Opening remarks by Ricky Richards, Club President, who introduced our club working group leads; Neal McDonald who is recruiting new leadership, Tim Sullivan who is updating the membership database and Ronnie Liardon heading up our 2019 high school scholarship campaign entitled “Why I Stand for the Flag”.
Ricky then summarized a brief State of the county summary from the Sheriff, Anthony Mallot who did not attend.
Janet Jackson, Bosque County Republican Party Chairperson, gave a rallying call for everyone to “spread the good word” and recruit more Republicans. She also reminded all that the 2020 ballot will not have the option of straight ticket voting.
Ricky introduced our visiting elected officials: Don Pool, County Judge; Marvin Wickman, Commissioner Precinct 1; Terry Townley, Commissioner Precinct 2; Ronnie Liardon, Commissioner Precinct 4; Juanita Miller, District Clerk; Adam Sibley, District Attorney; Shaun Carpenter, District Judge; and LeAnne Ivey, representing our Congressman, Roger Williams.
Judge Pool reported that the State of the County is good. The county has a balanced budget and is no longer living day to day on funding. He showed a graph depicting how our property taxes are spent. The challenge is not increasing taxes while balancing school and county funding. He noted that when the State implements an “unfunded mandate” the county suffers as we try not to take from our children’s education.
Commissioner Ronnie Liardon discussed how the Commissioners Court has worked hard to eliminate leaks in the county budget in order to reduce waste and balance the budget. He described challenges managing the limited available funds for maintaining the 6,663 miles of county roads – much of which goes to employee salaries and insurance.
Luke Giesecke explained how he and Judge Carpenter have streamlined the system to help shorten wait times in the county jail thereby reducing costs for housing prisoners. Another change reduces the need for a visiting judge thus saving the county money in court costs. He provided statistics for the significant number of cases handled and cleared by the CCL in the 1st quarter of the year.
Adam Willman, CEO of the Goodall-Witcher hospital district, passionately described his plight with the major insurance companies to have them pay the accepted rates to the hospital thereby reducing the taxes on the public. His “one man fight” was quite impressive.
Chris Anderson, County Emergency Coordinator, described the system for individuals to sign up for the countywide emergency notification system. He also invited attendees to sign up for upcoming CERT training. As Chris explained, if you know what is happening around you, you are our best warning system. Summarizing, he said “Knowledge is Power”.
In his closing remarks Ricky Richards encouraged the members to drop off donations for the Scholarships.
The meeting was adjourned around 8:30 PM.