The Ellis County Commissioners Court honored Precinct 3 Commissioner Heath Sims at its Thursday meeting. Sims is stepping down after serving the county for eight years.
“I wanted to say that Heath and I have come full circle. We probably started as polar opposites and maybe had some misgivings about the other. But I can say now that we have formed a good relationship,” Ellis County Judge Carol Bush said. “We have found out over the last few years that we have been working together that we often shared a lot of things in common. So I didn’t want the day to pass as Commissioners Sims’ last formal day in commissioner’s court without recognizing him for the service that he has provided to Precinct 3 and to the county in general.”
Bush said Sims is very passionate in his beliefs and has a very strong moral compass that has guided him in the decisions he has made while serving the community. His presence on the court will be missed, Bush said.
“When I ran nine years ago the whole reason for running is that I didn’t think that the county was planning for the future. I didn’t think that there was any accountability in a lot of areas. We saw the pink building that was built. We came in and got that changed,” Sims said. “We have improved some of our road construction matters. In Precinct 3 those guys were the best road employees before I got on. You didn’t have to give them any direction. They picked it up and kept going.”
Sims said the county has made tremendous strides moving with the future and moving with the population. The county has also been very efficient in how it operates and has been economically minded. He thanked his fellow commissioners and the county judge for the leadership they have provided to community.
“One thing I liked about the court – that I enjoyed – is that we could disagree but we always kept our integrity and stayed pretty open with each other. Being able to pick up the phone and shake hands and there was never any animosity that I ever felt. I want to thank you for that,” Sims said. “The people of Precinct 3 have been very gracious and very kind and very understanding.”
During Sims’ time on the court commissioners were able to get eight bridges built in rural areas of the county, improve road infrastructure, build a new courts building and complete an addition to the county jail.
Sims said his proudest accomplishment is that he has stuck true to what he believes in and will leave as the same person he came in when he took office. After leaving the county Sims has taken over the pastorate of a Methodist church south of Waxahachie called Bethel. He will also be working at Brazos Valley Equipment in Ennis as a salesman.
Taking over as Commissioner of Precinct 3 in January is Paul Perry. Sims said the only advice in can give Perry is to trust his employees, trust the established system, leave personal agendas at the door and do what is best for the people of Ellis County.
In other business the court:
• Approved to enter into negations with Sabre Industries for a radio tower.
• Approved hourly rates for bridge and headwall repair for the period of Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2013 naming Neyland Bridge Co. as the primary contractor and James R. Bolton Construction as the secondary contractor.
• Took no action to approve an amended three-year lease proposal with buyback option for a motor grader.
• Approved a resolution for the Ellis County investment policy.
• Approved performance (surety) bonds for elected/appointed Ellis County officials that include County Judge Carol Bush, Precinct 1 Commissioner Dennis Robinson, Precinct 2 Commissioner Bill Dodson, Precinct 3 Commissioner Paul Perry, County and District Attorney Patrick Wilson, Tax Assessor/Collect John Bridges, County Auditor Mike Navarro, Fire Marshal Joe Stewart, Sheriff Johnny Brown, Constable Precinct 1 Roy Callender Jr., Constable Precinct 2 Terry Nay, Constable Precinct 3 Jimmie Ray and Constable Precinct 4 Mike Jones.
• Approved a service agreement with Shred It for shredding services for records.
• Approved to appoint an Ellis County Clean-up committee to help organize the county’s storage facility located in the Tejas building located at 415 S. Flat St. in Waxahachie.
• Approved continuing leasing of warehouse space located at 415 S. Flat St. in the Tejas building at a rate of $3,090 per month.
• Approved inter-local agreements between the Ellis County Road and Bridge Precinct 1 and the city of Ferris, city of Palmer, Palmer Independent School District, and city of Pecan Hill.
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