City calls for ouster of chief county appraiser

by Jo Anne Embleton

JACKSONVILLE – Following a presentation by Cherokee County Chief Appraiser Lee Flowers Tuesday, Jacksonville city council members unanimously voted to allow its leaders to draft a resolution calling for the removal of Flowers from his position.

According to meeting minutes, council members met in executive session, then reconvene in open session to also authorize “the City Attorney and City Manager to take any legal action, up to a lawsuit, dealing with this second certified appraisal.”

A request by the Cherokeean Herald for further details about the resolution from City Manager Greg Smith was pending as of Wednesday afternoon. More information will be made available as it is received.

Meanwhile, Flowers said Wednesday that he was at a loss by the council’s action, explaining that a data entry error that was subsequently corrected “resulted in no damage or error in the amount of tax levy we certified – that levy, in the amount of $5,181,792.45, was correct on both the original and amended certifications.”

He added that aside from a previous conversation with Jacksonville Finance Director Roxanna Briley – who Smith announced at the meeting would be resigning from her position May 28 – regarding the error, his only contact with the city was a request for his presence at Tuesday’s council meeting.

In other action Tuesday, the winners of a May 1 election were sworn into office: Incumbents Randy Gorham, mayor, and Districts 1 and 3 councilmen Hubert Robinson and Tim McRae, respectively. The council also unanimously nominated Councilman Rob Gowin to continue serving as the city’s Mayor Pro Tem.

In other action, the city leaders unanimously:

• Adopted separate ordinances, following public hearings, to approve budget amendments presented by staff and to change zoning from “G” commercial to PD Multi Family (Plan Development) in the 600 block of Loop 456

• Adopted resolution modifying the bylaws of the Vanishing Texana Museum

• Approved Emergicon as the selected vendor for EMS billing

• Awarded a 2021 street overlay project to Drewerey Construction

• Approved an engineering contract with Schaumberg and Polk for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Boating Access Grant

• Approved a resolution denying an ONCOR rate increase

• Approved a consent agenda that included approval of meeting and workshop minutes, re-appointing Frank Dobrovolny as associate municipal judge, adopting a resolution approving an interlocal agreement with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, approving an interlocal agreement with the City of Arp to sell a speed trailer and appointing Nathan Jones to fill a vacated seat on the Lake Advisory Board.