Changing Face of the Smith County Commissioners Court - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/6/02 - Tyler

Changing Face of the Smith County Commissioners Court

   Out with the old and in with the new. It looks like new year's, but this was election night and the beginning of a new era on the Smith County Commissioners Court.

   "The voters wanted change and this is definitely change," says Joann Hampton, Smith County Commissioner Pct. 4 elect.

   Joann Hampton replaces 19-year commissioner Andrew Melontree in Pct 4. She believes the days of gridlock on the court are over.

    "You're looking at a court that has three women and two men and has promised that we will build a consensus that we wouldn't be arguing and we wouldn't be bickering," says Hampton.

   Hampton's one of two new faces who brings Tyler City Council experience to Smith County. The other, Don Pinkerton, believes in a long-range plan for Smith County. He saw Tyler's blueprint work during his six years on council.

   "We need some new focus and we certainly need to bring the court back to where they can agree on key issues," Don Pinkerton, County Commissioner Pct. 2 elect. One of the monumental changes coming to the commissioner's court. For the first, time a woman will be County Judge.

   "I think you are going to see more organization," says Becky Dempsey, Smith County Judge elect. "A group of people who're going to have their finger on what's happening here."

   "We've got to be better managers of the people's money, better managers of the employees." County Judge elect Becky Dempsey's confident change will happen on the Smith County Commissioners Court, but cautions it will take time.

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