By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
Cooke County —
Following extended discussion during Monday’s meeting, Cooke County commissioners took no action on the installation of a courthouse-yard monument to victims of Gainesville’s Great Hanging of 1862.
Despite appeals from local historians L.D. Clark, Ron Melugin and Steve Gordon, officials said the proposed terms of the privately funded monument are currently unacceptable. Both County Judge John Roane and Pct. 4 Commissioner Leon Klement referred to the Texas Historical Commission (THC), whose grant funding allowed the recent historic restoration of Cooke County Courthouse.
Administrative paperwork related to the restoration still remains incomplete, both officials said. Any installation of any monument on county courthouse property would require THC approval — a stringent process in itself.
“THC would be reluctant to put anything on the courthouse square,” Roane told the historians. “It sounds to me like they would want to see what you’d present before we go any further.”
The officials also said they would prefer to wait and see if City of Gainesville officials might get involved with the project since the proposed monument involves the city as much as the county. Other meeting highlights:
• Commissioners took no action on a proposed order by Pct. 1 Commissioner Gary Hollowell that licensed county employees and elected officials be allowed to carry concealed handguns on county property (excluding courtrooms). Officials cited a need to consider a more broad “courthouse security package” that would safely accommodate such an order before approving it.
• Klement read a proclamation honoring members of the Muenster Jaycees for more than 50 years of service. Several Jaycees members, including past presidents, attended Monday’s meeting and heard the proclamation.
• Commissioners approved these consent agenda items: fiscal year 2013 budget amendments; monthly bills; payroll and related expenses; a contract with Lindsay Volunteer Fire Department; a contract with Myra Volunteer Fire Department; adjustment of the Texas Department of Public Safety 2010 Homeland Security Grant; a donation from J.E. Baldwin in the amount of $10 to the Cooke County Library for research; the redistribution of unused handheld and car mounted radios to other county offices, volunteer fire departments, EMS, and police stations that may be able to utilize them, or surplus if unneeded; acceptance of a $500 grant from Enbridge and Vector Pipeline Emergency Responder Education Program to the Cooke County Emergency Management; approval of the 2012 Sheriff’s Office Racial Profiling Report; and filing for record of the internal quarterly audit for the Cooke County district clerk, library, compliance office, and Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1.