LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Community members of Lufkin got the opportunity on Thursday to learn about county services, how the local government operates, and who they need to talk to when it comes to voicing their concerns.
Impact Lufkin hosted a community discussion, including a presentation by county judge Don Lymbery.
“All county governments have two entities in common; we have certain things that the state mandates and the county is responsible for like the jail, law enforcement, all of court systems, taking care of all of the critical records," Lymbery said.
The judge also explained other services the county offered that other counties did not.
“The county landfill that we do to help keep the county and the surrounding area - all of the surrounding counties - safe from any kind of pollution, and as sanitary as it can be," Lymbery explained.
Lymbery said the feedback was “excellent”, and he was pleased by the preparedness of the citizens. The vice president of Impact Lufkin, Dr. Patricia McKenzie, brought questions of her own: including about the county budget, income, and the importance of paying property taxes.
“We wanted people to understand why they need to pay their property taxes because that’s the source of income for the county operations," McKenzie explained. "I wanted people to understand the source of the income, and yes,. it was accurately answered, and people understood that are apart of making that income side work for the people.”
Other topics of discussion included the 911 system, how law enforcement offices are connected, and passenger services being offered to domestic airports.
“It’s not an airport for passengers it’s an airport for corporate planes and they have these hangers that are field and its nice for people to know that yes we did try it, but it was not enough ridership and its close enough for us to travel," McKenzie said.
McKenzie added that it was important for citizens to hear about recent projects, plans, and to ask questions directly to their city and county leaders so they aren’t relying on speculation and misinformation.
“Then we don’t have to be misinformed because some other person heard it from some other person,” McKenzie. “Hearing it from our county judge means we get clear information.”
Lymbery echoed that sentiment, adding that having community meetings like the one Thursday are important to build a relationship between the county and its residents, and it was his goal to ensure that everyone stays informed. He said
“The average citizen does not deal with this everyday like we do so," said Lymbery. "Sometimes we tend to simplify maybe a process or something we do in government that makes no sense to the citizen, so a presentation like this will clarify any of that.”