County Commissioners Meeting


On Friday, May 31, Judge Porter and the county commissioners held their last meeting of the month, quickly going over the first items on the agenda that included paying the bills as presented by the County Auditor, considering any line-item transfers and considering any budget amendments: all were considered and approved.

The next item on the agenda was discussing the White Deer Land Museum with Director Anita Gullett where she outlined the number of visits to the museum for 2022-2023 as compared to the prior years and discussed upcoming events.

“With the 2022-2023 school year, we had 850 students come to the museum,” Gullett said. “They come from Pampa, but also from all over the Panhandle. For summer camp last year, we had two of them and each one had 30 kids so 60 in total and this year, they are nearly already full so we are pretty excited about that. Last year’s total visitors were 2,235. Damage from the storms last year are nearly wrapped up and fixed up. I’m hoping by June 6th we’ll have everything done.”

“For the 2023-2024 school year, we had 926 students from all throughout the Panhandle, but we had 450 of those come through pretty much in the last 4-5 weeks of school, so it was pretty crazy, but a lot of fun,” she laughed.

“Most of those came from Pampa, but we had some from Shamrock and Amarillo, Canadian and Lefors, so it’s not just in Pampa, we’re bringing in students from other towns. For the summer camps, we’re already almost full and this year we’re doing oil painting and the Frontier Regiment but we’re also doing the Wild West Rehabilitation Center to teach individuals what happens when you run into an injured animal. It’s just education and we’re getting authors and illustrators to work with the kids on writing and illustrating books, which will be a lot of fun.”

“So far, we’ve had 776 visitors. For events, we’ve got the Red River War. We’ve been working with a lot of the other museums in Hutchinson, Hemphill and Wheeler Counties on getting together and really focusing our attention on the Red River War. We have a schedule for each of the dates of the battles so that starts in August and goes through November and it’s amazing because these museums are just working as one. On August 24, we’re going to feature Dr. Michael Jordan and on November 8 is the official Red River War date. This is a big deal because we had our soft opening on just the military side, but we will have the Native American and 10-12,000 years in the Panhandle. This is big for us at the museum.”

“We’ve been doing a lot of work at the museum, have some new exhibits up. We did a new law enforcement exhibit, so we moved the Rufe Jordan exhibit and remodeled a room and now we’re doing all law enforcement-highway patrol, sheriffs, police officers, firefighters, all the way through. In the room where that used to be, there’s people from Lefors building a little museum in that room for the County of Lefors since they were the original county seat. I’ve got all kinds of neat things that they’ve brought over and I’m really excited for that. We’ve got O.M. Franklin on exhibit right now and in our temporary exhibit space for this year we’ve got the Brooke Sisters and that should open in December.”

Gullett also mentioned that she meets up with other members of the Museum Director’s Group every four months with other directors of 28 surrounding museums to get together and brainstorm, all of them learning from each other.

“You don’t get told enough how much you’re appreciated with all you do,” Judge Porter said. “You really do a phenomenal job.”

The next item on the agenda was to discuss the Wildfire Relief Operations with Texas AgriLife Extension Service regarding the supply point.

Judge Porter started the discussion by asking Gray County Extension Agent, Marcus Preuninger and Ty Koonce questions regarding rumors that have circulated as to how donated supplies and money are being handled.

“Has the Gray County Commissioner’s Court told you that you’re going to put money from the Wildfire Relief Fund into the general fund of Gray County?” Porter asked.

“No, sir.”

“Has the Gray County Commissioner’s Court ever told you how to spend, what to spend, or who to spend money on?”


“Has the Gray County Commissioner’s Court in any way, any member, ever told you who to distribute things to or who should get or who should not get things?”


After the questions, Marcus then addressed the judge and the commissioners, first expressing his uncertainty as to where or how the rumors had started and went on to tell him what supplies had not been picked up and they planned to distribute the remaining items to other producers as well as a few of those items that have been scheduled for pickup in the near future.

The next item on the agenda was to discuss and consider the Housing Contract at the Perry Lefors Airport, resulting in a postponement until the next commissioners meeting so that all of the commissioners have a chance to review the contract in its entirety.

The next item on the agenda was to discuss and consider the Precinct One Phone Contract with Resound which was approved.

The next items on the agenda was to discuss and consider the Road Crossing Request at County Road S and County Road 22 for water lines, which was approved.

The next item was to dicuss and consider the architect request for qualifications at the 300 W. Kingsmill building.

Judge Porter addressed the commissioners about which direction they felt was best to go between the two inquired architect companies, and it was decided that instead of choosing one at that moment, it was better to bring them both in to physically look at the building, listen to their ideas and base their decision on the suggestions and prices put forth by the companies.

The next item on the agenda was to discuss and consider the budget schedule for the 2025 fiscal year which will be announced later in July.

The next items on the agenda was to consider the requests to replace employees in both Precinct 1 and Precinct 2, which were approved.

The last item on the agenda was to consider declaring the 2 Mack Model R Rear Assemblies as Surplus for Precinct 2, which was approved.

One item of particular interest was the resignation of Justice of the Peace Karen Goodman effective September 30, the process of searching for her replacement beginning in August.