Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX


March 13, 2014

Council re-appoints municipal judge

TROUP — The local city council re-appointed James Meredith as the Troup Municipal Court Judge by unanimous vote during Tuesday's regular council meeting.

Meredith, the Smith County Pct. 3 Justice, has served the part-time municipal position for several years.

“We contract him to do this work, but we have to do it legally and appoint him,” explained City Secretary Buffie Deason.

A 23-year veteran officer with the Tyler Police Department, Meredith was elected justice of the peace in 2001 and retired from the force the following year to work full-time as a magistrate.

“Troup had a posting for the municipal judge position, and when they asked me to be their judge, I took over part-time” while retaining his position with the county, he said.

He holds court in Troup twice a month, hearing cases involving traffic and city ordinance violations.

“The ones I see are the ones who come in and make pleas, and I usually see anywhere from five to 10 people anytime I'm in office,” the Tyler native said.

Meredith is a graduate of Tyler's John Tyler High School, and received his associates' degree in criminal justice from Tyler Junior College, along with additional police training.

His goal as municipal court judge “is to be there for the citizens of Troup when they need me, and just to be the best judge for the city that I can, always ready to listen,” he said, adding, “that's the main thing, to listen.”

The council also gave the Troup Community Development Corp. the go-ahead to purchase property from the local volunteer fire department.

TCDC president Gary Salyer said the property – which is roughly about one-quarter size of a city block – was purchased for future development by the organization.

“An opportunity came about to buy it, and we had the resources to do it, so we took advantage of that,” he said of the property, located northwest of the four-way intersection in downtown Troup.

If all goes according to plan, TCDC could finalize the purchase of the property – whose cost is approximately $3,500 – by the end of the month, Salyer said.

Council members on Tuesday approved the final re-plat of two separate tracts in the city at the request of property owners, but did not take action on a proposed extension of a garbage collection contract with Allied Waste, the city secretary said.

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