Tag Archives: Randall County Courthouse Annex

Hoping for a quick turnaround at old annex

Randall County has vacated its former Courthouse Annex at Georgia Street and the Canyon Expressway.

The building is dark.

However, as I understand it, the old annex might not be dark for too long. That’s my sincere hope.

The Texas Panhandle War Memorial board of directors hopes to convert the annex into a chapel. It would become a place where those who visit the nearby War Memorial can go to pray, to thank the Almighty himself for the sacrifice in defense of our country made by those who are honored at the memorial.

The annex once served as Randall County’s avenue for its residents who live in southern Amarillo. The tax office was there, along with a justice of the peace court; the sheriff’s department also had a small office in the annex. They’ve all moved to much more spacious quarters at the corner of Western Street and Paramount Boulevard into a building once occupied by Nationwide Insurance.

Thanks to some wheeling and dealing by County Judge Ernie Houdashell, the county has now opened a virtually full-fledged courthouse operation to serve the county’s Amarillo-area residents. The new annex features about six times the space, plus a county clerk, district clerk, district attorney and a court at law operation.

The old annex site, though, needs to be made functional in another form. It needs to be re-purposed to suit the needs of the War Memorial board, which serves to honor the memories of those who died in defense of our country.

The memorial board is seeking to raise money to build — eventually — an interactive education center next to the garden, the granite stones and the names of those from throughout the Panhandle who have fallen in battle.

Oh, how I hope the former annex site can be re-fitted and brought back to life as a chapel. Those who pay their respects to our fallen warriors need a place to pray and to reflect.

Here's what I am doing on Election Day

My granddaughter likely never will ask me this question: Grandpa, what did you do on Election Day 2014?

But if she did, I would have something rather interesting to tell her.

I would tellĀ little Emma I worked all day, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. as an exit pollster.

My job, which I’m doing for a public opinion research firm, is to interview voters as they exit the polling place at Randall County’s Courthouse Annex. Well, I don’t “interview” them per se. I will ask them if they would mind filling out a short questionnaire telling who they voted for, what are the key issues of the day and then a little bit about themselves.

I’ve got to log every person who takes part, everyone who refuses and everyone I “miss,” those who walk by without being asked if they’ll participate. I have to be sure to make a record of it.

Three times during the day I’ll call in voting results; I’ll report the total number of people voting, total “misses” and “refusals.” The polling firm is interested in the races for Texas governor, lieutenant governor andĀ U.S. Senate.

The polling is being done on behalf of all the major media outlets in the country: CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, The Associated Press.

They gather this data from all across the country during the day, compile and then report their findings nationally to an audience awaiting the election returns when the polls start closing around 7 or 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

It’s going to be a challenge to make sure I get all the data collectedĀ that’s required.

My adviser at the polling firmĀ assures me it will be fun. She also believes I’ll find my rhythm once I get going.Ā I’m going to take here word for it.

So, with that I’m off to my polling station for what I believe will be a most interesting day watching democracy at work.

Oh, by the way: Be sure to vote.