Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

August 20, 2013

Resident asks Commissioners to raise the volume during meetings

RUSK — As a longtime audience member at Cherokee County Commissioners Court meetings, Josie Schoolcraft has been imploring officials to speak up during on-the-record discussions and formal votes for quite some time.

Schoolcraft said it is difficult to follow the actions of officials when they are speaking too softly to be heard. She contends the voice levels are so low even tape recordings of each meeting can't catch a lot of what is being said.

Cherokee County Judge Chris Davis said Monday he is working to address this problem. He said the lack of volume is a combination of county officials not projecting their voices enough and of people fidgeting with the volume controls outside of Commissioners Court meetings.

Schoolcraft voiced her concerns to the public in a Jacksonville Daily Progress letter a couple of years ago, under the headline, “Government should be able to be heard.”

Schoolcraft wrote a very similar letter and emailed it to Cherokee County Commissioners and the Jacksonville Daily Progress on Aug. 12 —  two years of barely heard meetings later.

In 2011, Schoolcraft wrote that  “unfortunate tone deafness in Cherokee County’s government lies in their lack of follow-through with improving the sound system and recording capabilities desperately needed during Commissioner’s Court meetings.

“Or,” the audience member added, “is it just that you do not want us to know what is being said?”

 Judge Davis, who contacted Schoolcraft right away after receiving her complaint, said he believes the problem is well on its way to being fixed.

“What happens is the microphones in our courtroom are the same ones the federal courthouse uses,” he said. “They are good ones, but sometimes when these other people use our courtroom , they mess with the knobs and stuff. We are in the process of getting it fixed up.”

Judge Davis has said he is well aware some county officials aren't speaking as loudly as they should.

“Some people don't really want to be heard and won't speak up in a loud enough voice for people to hear them,” the judge said. “Let me tell you: If I can't hear them they really aren't speaking loud enough. But we are working to fix things.  I contacted Josie back and told her how the people use the courtroom, When you go in there on a Monday and try to get the meeting started, it's really hard to postpone  things to get the sound levels fixed.”

Schoolcraft said not every person is provided with a microphone during commission meetings.

“There also need to be speakers in the back of the courtroom to augment the sound,” she said. “Don’t waste your $10 to order a tape of the proceedings. The recordings are garbled.”

Since the county is rounding the corner toward the budget, maybe a new sound system could be included in it, Schoolcraft suggested.

“The one the court uses now is terrible,” she said.  

Schoolcraft estimated a new system probably wouldn't cost that much.

“I would even be willing to make a donation to the county to pay for one,” she said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Cuney Council cancels meeting, again

    Tuesday's Cuney City Council meeting – in which local alderman were to vote on canceling a May 10 election due to unopposed status of candidates – was canceled because of a lack of quorum, according to City Secretary Brenda Lankford.

    April 23, 2014

  • Sen. Nichols speaking.tif Senator Nichols speaks to Jacksonville Leadership Institute

    State Senator Robert Nichols (R) spoke to the Jacksonville Leadership Institute Tuesday regarding the role of government in Texas.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jacob.tif Local boy recovering from campfire accident in Dallas hospital

    Jacob Sessions of Jacksonville was burned on 71 percent of his body on April 5 from a campfire accident. He is currently in Parkland ICU due to his injuries, according to a representative for the family.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • THOMPSON, CEDRICK.tif Cherokee County woman found dead

    At approximately 9:35 a.m. Sunday,  Kayla Nicole Thompson, 27, was found deceased in the driveway of her residence, located in the 1500 block of County Road 3201,  just West of Lake Jacksonville.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • BullardFUNRUN.tif Bullard Education Foundation sets record with event

    The Bullard Education Foundation hosted its 4th annual 5K /Fun Run, “Strides for Excellence” on Saturday morning, April 19.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire destroys Sims Avenue residence

    Jacksonville Fire Department responded to a fire in the 900 block of Sims Avenue early Saturday.

    April 22, 2014

  • Community library on council agenda

    The Bullard City Council will met at 6 p.m. today at Bullard First Baptist Church, 1428 S. Houston, for the regular board meeting.

    April 22, 2014

  • Council to mull election, roads

    The Cuney City Council will meet at 10 a.m. today at the Cuney Municipal Building.

    April 22, 2014

  • Christian Rapper 0419.tif Local rap artist spreads the 411 on Jesus

    "I have seen things in my life that would make Dr. Phil crazy," Jacksonville native, ordained minister and aspiring rap artist Stephen I. Crow Jr. said with a laugh. "That's why I don't label my music specifically as "Christian rap" -- yes, Christians who love rap can listen and hopefully be uplifted, but I truly want and am trying to bring the word and Jesus' message to people who may never have heard it or don't believe it's for them.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tomato Bowl flushed to bottom of priorities

    The historic Tomato Bowl, built in 1940, stands strong on the outside, but according to some people the inside needs a lot of work in order to not be an eyesore.

    April 19, 2014

Election 2012
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide