Smith County Welcomes New Commissioners - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/10/04-Smith County

Smith County Welcomes New Commissioners

A new year brings a new look to the Smith County Commissioners Court.

Meeting for the first time in 2005, the court welcomed it's two newest members.

Joann Fleming takes over the duties for Precinct 1, while Bobby Van Ness will represent Precinct 3.  Both commissioners say they're looking forward to a productive year.

"We've had this history in commissioners court of trying to limit ourselves according to our budget and hopefully we're at a point now where we're going to have to look beyond.  This jail situation that we've got to get solved, not just work on, get solved, it's a big issue and we're under mandates to do so and we need to," said Van Ness.

"What I'm hopeful for is we'll be able to talk as a court, and we'll be able to realize 3-4 things that we really agree on and set about constructing a way to get to where we want to be," said Joann Fleming.

Fleming replaces longtime commissioner Sharon Emmert.  Van Ness takes over for Frank Sawyer.

Chris Gibson, reporting

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