Midlothian voters will decide whether or not to legalize two forms of alcohol sales this fall.
During its meeting Tuesday, the county commissioners accepted two petitions as certified by elections administrator Jane Anderson and set the election for Tuesday, Nov. 6.
The ballot propositions will be to “legalize the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption only” and to “legalize the sale of mixed beverages in restaurants by food and beverage certificate holders only.”
Anderson also addressed the commissioners about software problems at the elections office that occurred after switching over to the state-designed TEAM system.
“I believe they developed it too fast,” Anderson said, explaining that in her opinion, that haste has led to the problems the office is having.
Ellis County is not alone in dealing with these issues, she said, noting several counties - including Harris, Travis and Dallas - have pulled out of the system and use a private vendor instead.
The TEAM system caused problems from the time it was installed and promptly lost 600 of the county’s voters, elections worker Nancy Byers said, adding there are significant delays since the software uses a centralized server used by most of Texas’ 254 counties use.
“On good days, we can do 100 to 120 applications. On a bad day, we may be able to do 20,” Byers said. “I’m just afraid that come this primary, we’re not going to be able handle all the stress from the system not working.”
Assistant elections administrator Becky Morgan told commissioners that if the problems regarding getting correct information on the voter registration rolls persisted, the county would face a costly issue when the new voter cards are mailed out.
“If we send out 80,000 voter cards that are wrong, it’s going to be pretty expensive,” Morgan said.
The elections office had invited Jerry Whitehead of Southwest Data Solutions to give the commissioners a preview of his company’s product, which he said would alleviate the issues.
Whitehead’s presentation showed the problem areas of the TEAM software and how his company’s software addresses them.
The system would feature on-site servers that would link up to the state’s central server once a day, has functions to streamline voter registration and should be able to find any “lost” voters, he said, saying that his product “absolutely” has a performance guarantee.
In other business, commissioners:
Approved payment of $3,353 to the North Central Texas Council of Governments to obtain a license to use the entity’s Integrated Stormwater Management Design Manual for Site Development. County Engineer Joe White told commissioners this will be necessary soon once the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality moves on the stormwater management issue. If the county wanted to create its own system, it would probably cost $100,000, he said. A mechanical service agreement contract with Metroplex Office Systems for the elections office at an annual cost of $644.13. Accepted an announcement from the Institute for Supply Management that county purchasing agent Richard Denniston had received Original Lifetime Certified Purchasing Manager certification. Approved an update and contract addendum to Westlaw Online for County Court-at-Law No. 2 Entering a tax abatement agreement for taxable real and personal property between the county and Coal City Cob Company Inc. for property located in the Waxahachie Enterprise Zone Approved the Tarrant County Cultural Education Facilities Finance Corporation Texas Hospital Revenue Bonds (Methodist Hospitals of Dallas Project) Series 2007, which involves no financial obligation to the county. Accepted David Ritchey’s resignation from the Ellis County Rural Rail Transportation Board, with Calvin Reeves appointed in his place Hiring Deborah Sartor as human resources director at a salary of $52,500 Authorized the county attorney’s office to file a lawsuit against Barbara and Stephen Parsons individually and d/b/a BMP Auto, seeking “temporary and injunctive relief to prevent further violation of Ellis County’s Amended Order Regarding Screening of Certain Outdoor Businesses and Licensing and Regulation of Automotive Impound, Salvage, and/or Wrecking Yards and Junkyards.”
Assistant county attorney Lee Auvenshine said the Parsons’ company has never filed for a permit for its business, located south of Palmer and north of Ennis, and has never sought to comply with the original order (passed in 1987) or the amended order (passed in 2006)
Purchased an F-250 pickup for Pct. 2 at a cost of $24,186.67 Purchased nine Panasonic arbitrator cameras for the sheriff’s office at a cost of $54,948.96 Purchased the base storage unit to be used with the arbitrator cameras at a cost of $19,983.53 Granted a variance for road frontage requirements for Elizabeth Lawrence and Lee James, located in Pct. 1 Granted a variance from the fire hydrant requirement on Highview Park Road, located in Pct. 2. According to the water company, the line would not be able to sustain a hydrant.
E-mail Anthony at Anthony.Trojan@waxahachiedailylight.com