County Approves Wild Animal Ban PDF  ICON_SEP Print ICON_SEP  E-mail
Written by Nicole Schaefer   

Freestone County Commissioners have adopted an order outlawing certain wild animals from being housed within the unincorporated areas of Freestone County as of Wednesday, February 1, 2017 during a regularly scheduled Commissioners Court meeting.
The order prohibiting the keeping of wild animals can be found on page 2-D and lists such animals as large cats, monkeys, large apes, elephants, and more. It also outlines the possible charges associated with violating this order.
Sheriff Jeremy Shipley requested Commissioners to consider putting this order into place, stating that, “We have people in the county with monkeys, lions, tigers, and bobcats; but there are no records for any of them. I would rather we not allow them at all, for the safety of all County residents.”
Commissioner Pct. 1, Andy Bonner made the motion to accept this order; Pct. 3 Mike Daniels made a second, and all others voted unanimously for approval.
Also during this meeting new Constable Pct. 4, Wade Harrison, requested several pieces of equipment in order to be able to do his job correctly and safely, stating that equipment left to him by the outgoing Constable was either non-functional, out dated, or not sufficient to get the job done in a safe manner.
“I have compiled a list of my needs with the lowest quotes available,” says Harrison. “Some of the items are refurbished, rather than brand new; and all the equipment is of good quality, so I will be able to leave it to whoever comes after me.”
His request includes the following: a phone and phone line with internet at his office, body and vehicle cameras, handheld radio, emergency lights for vehicle, radar system, siren control, and a console for mounting the radio system.
“I feel that these materials are minimal for doing my job, and I respectfully request your approval,” concludes Harrison.
“I feel like we need to equip our law enforcement with all the things they need to get the job done,” says Commissioner Pct. 4, Clyde Ridge. “I make the motion to approve getting these items, taking money from the contingency fund to pay for them.”
“I agree! Our people need to have the tools to get the job done,” says Daniels. “I second that motion.”
All others voted unanimously.
Justice of the Peace (JP) 3 Judge Cinnamon Archibald addressed Commissioners on behalf of herself and JP 1 Judge Theresa Farris to request the replacement of a large copier machine that was removed from their building one month after Judge Archibald took office.
“I was there for a month when all of a sudden, it just disappeared,” Judge Archibald says. “There was no communication as to why it was being taken away; and it has yet to be replaced. We would like to request to lease another with money coming from our Technology Funds equally.”
In addition to the two JP offices, some constables and game wardens frequently use that machine to make lots of copies. They typically ‘paid’ for their usage by simply supplying the paper they would be using, according to Judge Archibald.
Commissioner Ridge made a motion to approve; Commissioner Bonner made a second, and all others voted unanimously.
In addition to these matters, Commissioners also approved the following: putting the burn ban back on, minutes from previous meetings, an addendum to the employee handbook, to pay bills, payroll, to accept a donation of $1,300 from the City of Wortham to be used for Senior Citizens Centers, and other housekeeping items.
The next regularly scheduled meeting for Commissioners Court is Wednesday, February 15, 2017 beginning at 9:00 a.m. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.