Thursday’s May meeting of the governing board for the Texoma Council of Governments was canceled as no board officers would be in attendance.
TCOG executive assistant Sean Norton said via email that Cooke County Judge Jason Brinkley, the board president, advised the meeting be canceled as he, Vice President Kevin Couch and Secretary Spanky Carter would each be absent and there were not pressing items for this month.
Earlier in the week, Judy Fullylove, a longtime Sherman resident and TCOG employee used the citizens comment section of Monday’s City Council meeting to respond to comments made by Couch about TCOG earlier this month.
The TCOG Energy Services Program manager said she’s been an employee of TCOG for 15 years and a Sherman citizen for 33 years, directly addressed comments made by Couch on May 1 during an update on his involvement with the TCOG board. Couch, who serves as the TCOG governing board’s vice president, offered a number of opinions on TCOG’s leadership as he explained the board had tabled action until June on whether or not to renew Executive Director Susan Thomas’ contract after not being able to come to a decision on the matter.
Couch said he believes TCOG has failed to stay within its budget and it’s the responsibility of the taxpayers’ representatives to remove Thomas from her role.
“Under her leadership, the organization has become the absolute poster child of government bloat and has come to represent every single thing people hate about government — reckless spending, corruption, unaccountability — it’s all there,” Couch said earlier this month.
Fullylove told the council TCOG is not the poster child of government bloat.
“I take great umbrage with the negative remarks made about TCOG at the last city council meeting,” Fullylove said. “And I’m here to refute those remarks. In the last 18 months, TCOG has increased its capacity to house homeless veterans, preserve public housing in local towns and provide utility assistance to the elderly, disabled and families with young children.”
On the matter of being accountable, Fullylove said TCOG adheres to required accounting principles and policies, and revenue and expenditures are reviewed by a certified public accountant.
“TCOG has not abandoned its core mission to serve the region,” Fullylove said. “In fact, our expansion is the direct result of the successful and consistent delivery of services to those living in Cooke, Fannin and Grayson counties. We simply are providing that same level of service to families that happen to live outside the region.”
Fullylove also pointed out that all of the contracts administered by the organization are approved by the TCOG governing board.
“Finally TCOG has a mission, but more importantly we have a vision — better leaders building better lives and vision is not limited to geography,” Fullylove said. “Vision stimulates growth, recognizes capacity, nurtures and celebrates achievement. Vision is everything we have come to love about leadership and we will not be deterred by unsubstantiated allegations.”
As matters discussed during the citizens comments section don’t appear on the meeting’s agenda, the council is not allowed to respond to statements made by citizens. After the meeting, Couch declined an opportunity to comment on Fullylove’s remarks.
Brinkley and Carter, the Fannin County judge, previously stated they would be absent from Thursday’s TCOG meeting due to a conference they were attending. Couch said he was out of town for work related travel that was scheduled before he joined the board.
The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on June 15. Each meeting is held inside the TCOG building at 1117 Gallagher Dr. in Sherman.