Freestone County Commissioners


Jail Administrator placed on leave

Freestone County’s jail administrator has been placed on leave after an HR assessment found she is not licensed as a jailer, Sheriff Jeremy Shipley announced at last week’s commissioner’s meeting. Sheena Wimberly has been the jail administrator since Dec. 3, 2017. She is the third administrator since Shipley took office.

“It was an oversight on my part because TCOLE said I could designate anybody as a jail administrator,” Shipley explained.

“She didn’t work in the jail so I didn’t realize she had to have a jailer license.”


Commissioners canvass votes, find discrepancy

After finding a small discrepancy between the number of total ballots cast and the number of provisional, or paper, ballots while canvassing, County Judge Linda Grant asked County Clerk Linda Jarvis to have a representative call the court.

Jarvis said the ballot board manually tallied the provisional ballots.

“They [the voter] may have made a mark or left it blank and because they [the ballot board] doesn’t know what was intended they [the ballot board] put marks for all the overvotes,” Jarvis explained. “That is their explanation of how they make the choice, what the voter intended.”


County talks grants, agreements, High Speed Rail

Commissioner's signed a resolution against the High Speed Rail, something many other counties are reportedly also doing, at the court's Feb. 28 meeting. The resolution shows Freestone County's “intent to decline to discontinue, abandon, close, vacate, or alter a county road in connection with the proposed High Speed Rail Project.”

“All along they have told us they would not disturb any of our county roads,” said County Judge Linda Grant. “That's questionable to me. They are trying to say that they have eminent domain and what that would mean to us has yet to be defined.”

According to the project's Draft Environmental Impact Statement, the proposed route shows there will be at least eight country roads – state, farm to market, and private roads – in the rail's traveling area.


2% raise OK'd for county employees

A 2 percent raise for county employees was okayed at last week's commissioner's meeting. Amending his original motion, Pct. 1 Commissioner Andy Bonner said he would like to exclude all elected officials from receiving a raise.
Although the motion passed, all commissioners except Michael Daniels, precinct 3, agreed.
County Clerk Linda Jarvis wasn't happy with excluding elected officials either. Each elected official receives a travel allowance. Jarvis, who logs her mileage, does not and said, “I hate to see elected officials not get one [a raise] because of the travel allowances which goes into their salary. That needs to be considered.”
The Fairfield Recorder reported on issues with travel allowances in the July 13 edition. Travel allowances are being “paid” to several elected officials – with exception to Jarvis – at an exorbitant amount annually.

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