
Furrh reminded those at the meeting that leaving a fire unattended is still a violation.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney asked citizens to avoid burning at the mouth of a culvert, because it can cause drainage issues.
“It blocks things up,” McKinney said.
Commissioners also voted to:
• approve Helen Thornton for another term on the East Texas Transportation Steering Committee;
• approve application for a $39,000 formula grant for indigent defense;
• amend the 2010 budget by $52,268 to cover increased health insurance costs for November and December;
• pay regular bills in the amount of $225,523.