I try not to interject into the writings of The Italy Neotribune very often. We try to keep it your news source. But as this is a very important election I would like to strongly suggest you read the following about our very own Heath Simms. He has done great job and is willing to continue. I for one think we owe it to ourselves to get into the polls and vote for him this coming Saturday. Do not forget freedom had an obligation — that we vote.
David B. South, Publisher of the Italy Neotribune.
Heath Sims, a lifetime resident of Ellis County, is seeking re-election as Ellis County Commissioner, Precinct 3.
Sims is completing his second term as commissioner and said he has accomplished many things since taking office but knows there is still much more to do.
Sims proposed a citizens facility committee to the commissioners court to review the county’s facilities and make recommendations shortly after taking office. The purpose behind this was to benefit the citizens of Ellis County for 50 years into the future based on projected population growth. This committee recommended the expansion of the Ellis County Jail and the construction of the Ellis County Courts and Administration building. The measure passed by a majority vote of the people.
Upon the bond approval, Sims pushed to establish a facility oversight committee. This committee, consisting of 15 county residents, was charged with ensuring the construction was on schedule and on budget. This project came in on time and within budget. This committee also worked with the commissioners in planning for a new sheriff’s training facility and a juvenile education center at the old county farm.
A major accomplishment for the south part of the county came when Sims pushed for better ambulance response times, especially for those residents in the more rural areas. The county eventually went out for bids for ambulance service and the result was the increase of two additional ambulances in the county – one in Italy and the other in Palmer. This bid process also saved the county more than $100,000 per year.
Sims worked with the commissioners and the county’s engineering department and established a policy that would require any new bridge structure to be a minimum of 24’ wide. He said this increase in bridge width would help as traffic increased on roads and during road expansion in the future.
Sims also battled a special taxing housing district that would have put a minimum of 700 homes on 165 acres in the unincorporated area of Maypearl. That would put 4.25 houses, at the least, on one acre of land. This housing addition would have been the fifth largest populated community in Ellis County without being an incorporated city He said this would not only put an undue burden on area roads but on the Maypearl school district and emergency services. Sims said this was the first time in history that a local entity defeated the creation of a special taxing housing district in the State of Texas. The result, he said, was the formation of a policy that would require any special taxing housing district that came into Ellis County to get a resolution of approval from the school district where the housing district will be serviced before seeking the approval from the commissioner’s court.
Sims also pushed to establish rules of procedure on the commissioner’s court that would allow each member of the court to place items on a court agenda. Prior to this, only the county judge could place items on a commissioner’s court agenda.
In dealing with employee health insurance, Sims and Commissioner Dennis Robinson saved taxpayers almost $500,000 by increasing the employee health insurance deductible and reducing the employee retirement match.
He has also assists the smaller community with their roads projects. Most of the smaller communities in precinct three cannot afford to hire contractors to come in and resurface the roads. He said this precinct, through an Interlocal agreement, is able to do these road repairs. He said the county only charges these communities their cost and does not charge profit on these type projects thus saving taxpayer money in smaller communities.
Sims said, “My main objective is to insure that Ellis County is planning wisely for the future while protecting the reason our neighbors moved here – the rural atmosphere and the freedoms that come from country living.”
Sims grew up in the Five Points area and continues to make that area his home. Sims and his wife, Charlesa, have two sons. Seth is attending Oklahoma Christian University on academic and baseball scholarships and Shance is a sophomore at Waxahachie High School and is a member of the varsity golf team.
Sims, a fifth generation Ellis County resident, is the son of J.B. and Helen Kirk Sims of Waxahachie. He is a graduate of Waxahachie High School and earned a B.S. from Tarleton State University in Agricultural Education. The commissioner and his family are members of the Bethel United Methodist Church where he serves as Lay Leader and Sunday School Teacher.
Sims is a staunch supporter of private property rights and less government intrusion. He believes in wise stewardship and planning for the future. Sims said he works for all the citizens, not just special interest groups.
He said, “I believe each of us should be responsible for our individual decisions and not ask the government to solve our problems. I love this county and want my children to have the same opportunities I had. I also want them to understand that freedom is not free and they must always respect the Constitution and the law. They must also understand that they might not always like what their neighbors are doing but they must respect their rights as long as what their neighbors are doing is legal.”
Sims said, “Ellis County is growing rapidly and we must stand strong for freedom. It is easy to give freedom away to protect our selfish needs but it’s almost impossible to get those freedoms back once they are gone.”
Sims concluded, “This is an important election for Ellis County and residents of precinct three. I have proven that I am not swayed by political pressure and I don’t mind asking questions as I seek wise solutions. I seek your support and your vote in the May 29th election.”