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Sunday, December 21, 2014 - 9:41pm

East Texan complains about Cherokee County barn

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 10:28pm

Josie Schoolcraft is an outspoken Cherokee County resident.

She used to be chair of the Cherokee County Republican Party -- and now she's complaining about Precinct 1 Commissioner Kelly Traylor's new office.

"My main complaint is there wasn't anything wrong with the office that he had!  So he had to walk in the rain a little bit to get over to the barn!  What's the big deal?" Schoolcraft said.

So Schoolcraft did some digging of her own.

"He told the media yesterday that he only spent $65,000.  Well I have the ledger sheet from the auditors office here today and it says he spent $95,272.63"

And she says she has heard the precinct didn't get bids for the project.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Kelly Traylor sees things a little bit differently.

"We went out for bids and Commissioners Court approved those bids and like I say all this took place...February, March area," Traylor said.

He says the upgrade was needed.

"My office, when I came here was in a portable building that was over 30 years old out away from the guys," Traylor said.

He hoped to move his office into the barn with his employees, so they budgeted $25,000 for that.

"We got in there and started construction and once we started construction we found that we had major water damage," Traylor said.

So that's when they went back to the county to ask for more money to fix the problems -- which Traylor says was all approved -- and the total on-site projects did come out to around $95,000.

Projects that included items like the new office, security system and a shed to protect their millions of dollars of equipment that had previously been out in the elements.

Traylor says the upgrade was needed to protect the taxpayer's assets.

Schoolcraft says even if the precinct took all of the right measures, she still doesn't approve of the upgraded barn.

"I think the money should have been spent more wisely.  I think he should have proved to us taxpayers that the building was needed," Schoolcraft said.

Schoolcraft also tells KETK, she feels the county should have been invited to yesterday's unveiling of the new barn.

Traylor says -- everyone was invited, and anyone who wants to see what their tax money is going to, just come by and he'll show you around.



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