Grayson County Commissioner Phyllis James Tuesday shook her head in apparent disbelief as she heard that 559 children in Grayson County were abused or neglected last year. The statistic seemed to shake James as she and other commissioners considered a request from the Grayson County Children’s Advocacy Center Forensic Interviewer Kelley Eidt to line the sidewalks at the courthouse with the small blue flags, one to represent each abused child.

Grayson County Commissioner Phyllis James Tuesday shook her head in apparent disbelief as she heard that 559 children in Grayson County were abused or neglected last year. The statistic seemed to shake James as she and other commissioners considered a request from the Grayson County Children’s Advocacy Center Forensic Interviewer Kelley Eidt to line the sidewalks at the courthouse with the small blue flags, one to represent each abused child.


"As you all know April is national child abuse prevention and awareness month," Eidt said. She said the number of cases of child abuse or neglect is something that the Center sees increasing yearly. That is the reason, she said, events like the one she proposed for the courthouse lawn are important. They are aimed at making people aware, in a very visual sense, of the number of abused and neglected children in the county.


The flags will be left on the courthouse lawn for the first week in April. "Thereafter, they would be moved to the front of the Child Protective Services Office to stand watch over the children who are there," she said.


"Hopefully next year you won’t be asking for so many flags," said Commissioner Jeff Whitmire as the Court prepared to vote on the matter.


"That’s our goal," said Eidt. The matter passed unanimously.


In other business, the Commissioners also approved a request to make a part-time nurse at the Grayson County jail a full-time county employee. Grayson County Health Department Director John Teel, in what could be one of his last appearances before the Court, Teel said the move will cost about $24,000, but added that the Health Department already has the needed money in its budget.


Teel said the HD is having a hard time getting enough people to fill part-time positions needed to run the County’s jail infirmary 24 hours a day seven days a week. People, commissioners were told, who want to work part-time, don’t seem to want to work weekends or holidays. Teel said the staff members who are currently keeping the program going are driving themselves too hard.


"I worry about them. They are mentally and physically exhausted," he said. Commissioners approved taking the one part-time position to full-time and Grayson County Judge Drue Bynum suggested a change to the way the HD pays part-time employees for the jail medical staff. He suggested a shift differential that would pay more for weekend and holiday work than 9 to 5 work days. He said maybe that would make the jobs more tempting to the paramedics and others who were once answering the ads about positions at the jail. Teel said the HD will work on a plan offering such a salary structure and bring it back before the Court. Teel announced last week that he is leaving the Grayson County Health Department to accept a similar position with the city of Plano.


Commissioners also approved the following items Tuesday:


• a request to approve road bore on Hackberry Road in Precinct 1;


• a request to approve the preliminary plat of Palisades Addition Phase III;


• a request to approve the preliminary plat of Pasadera Addition Phase II;


• a request to award the term contract for the supply of emulsions as presented; .


• a request to award the term contract for the supply of road oils as presented.