Public Servants Mayor George Pierson strives for teamwork
Houston County Courier
By Ashlie LeBlanc
It’s been about six months since George R. Pierson became mayor of Grapeland, and he’s only just begun. In an interview with the Houston County Courier, Pierson was asked why he wanted to run for Mayor of Grapeland. There were two very influential people in my life that got me into going to government meetings, he said. “I want to make Grapeland a better city and there are things that this city needs.” He stated that the city does not have a grocery store, a lumber yard or a motel. Those are some of the goals he is working on to bring to the city while he is mayor. Pierson said that he has been in talks with several grocery stores in order to make that goal happen. When asked about the financial budget of Grapeland, which has a population of 1,451, Pierson said that the city is in the black and that is a good place to be right now. “Most cities right now are in the red and that is not good,” he said. A few other goals that the mayor is working towards include expanding the city office and building a city hall, fixing the streets and not raising taxes. In regards to the police department, Pierson dismissed some talk in the community that the city might be planning to dissolve the Grapeland Police Department and rely on the Houston County Sheriff’s Office for protection. The GPD will continue on, Pierson said, and the city will continue to use the assistance of HCSO deputies since they have prior knowledge of Houston County activities and they help protect Grapeland. “I don’t want to put that burden on the sheriff nor does the council,” said Pierson. He also stated that he has a good working relationship with Sheriff Darrel Bobbitt as well as the chief investigator. “I want a police force that the citizens of Grapeland can and will be proud of,” Pierson said. There will be some new policies implemented in order to achieve that goal. One of these is to increase street patrols by officers. Pierson stressed that he wants to put to rest a rumor that is circulating in Grapeland. “I did not have a fist fight with the police chief in the city office,” Pierson said. Police Chief DeWayne Newman resigned from his position Tuesday, Nov. 30. The city is looking internally and externally to fill the position. The city will be looking for the best candidate to protect and serve the community, Pierson said. One of Pierson’s assets is his own background in police work and with the criminal justice system. While in the United States Army, Pierson was stationed in West Germany as a Military Police Officer (MP) and a Military Police Investigator (MPI). He received special training for the MPI position. After an honorable discharge from the Army, Pierson worked for Vulcraft in Grapeland for seven and a half years. Following that, he went back to college at Sam Houston State University while working for the Justice Department. He had previously attended Prairie View A&M University after graduating from Grapeland High School. After attending Prairie View A&M, Pierson worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad in Ennis and Hearn. It was while he was in Hearn that he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Pierson has been married to his high school sweetheart since 1971. His wife has worked as a nurse for more than 30 years. They have four daughters, one son and grandchildren with whom he loves to spend lots of quality time. Pierson said he is real proud of the city and its accomplishments. He’s proud of the unique chamber of commerce and of the city council going at it as a team effort. Grapeland is growing; the chamber did well in promoting the Peanut Festival this year. He also stated that the city is growing, but it will be a slow process in order to benefit the citizens. “I want things to be a team effort. I want to be able to say our council is just like the fans of the Crockett Bulldogs,” Pierson said. Pierson and his wife are going to sponsor a Christmas party for the city employees this year to show appreciation for their hard work.