County Commissioners Vote, Three to Two, Not to Bring Back Sherbet As Elections Consultant

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Down at Dallas County Commissioners Court this morning, where the fire marshals were out to keep the overflow crowd at bay, County Commissioner Marine Dickey's move to keep Bruce Sherbet running county elections -- under a two-year consultant's contract -- opened the door to a half-hour airing of the grievances before it all went down in a quick vote: two "aye," three "nay" and one muttered "ridiculous" from the crowd.

County Commissioner, and former Dallas City Council member, Elba Garcia joined Jenkins and John Wiley Price in voting down Dickey's proposal. Garcia said her concern was that the arrangement wouldn't be legal.

Dickey reiterated what she told Robert yesterday, that the County Elections Commission -- which Jenkins called together for a performance review of Sherbet two weeks ago -- is an outdated and unnecessary body. It's "a Catch-22 that shouldn't exist," Dickey said this morning. "It really stands between you, the people and their elected officials."

Jenkins, meanwhile, professed to be perplexed at how the last two weeks have unfolded.

"I didn't call for Mr. Sherbet's resignation. I did not ask for Mr. Sherbet to resign," Jenkins said. "This went off the rails."

Before a skeptical crowd -- dotted with those "I Support Bruce" T-shirts with the dancing donkey and elephant -- Jenkins maintained he was only ever interested in accountability, especially given the tough times the budget's facing, and the "need to do more with less," Jenkins said. "Every year I want to see a performance review of the heads of our departments."

While speakers in the crowd waited to have their say this morning, Jenkins made it clear he wasn't backing off his defense: "I don't want to mischaracterize that there has been a conspiracy to oust Mr. Sherbet, because nothing could be further from the truth."

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