Livingston, Texas – The November Board Meeting of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments quickly became a day for recognition and remembrances. It was Polk County Judge John Thompson’s final opportunity to host the event in his county. After serving 26 years as Polk County Judge, Thompson chose to not run for re-election. Acting in the DETCOG tradition, he was given the opportunity to greet the DETCOG Board Members and welcome them to Polk County.
State Representative James White, who represents Polk County, took the opportunity to present the judge with a resolution from the Texas House of Representatives. The framed document recognized Thompson for his many years of service and outlined his numerous achievements. During his tenure as judge, Thompson has served as president of not only DETCOG, but also the Texas Association of Regional Councils and the National Association of Regional Councils. He has also served as the President of the Interstate 69 coalition and immediately after Hurricane Ike sliced a path through the DETCOG Region, Thompson headed up DETCOG’s response as the head of the Multi-Agency Coordination Center located in Livingston. He is also a recipient of the Ralph W. Steen East Texan of the Year Award for his years of leadership and outstanding contribution to the region, state and nation. Standing in the Polk County Commerce Center he helped build, Judge Thompson expressed his appreciation for the experiences and opportunities he’s had because of DETCOG.
Getting down to business, DETCOG Executive Director Walter Diggles announced that an additional $600,000 in Hurricane Ike Disaster Recovery funds will be available for infrastructure and housing projects in the 12 county region. He reported that DETCOG’s second round Disaster Recovery Housing program has built, or is starting the construction of, forty homes scattered throughout the region. Diggles also reported that another of the job creating Disaster Recovery Forgivable Loans had been funded and another would be closed the following Thursday. He also reported on the recent HUD Section 8 Rental Voucher Tenant Workshop/Empowerment for Change which was held in Lufkin.
The Annual Board of Directors Christmas Luncheon will be held on Thursday, December 18th. Although the location is yet to be determined, it will be held in Jasper County.