Pictured: County officials gathered together to celebrate an eighth consecutive safety award from the Texas Association of Counties. Photo by MAURICIO JULIAN CUELLAR JR.

It's the eighth award in a row from TAC

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

Jim Wells County officials gathered Monday during the Commissioners' Court meeting to honor the eighth consecutive Safety Award from the Texas Association of Counties.

The TAC administers a Workers' Compensation Self-insurance pool for counties in the state.

Along with the honor come lower premiums for the entities that lower claim rates. To qualify for the safety award, the county's safety program must be rated in the top 15 percent of participating agencies.

Only 38 entities were honored this year. County officials said the county has seen thousands of dollars worth of savings over the years on insurance premiums because of the commitment of reducing safety risks through the JWC Health and Safety office.

Commissioners also accepted the resignation of Justice of the Peace Elois Barham, which will be effective May 31.

"We appreciate your service to Jim Wells County and to the State of Texas over the last 23 years," County Judge L. Arnoldo Saenz said.

"We hate to see you go. But it has been a good service to JWC."

"We're going to miss her," Commissioner Oswald Alanis said to the court.

Commissioner Zenaida Sanchez said the county was that much richer for Barham's intelligence, her fairness and the way she operated her court.

Elections Administrator Pearlie Jo Valadez then submitted to the court information concerning the position of JP.

Valadez said the person the court appoints to fill in for Barham will serve until the next regularly scheduled election opportunity, which is in November.

Wally told Barham they would get together to come up with a name for the court to consider as a replacement until the election.

Precinct 3 Constable Sonny Crisp said he was going to miss working with JP Barham.

"I already miss her, and she's not gone yet," Crisp said. "She's always been there. I wanted to thank her for doing this for the people of Precinct 3."