Crockett hires acting part-time fire chief
Houston County Courier
By Lynda Jones
The Crockett City Council voted after a closed executive session Monday, Feb. 7 to hire CVFD Training Captain John Angerstein as part-time acting fire chief. Council members also stipulated Angerstein will report to them in 90 days about “how things are going”. Crockett has been without a fire chief since Darrell Deckard, the former full-time chief, resigned Jan. 1. Angerstein explained after the meeting that the part-time basis refers to time he will spend on administrative duties. Angerstein, the CVFD training captain, also said he will continue to be a Crockett volunteer firefighter. Additionally, Angerstein is employed as a firefighter in Grand Prairie. In other action, the Crockett city fathers hired a new full-time firefighter, John Cook. Cook, who grew up in the Dallas area, is the son of a Kemp firefighter. He graduated from Kemp High School in 2006 and moved to Nacogdoches about four and one-half years ago. Cook briefly attended Stephen F. Austin State University as a business management student, and he is a graduate of the Angelina College Fire Academy in Lufkin. In other hiring action, the City of Crockett approved the hiring of a new police officer who is also a Crockett volunteer firefighter. Michael Joseph McKay, Jr., the son of Crockett Police Sgt. Michael Joseph McKay, Sr., completed his training at the Angelina College Police Academy in November 2009 and became a CPD reserve officer. John Angerstein, CVFD Acting Fire Chief CPD Chief Jimmy Fisher reported that McKay applied for this full-time position in January and place first among the applicants. Both of McKay’s parents were present as he thanked the mayor and council members for the opportunity to work for the city. McKay graduated from Latexo High School in 2008. “We always like our young people to come back to our town,” Fisher said. Mayor Wayne Mask noted the city attorney has verified it is acceptable to hire two family members. Fisher also presented the council with his annual racial profiling report. He explained that before March 1 of each year, each municipal department in the state must report racial profile statistics to its governing entity, and then the report is sent to Sen. Rodney Ellis and the Texas Legislature in Austin for review to make sure no municipalities participate in racial profiling. “I’m proud to say our police department in Crockett, TX does not participate in such practices,” Fisher said. This is the first year Hispanics have had a their own category, Fisher said. “That’s no surprise,” Fisher commented, because Hispanics have petitioned for years to be categorized separately from White/Caucasians. “When we make traffic stops, we do not ask what nationality, race, that’s a violation of their civil rights,” Fisher explained. “We have to make an educated guess.” According to Fisher’s report, from January through December 2010, CPD stopped 1,258 white persons, 763 Black persons and 90 Hispanic persons. CPD officers made 1,865 trafPhoto by Lynda Jones Michael Joseph McKay, Jr. (left) became an official full-time Crockett Police Officer. He is shown with his proud dad, Crockett Police Sgt. Michael Joseph McKay, Sr. fic stops, according to the report, and 788 of those stops resulted in arrests. Thirty-six searches were conducted, and consent was given for each of those searches. Other city council action in cluded a report from City Administrator Ron Duncan that the city will receive its third full traffic light this spring. The signal will be installed by TxDOT at the intersection of SH 7 East and Loop 304, Duncan stated. The time of installation is estimated to be May. Duncan also reported on the ongoing upgrades to the city park. He said the city is upgrading its park application with Texas Parks and Wildlife. The changes in the application packet are to make the application stronger, he said. For this reason, the city is focusing on fixing the playground and the main park, and will address the needs at I. T. Williams Park in another application. Current plans are to replace “all the “decrepid hardware out there” (playground equipment at the city park ), Duncan said, “and add several new features the citizens will enjoy.” Plans also include having two senior stations on the Life Trail, including two stations exclusively for Americans with disabilities, adding a splash pad and eventually a skateboard area. Duncan said the main city park “will see a lot more activity in the summer months” when the improvements are made. He said the park improvements will include “everything from a big pirate ship with 25 toys kids can play on to spring toys to merry-go-rounds and a fitness trail. In other action, the council approved an order calling the May 14 general election and a joint election agreement between the City of Crockett and the Crockett ISD. The two entities will share polling places for Districts 2 and 5. District 2 will vote at the Crockett Fire Station and District 5 will vote at the Houston County Senior Citizens’ Center. Early voting will be held at City Hall May 2-6 and May 9 and 10. Council Positions 1 and 2 as well as the mayor’s position will be on the ballot. Further council business included passing a resolution endorsing the submission of an application to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs by Crockett Pine Ridge Manor Developers, LLC for tax credits for the rehabilitation of the Pine Ridge Manor Apartments, formerly known as Prince Hall Manor Apartments. The council also authorized the developer to apply to TDHCA for HOME funds for the revitalization project. The developer’s spokesperson stated the rehabilitation will begin with seven uninhabitable apartments, then current residents will move into the newly renovated units. The goal is for residents to not have to move until their new dwellings are complete, he said. Further action by the city council included passing a resolution approving cooperation with the Oncor Cities Steering Committee to review Oncor Electric Delivery Company’s requested rate change and to negotiate with the company. Oncor currently is seeking a $275 milion rate increase within its service area. There are more than 110 similarly situated city members and other city participants on the Oncor Cities Steering Committee, according to the resolution. Mayor Pro Tem Bill Holcomb and Council Member Jackie Jones were absent from the meeting. The proposed ordinance pertaining to directional signs tabled at the last council meeting was once again tabled due to the lack of a voting quorum on the issue. Council Member Ansel Bradshaw is abstaining from the issue.