Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

November 27, 2012

Pinotti to Commissioners Court: FIX THE MAPS

RUSK —  A wrong address can lead the staunchest of travelers to a dead end. Just ask Precinct 3 Commissioner Katherine Pinotti.

Pinotti believes numerous roads currently depicted on Cherokee County's map need corrections. They contain mismashed letters and numbers she says have transformed known streets such as Mount Selman's "Horse Shoe Lane" into "Dream Lane" and "County Road 3396" into "CR 3427" on street signs.

Monday wasn't the first time Pinotti has asked her fellow commissioners to change the addresses on the map and certainly not the first time they've effectively said “no,” by dismissing her motion.

But on Monday, commissioners opted to consider the matter a bit longer and review it more officially.

"I want to help you fix it, but I think we should review some kind of form of documentation,"  said Byron Underwood, Precinct 4 Commissioner.

Pinotti's map quest at one point landed her in front of a Cherokee County grand jury. That dilemma took place around  March 2010 when she argued with other county commissioners about whether Patterson Lane was a county or privately-owned road.

Pinotti was accused of misuse of county funds and investigated by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department for resurfacing Patterson Lane in Mt. Selman in August 2010. She authorized more than  $26,000 to be spent on those renovations, which included dirt, gravel, a new culvert,  use of county equipment and employee hours to pave the road because she contends it belongs to the county.

 In September 2010, her case went before a grand jury, but the jury declined to prosecute her for abuse of official capacity of more than $20,000, which would have been a third-degree felony had she been indicted.

In a recent,  written communication with her constituents, Pinotti seemed upbeat, saying she hopes to convince the Cherokee County Commissioners court to fix this county map problem soon. She emphasized  many county residents do not know their correct addresses aren’t listed on the map.

 "We may never determine what actually happened to cause all the confusion, but I, for one, choose to believe it was just a combination of things, honest mistakes, and was really no one’s fault," Pinotti said in her letter. "Over the past couple of months, the court has demonstrated a sincere desire to get our map corrected, and take actions that benefit the residents of the county, so I have faith that they will continue to do the right thing."

The county’s map book that is missing several county roads was made by Austin-based law firm Allison, Bass & Associates in 2007.

After Monday's meeting, Pinotti said this issue is important to her because of the effect it has on her constituents. Right after she took office in April 2009 a 7-year-old boy died in her precinct, she  said.

“He died of smoke inhalation and I could hear the fire departments on the radio talking about they could see the smoke but they couldn’t find the house and later on I found out the road signs in that area were incorrect," she said in a previous interview. "There wasn’t even a road sign on that road.”

Still trying to get to the bottom of why the roads were misnamed on Monday, Pinotti said she believes a portion of 3403 that was no longer accessible was incorrectly deleted – probably contributing to the confusion. Records clearly indicate Patterson used to be 3427 and why it is no longer remains a mystery.

Pinotti said Patterson Lane should be named CR 3427 – a county road number formerly assigned to the road but now assigned to what was once known as CR 3403.

For reasons unknown to commissioners, County Road 3403 was changed to CR 3427, leaving 3427, or Patterson, without a road sign.

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