Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - June 2008
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County left holding the bag on unpaid election bills
Polk County Enterprise - June 2008

LIVINGSTON — County commissioners directed County Clerk Barbara Middleton to pursue aggressive collection efforts for unpaid invoices for supplies, personnel and equipment used in the Polk County Democratic and Polk County Republican Party primaries in early March. Of the roughly $17,000 in expenses incurred by the county fulfi lling its part of the interlocal agreements with the two parties, the county only has received partial payment from the Republicans. Middleton said she has contacted the Secretary of State and offi cials with the Texas Democratic Party but no action has been taken as a result of those calls. In the last presidential election year, the county waited two years and seven months before the Polk County Democratic Party chaired by Sharon Teal settled the bill, in response to collection efforts by the Polk County District Attorney’s Offi ce, Middleton said. Middleton’s offi ce is in dire need of the funds because the November General Election costs are estimated at $26,985.

“My offi ce has to begin sending out envelopes and ballots Sept. 1 to Escapees and other registered voters who use mail ballots,” Middleton said. Commissioners court approved a budget amendment of up to $26,000 to allow the county clerk’s offi ce to order supplies and meet other election expenses. Middleton’s offi ce is also in the process of recouping expenses from the May elections held in Polk County cities and school districts who used county equipment and supplies. Big Thicket Election The county also recently concluded a property owners’ referendum in Big Thicket Lake Estates Subdivision.

Property owners overwhelmingly approved inclusion of subdivision roads into the county road system. BTLE property owner Judy McDow thanked the court for allowing the subdivision to hold an election and for all the hard work by the County Clerk’s offi ce and the Tax Assessor-Collector’s offi ce. “Seven hundred ninety-six of us voted for the road improvements and each and every one of us thank you.” Fellow Big Thicket resident Shep Green told commissioners that seeing a county maintainer working on subdivision roads marked the end of a 30-year-long project for him. “I told everyone I was going to see a county maintainer on that road if I had to be in a wheelchair and propped me up in the window,” Green said.

“I saw a maintainer and I’m not in a wheelchair.” Software Development Commissioners voted to participate in development of a scalable county government software package by the State of Texas. Judge Thompson reported that the county’s investment of $14,800 would be repaid if the software development is successful.

The project goal is to provide uniform software to handle criminal justice data and reports as well as perform payroll and accounting tasks. Each county would be able to tailor the package based on its size. “We want to develop a system for counties out in West Texas where there are more cows than people to the major metropolitan counties like Harris County,” Thompson said. Other Items During Tuesday’s meeting commissioners also approved a $1,000 budget amendment for the District Clerk’s offi ce to fund passport application processing.

The court approved new letters of credit relating to construction of roads in the Cedar Point Subdivision. Commissioner also voted to renew the contract with the Texas Association of Counties for employees’ health insurance.


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Copyright 2008
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