Bandera County - at home in the 198th
By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor
Glancing around a crowded courtroom Monday, Sept. 16, attorney Cynthia Cox Payne said, "What an important event this is for our county."
Payne, along with her husband, John, hosted an open house to commemorate Bandera County officially becoming a part of the 198th Judicial District. The reception introduced new-to-Bandera elected officials and their staffs to county officials and residents.
At that time, 198th District Judge Melvin "Rex" Emerson, District Attorney Scott Monroe, Assistant DA Donnie Coleman, court coordinator Becky Henderson and investigators, Kyle Dean and Todd Burdick met a cross-section of the community in Courtroom B at the Bandera County Jail and Justice Center. Greeting them were County Judge Richard Evans, along with District Clerk Tammy Kneuper and her staff, LaNita Balko, Tina Ramos and Alma Baker, deputy district clerks.
In his welcoming remarks, Evans said, "This was a long time coming. Now we have a new DA and judge - and it's raining outside." He indicated that a smaller district would be more responsive to the needs of Bandera County citizens. The 198th Judicial District includes just this county and a portion of Kerr County.
For his part, Monroe said, "I won't make any remarks about where we came from, but it's great to be here. We're looking forward to working for you and with you." Previously, the 198th Judicial District included a portion of Kerr County and Edwards, Kimble, McCulloch, Mason and Menard counties. Monroe's staff also includes Theresa Thaler, paralegal; Garvene Adams, secretary and Gera Causey, receptionist.
Attorney John Payne observed that regardless of the county's realignment from one judicial district to another, Henderson would continue to serve as district court coordinator-administrator, making the transition even more seamless. Henderson's staff includes Mickey Bailey and Mary Frances Root, assistant court coordinators; and Paul Beaver, official court reporter.
After Evans recalled that he had served on his first grand jury with the 198th District, Payne asked him how long had it been since Bandera County was a part of that district.
"Let's just say it's more than two years and less than 50," Evans replied.