Court accepts Bridges’ resignation

County collector and assessor to retire after 22 years in office, effective Feb. 5

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
John Bridges

In a quick but momentous first regular meeting of 2021, the Ellis County Commissioners’ Court accepted the resignation of longtime county tax assessor and collector John Bridges on Tuesday, Jan. 12.

Bridges’ resignation is effective Feb. 5. Bridges ran unopposed for re-election to his post, and had been sworn in to his sixth full 4-year term on Jan. 1.

Ellis County Judge Todd Little said he hopes that at the time of Bridges’ retirement, the county will be able to thank him for his 22 years of service to the county.

Bridges, who came into office with a background in banking, first became Ellis County tax collector and assessor in November 1998, when he was appointed to fill an unexpired term. He was re-elected six times, most recently last year.

The timing of Bridges’ resignation means the court will be able to appoint a successor and not have to call a special election. Bridges is the second Ellis County elected official this month to resign during their brand-new term following re-election, along with Precinct 2 Constable Terry Nay.

Related to the other resignation, commissioners voted to allow Nay to purchase his AR-15 patrol rifle from the county at the purchase price of $462.85, which was the exact price the county paid for the rifle in 2010. The court also allowed Nay to keep his personalized badges as a memento of his service.

All four commissioners were present at Tuesday’s meeting.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Randy Stinson, left, speaks during Tuesday's meeting of the Ellis County Commissioners' Court.

Other items

• The court authorized an annual $50,000 payment to the Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center. In December of 2019, the court approved a public-private partnership with the ECCAC to provide critical community services. The mission of ECCAC is to provide justice, hope, and healing to children and their families through a collaborative response towards child abuse, which includes awareness, prevention, and protection. Their offices work with Police Departments, Child Protective Services, and the County and District Attorney’s Office to provide a developmentally sensitive, legally sound and culturally competent forensic interview of possible child victims and/or witnesses. 

• Commissioners approved a resolution to nominate Barry Kitchens of Midlothian as a candidate for the Ellis County Appraisal District board of directors, replacing Joe Pitts, who is stepping down.

• The consent agenda was approved, which included the reappointment of James Morrison to a 2-year term on the Emergency Service District Board; the acceptance of more than $2.7 million from the Texas Division of Emergency Management for the Coronavirus Relief Fund; acceptance of numerous reports; approval of previous minutes; and a number of budgetary line-tem adjustments.

• Plats were approved for a 6.849-acre property near the intersection of Greathouse Road and Dunaway Road in rural Waxahachie and for a 3.879-acre property on the east side of Ovilla Road in Ovilla’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. A replat for a 2.472-acre parcel at the northwest corner of FM 66 and Evening Fire Drive was approved, and a $1.8 million performance bond was accepted for the proposed 98.218-acre Jordan Run Estates Phase IV in the ETJ of Midlothian.

• The purchase of drainage culverts from Hamilton Supply and Wilson Culverts was approved using the Smith County, Texas interlocal agreement.

• Commissioners agreed to solicit bids for equipment and automotive repair for all road and bridge precincts and departments.

• A bid was awarded to Pearman Oil & LP Gas, Inc. for convenience store fuel. A separate bid for gasoline diesel is still pending, county purchasing director E.J. Harbin said.

• An agreement with Martin Marietta for SuperSlurry was extended for one year at no change in price.