Fannin County Commissioners Court Discusses Veterans Administration Proposal to Cut Veterans Services in Bonham VA
Fannin County, Texas – The five members of the Fannin County Commissioners Court were present for a regular meeting on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.
The meeting opened with an invocation from Carolyn Rogers.
Major James Manis (Retired) led the pledges.
A brief update on the ongoing restoration of the 1888 Fannin County Courthouse included:
Half of the first floor flooring has been installed and the team is waiting for the rest of the flooring to be shipped.
The doors are sanded.
The Fannin County Commissioners Court has named David Thompson and Randy Vasquez as the two newest board members of the Fannin County Child Welfare Board.
“The Child Welfare Board appreciates the willingness to serve these two gentlemen,” remarked Brenda Magness, Chair of the Fannin County Child Welfare Board.
“You picked two of the best men in the county,” Fannin County Judge Randy Moore said.
The Fannin County Commissioners Court approved the minutes of a regular meeting of March 15, 2022.
The Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to accept the County Elections Committee’s recommendations for constituency consolidation in the May 7, 2022 constitutional election being held in conjunction with the municipal and school board elections in accordance with the election codes of the Texas 51.002 and 42.008.
It will be a complicated election cycle and voters are advised to examine their voter ID card to find the polling station. Please distinguish between county constituency and constituency to avoid confusion.
Specific voting instructions from Fannin County Clerk Tammy Bigger will be released soon to help voters.
The Fannin County District Clerk’s Office reported $20,693.22 collected for February 2022.
The Fannin County Commissioners Court has voted to approve an agreement between Fannin County and TMC Bonham, Bonham Specialty Clinic for health services provided under the Fannin County Indigent Health Care Program.
Mark DeMay, Fannin County Indigent Health Care Director, estimates the deal will save the county $14,000 a year.
“Thank you, Mark,” Judge Moore said. “I think you’ll save us some money.”
The Fannin County Commissioners Court filed an agenda item regarding a specific move-in date at the Fannin County Courthouse.
“I want to move in at the end of this month,” Moore told the commissioners. “We need to start occupying the courthouse so these guys feel the urgency. If we get an occupancy certificate, I think we can move in.”
Expect this agenda item to be dealt with next week with a firm move-in date established.
The Fannin County Court of Commissioners voted to approve a fire alarm system monitoring agreement with Four Feathers Alarm, LLC for the Fannin County Courthouse; 3 years/$39.95 per month.
A fire alarm system is mandatory. A roll call included the county judge, facility manager and emergency management coordinator.
The Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to add up to $1,500 to the janitorial supplies budget line for three rented properties.
Fannin County purchasing officer Michelle Case told the court of commissioners that the county expects to save about $30,000 a year by outsourcing janitorial services.
The Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to use the Rene Bates auction house for sheriff’s vehicles and other equipment deemed surplus.
The Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to transfer funds from Contingency to R&M Auto, 100-553-4540, Constable Precinct 3, for required car graphics and to pay for a Taser battery, for Constable Pct. 3; total costs must not exceed $950.
The Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to move proceeds from Pct. 3 auction items from line 230-364-1630 (equipment sale) to 230-623-5710 (equipment purchase).
The Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to approve the ordinance authorizing the sale of fireworks in Fannin County during the period April 16, 2022 through midnight April 21, 2022 for San Jacinto Day.
Much of the discussion at the regular meeting of the Fannin County Commissioners Court centered on a Veterans Administration proposal to cut veterans services at Bonham VA. The proposal, parts of which Judge Moore said may have been written as early as 2017, sent shockwaves through the community.
“Your commissioners court is very concerned about this, as is the town of Bonham,” Moore said.
Although the proposal is preliminary and won’t be implemented for at least a year, Moore believes it has the potential to not only inconvenience veterans, but also deliver a major economic blow to Fannin County.
“Veterans come from Dallas, McKinney and Denton to come to Bonham VA because we have easy access,” Moore pointed out. “The proposal would move parts of our facility to Garland. There is no economic reason to move these services.”
As of March 4, 2022, attempts were made to make the specific ramifications of this proposal, if approved, publicly available, but to no avail.
“If you don’t present the facts, people will come to their own conclusion,” Moore remarked.
Judge Moore set up a meeting later this week between representatives from Fannin County, the City of Bonham and the VA.
A public meeting has been tentatively scheduled for April 12, 2022 at the Fannin County Mixed-Use Complex.
“I need a place big enough because we’re going to invite everyone,” Moore explained, “and we’re going to need an orderly presentation of the facts. If the recommendation is approved, how many jobs and services premises would be affected Do veterans have Exactly which departments will move and what will happen to abandoned buildings Does the fact that we have an expanding county have an effect Is a rebuttal being written to correct inaccuracies in the proposal?
Moore urged concerned citizens to send a handwritten letter or email to all elected officials. (a list will be included at the end of this article)
Expressing concern that the proposal is based on politics rather than facts, Moore added, “We need to engage our members of Congress and our representatives. This proposal has the potential to affect everyone. The county and the city are studying this intensely.
The Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to pay the bills.
Governor Greg Abbott – (800) 843-5789 – Information and referral hotline (for Texas callers)
(512) 463-1782 – Information, referral and opinion line
(for Austin, Texas and out-of-state callers)
(512) 463-2000 – Office of the Senior Standard Governor
(office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST)
Austin, TX 78711-2428
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick – Texas Lieutenant Governor Message Line: (512) 463-5342
Texas Lieutenant Governor’s Office phone line: (512) 463-0001
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
PO Box 12068, Austin, TX 78711
Senator John Cornyn – Main: 202-224-2934, 517 Hart Senate Office Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20510
Senator Ted Cruz – Central Texas – Austin (512) 916-5834, 300 E.8andSuite 961, Austin, TX 78701
North Texas – Dallas (214) 599-8749, Lee Park Tower II, 3626 N. Hall St, Suite 410, Dallas, Texas 75219
Senator Bryan Hughes – Texarkana (903) 223-7958, 5411 Plaza Drive, Suite D, Texarkana, Texas 75503 / Marshall (903) 923-0404, 201 West Houston Street, Suite 106, Marshall, Texas 75670 / Austin (512) 463-0101, PO Box 12068
Rep. Reggie Smith –Shermann (903) 891-7297, 300 N. Travis St., Suite 3
Sherman, TX 75090 / Austin (512) 463-0297, room E1.312
PO Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768
holiday pat fallon – Rockwall (972) 771-0100, 6531 Horizon Road, Suite A, Rock wall, TX 75032 / Sherman (903) 820-5170, 100 West Houston Street, Suite 14, Sherman, Texas 75090 / Washington DC (202) 225-6673, 1118 Longworth hob, Washington, D.C. 20515