Angelina County residents elect new DETCOG minority member - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Angelina County residents elect new DETCOG minority representative

Walter Diggles, Ella Austin (retiring), Judge Wes Suiter Walter Diggles, Ella Austin (retiring), Judge Wes Suiter
Rev. Stephen Pinkney Rev. Stephen Pinkney

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Angelina County residents came out in large numbers Monday night to elect a new minority representative to serve on the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) board. 

It was an historic meeting to replace a longtime board member.  "We had over 150 folks who showed up for last night's meeting.  We have never had that many people show up.  It shows the community was very, very interested in this position," said Walter Diggles, Executive Director, DETCOG.

The position in question is the minority representative for Angelina County.  Retired educator and community leader Ella Mae Austin had held the position for many years before recently resigning. 

"We posted the notice all over the community, in churches and all over the county to get the word out about the vacancy and about this public meeting," said Diggles.  It was standing room only as residents from across Angelina County attended. 

Reverend Stephen Pinkney, Dr. Guessippina Bonner, and Demetress Harold (Executive Director Hospice in the Pines) were the three nominees on the ballot.  Diggles said all three nominees made very positive presentations that outlined what they would like to do for Angelina County.  "We had an overwhelming response.  We eventually had to cut folks off from coming in and we had to close the voting," said Diggles.  "Reverend Stephen Pinkney came out ahead in the balloting." 

Following the tabulation of the votes, which were made by secret ballot, affidavits were signed. 

The DETCOG board is scheduled to meet Wednesday in Center at which time Angelina County Commissioner Kenneth Timmons will recommend that Pinkney be confirmed as the new minority representative for Angelina County.

"We have what we call minority representatives in the 12 counties served by DETCOG.  They are elected to three year terms," said Diggles.

A special presentation, which included a letter and resolution from President Barack Obama and a presidential pin, were given to Austin recognizing her lifetime of service.  The presentation culminated with a standing ovation from the crowd.

DETCOG is one of 24 state planning regions for Texas.  It is comprised of 12 counties that work together to maximize resources to better help residents in deep East Texas.

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