Thursday, April 25, 2024

County opens courthouse office for Rep. Shelby Slawson

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The Hood County Commissioners Court unanimously voted to allow Texas State Rep. Shelby Slawson to use the office on the third floor of the Historical Courthouse without charge, during a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, Feb. 27.

“I think that you need to have an office here in Hood County,” Hood County Judge Ron Massingill said during the meeting.

Slawson said she has the distinct pleasure of serving about 195,000 central Texans, as House District 59 covers the counties of Hood, Erath, Hamilton and Coryell — covering a little over 4,000 square miles.

"That's a lot of territory to cover to serve our people, so unlike some of my counterparts in the city, we have a lot of asphalt that we burn up getting to our people,” she said. “We have — for the last several years — taken an approach to public meetings and mobile office hours in lieu of planning routes in any particular location.

“But after this last year, when we had about 1,900 constituent cases that we handled, we think it's time to try and have a fixed location and see how our constituents might utilize that, in addition to mobile office hours. We're very grateful for the opportunity to partner with you and have a physical space at your gorgeous historical courthouse here in Granbury.”

She added that geography is only part of it and stated that HD59 wants to be “accessible to the people we serve.”

“We think this would be a great opportunity to do that,” Slawson said.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Dave Eagle pointed out to the public that it is not an unusual circumstance for a government entity to “allow this to happen.”

"Our state representatives only get a certain allowance for office space, which my understanding is you probably have already used that for any state funding,” Eagle said, addressing Slawson. “We have the space and they're really nice offices. This is not unusual. It's not out of the ordinary. I just want to let people know that it's not like some kind of inside deal or anything like that. It's not an unusual situation.”

“Correct,” Slawson agreed. “There are other state offices that do the exact same thing.”

The motion to allow Slawson the use of the office on the third floor of the Historical Courthouse without charge passed unanimously.

"Welcome to Hood County,” Massingill said to Slawson.