By Michael G. Maness
CHESTER – Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette swore in Chester mayor Robert Poynter Monday evening, Feb. 7, at his first regularly scheduled council meeting.
Poynter had officially assumed office by council vote at a specially called meeting on Jan. 17 after long-serving mayor Floyd Petri tendered resignation at that meeting for health reasons.
Poynter appointed Country Church Youth Pastor Kevin Hicks and Chester ISD business manager Austin Odom to fill the vacant spots on the council.
At the called meeting on Jan. 17, the council hired Ovita Barnes as city secretary to undergo immediate training with retiring decades-long Secretary Annette Hickman. There have been several personnel changes in January as recent hires could not remain, and the council will be hiring a clerk to aid Barnes.
Poynter outlined several adjustments as the council discussed concerns over making a smooth transition to Barnes and the new software. New Councilman Odom brings a financial expertise that was especially valued at this time as the city transitions to QuickBooks.
There were adjustments in employee insurance, the grants, and a determination to keep track of the past due accountants, the latter seeming to be on the decrease.
The previous minutes and the financials were passed without little ado.