U.S. Rep. Gohmert Announces Henderson, Canton RD Offices Will Stay Open

-U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX-01) announced today that the Henderson and Canton Rural Development (RD) offices will remain open, a significant victory for the area residents served by the offices. On behalf of east Texans, Gohmert has actively pursued the continued operation of the offices in their current locations. He has loudly voiced his opposition regarding their proposed relocation to an area further away from the citizens they're intended to serve.  After months of communication with the with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Congress Gohmert held a private meeting in his Washington, D.C. office yesterday with Under Secretary Thomas Dorr that concluded with a mutually satisfactory decision.

Following the meeting, Gohmert stated, "This is great news for our rural residents.  We fussed and fought for these RD offices to stay open, and I'm so glad that our voices were heard. The USDA needed to make the appropriate business decisions based on all the facts, and that has finally been done. These offices need to be located where they actually provide services. It's a blessing to know that our residents who need this most will be able to keep the RD offices here in their backyards. We also greatly appreciate the USDA's willingness to listen to our concerns and their diligence in cooperating with us throughout this process."

Regarding the decision, Scooter Brockette, USDA Rural Development Acting State Director in Texas, said, "USDA Rural Development is pleased to continue our service to the public thru our Canton and Henderson Local Offices. We look forward to working with Mr. Gohmert and his constituents on projects that will greatly benefit rural Texas."

Congressman Gohmert has continually worked with residents of Henderson and those who are served by the RD offices. Gohmert participated in a Henderson public town hall meeting with Mayor Buzz Fullen and County Judge Sandra Hodges in March 2008 to collect community feedback and raise concerns of his own. The Congressman later discussed these issues with aides to Secretary Dorr while Dorr was out of the country. When Gohmert was not fully satisfied with the answers provided at the meeting, he sent a letter to the Secretary thoroughly outlining his concerns with the office relocation, citing such issues as the absurdity of relocating a rural service to a relatively urban city, the additional burdens and increased commuting costs it would force upon rural residents and RD employees, and the more expensive operating costs that would result from a Tyler location. Gohmert then followed this up by personally meeting with Secretary Dorr on Wednesday. The Secretary conceded that it would not be financially advantageous to relocate the offices to Tyler.