MINERAL WELLS — PALO PINTO – With the Democratic and Republican primary elections right around the corner – March 2 – the county now has all its polling sites identified, including two new ones.
At Monday’s meeting, Palo Pinto County Commissioners approved an election day polling site for Precinct 9 – Sportsman’s World, Gaines Bend and The Cliffs. Voting will take place at the Sportsman’s World Volunteer Fire Department/Community Center, located at 3140 Hell’s Gate Loop.
In the past, voters residing in the south central neighborhoods of Mineral Wells have voted at Houston Elementary and the Mineral Wells ISD District Services Center. But they, too, have a new polling site, which was approved by commissioners at a previous meeting.
Beginning with the upcoming election, those in voting Precincts 11, 17, 25 and 30 will cast their ballots at the Knights of Pythias Hall building, located at 610 S.E. 14th Street (the corner of 6th Avenue and 14th Street).
Also on Monday, commissioners conducted a closed session hearing for attorney consultation associated with “contemplated litigation,” according to the agenda.
Afterwards, commissioners issued a statement on anticipated actions regarding a former employee.
“Due to the recent discovery of acts by a former employee – not one who has recently retired – which alleged action will be referred to the sheriff’s office and the district attorney for possible criminal action,” County Judge Mike Smiddy read in a prepared statement.
“No further comment will be made, consistent with the county’s fraud policy,” he added.
On Monday afternoon, Sheriff Ira Mercer said the matter had not yet come to him.
In other business, commissioners:
• Reappointed Barry Gill to another two-year term as fire marshal, effective Feb. 26. Gill said he is completing his fourth year in the role. He also serves as the county’s emergency management coordinator, a position appointed by the county judge, who serves as the county’s emergency management director.
• Discussed what Smiddy called a “first glance” architectural draft for the Palo Pinto Annex. Smiddy said architect Charlie Kearns suggested they go through the draft and make changes. Commissioners decided to table further decisions until commissioners could peruse the draft.
• Approved the 2009 financial report from Palo Pinto County Emergency Service District No. 1.
• Renewed the county inmate medical services contract with Dr. John Jones. Sheriff Ira Mercer said the county saved some money with this service. “It’s not near as much because he doesn’t prescribe as much psychotropic dope.” This is typically prescribed medication intended to affect or alter thought processes, mood, sleep, or behavior, including, but not limited to, anti-psychotic, antidepressant and anxiolytic medications.
• Approved donating a list of objects from the county’s Palo Pinto Café building to the Palo Pinto County Historical Commission for the Old Jail Museum complex. Judge Smiddy said they will inventory the remaining kitchen equipment and decorative objects and consider having an auction.
• Set the speed limit at 20 mph on Marsden and Pickwick roads in Precinct 2.
• Approved storing county voting machines in the café building. County Clerk Bobby Smith said the café could also be used for the early-voting site in future years.
Staff writer Libby Cluett can be reached at (940) 325-4465, ext. 3422, or firstname.lastname@example.org.