Angelina County Judge Don Lymbery posted on his personal Facebook page an explanation of his opposition of a road tax loan proposed by Angelina County Commissioners. The post comes from a recent County Commissioners meeting which proposed making a $5.8 million loan to be paid back over seven years for road materials to be split amongst the four Angelina County precincts and used over the next three years.

Here is the text of the post –

“I have had several requests to explain why I oppose the $ 5.8 Million dollar road tax note that the Commissioners have on the Court Agenda this coming Tuesday. Here are my reasons:

# 1– This money is being borrowed to do road repair over the next 3 years, but the loan is a seven- year payout which the County will still be paying off way past the time that all the material is gone.

# 2– This is the worst possible time to be borrowing more money and putting the County more in debt. We know that the whole State of Texas will have a big short fall in income this year because of the COVID-19 expense and the Governor has asked all Counties to cut their budgets by at least 5%.

# 3– The Commissioners have said that this will not raise taxes, but the County already is paying on a loan and there are 2 years left on that note. We will have to go into reserve funds which are set aside for other things to pay those notes for the next 2 years. There seems to be no intention of replacing that reserve.

# 4– I have tried to work with the Commissioners on several levels to increase their funding for Road & Bridge, there has been extra funding in the past and it has never made any difference on our County roads- it is not just a money problem in my opinion.

# 5– If this was just a money problem, why not borrow the money needed for 1 year and show everyone what a difference it makes? But no, the decision to make a seven- year loan for $ 5.8 million seems to be their answer.

# 6–If the Commissioners would work with me, I am sure that a compromise could be found, but they went around me to get this Tax Note passed because they know that I believe it is a big mistake- one which we will be paying for for many years to come.

# 7– For the last year and a half I have tried to work with these Commissioners, but to no avail, they opposed me to get the Public Forum back and there has been one instance after another where there has been no support for any of my conservative ideas.

Well, there you have it, I tried to get the Lufkin Newspaper to print my reasons for all of you to see, but did not get their support, so here it goes out on Facebook.”

Don Lymbery-

It is important to understand also, that the “note” Lymbery is referring to above which still has two years remaining on payments is from the commissioner’s previous attempt at fixing Angelina’s road system.

Local attorney Mr. Robert Flournoy (Law Office of Robert L. Flournoy), who spoke at the last commissioners meeting on the subject, had this to say:

“It seems as though the appropriations the County Commissioners propose for the purposes of fixing Angelina’s road system account for what they believe surface materials cost; however, it does not seem to be the case that this proposed amount accounts for any outside, expert analysis of what our roads need in order to remain effective and safe, such as providing for proper drainage and materials.”

In an effort to stem the tide of unnecessary spending by the county on this matter, Flournoy is seeking 2600 signatures for a ballot initiative to establish a “unit road” system, which will by requirement result in the establishment of a road department for the county. This department, while providing expert analysis and overseeing the proper development and maintenance of Angelina’s road system, will also serve to consolidate excessive resources and allow for more effective use of taxpayer expenses. It’s a move which forces upon the Commission a level of mature oversight in the use of taxpayer dollars on an issue which has been ongoing for decades with what seems to be little effective change.

Although the county commissioners had initially rejected Mr. Fournoy’s unit road proposal for the November ballot, he has moved ahead with a petition to have it added. For those interested in supporting this ballot proposition, please contact Mr. Flournoy’s office at 936-639-4467. Copies and instructions are available HERE.