‘Four Months and One Day is All I Ask’

Lillian Tidwell

Lillian Tidwell

During the public comments time at Bowie County Commissioners Court two days ago, Lillian Tidwell put a human face on the consequences of the Court’s decision to cut 15% from county payroll. Department heads were allowed to choose whether all employees would take a 15% cut, or meet the goal be reducing payroll costs by 15%.

I asked Ms. Tidwell for a copy of her notes, and she sent them to me:

Good morning. My name is Lillian Tidwell.

I am the Secretary for the Bowie County Juvenile Probation Department. I have held this position for the last 19 plus years.

During these 19 years I have worked under 4 different Chief Juvenile Probation Officers in Bowie County.

Some of my job responsibilities include but not limited to –Answering phones-Entering arrest reports in computer- Intake process with juvenile and family gathering information- monthly state reports,-apply for grants- transport juveniles to detention in Marshall, Longview, Greenville-being in the 3-4 month rotation of on call for a period of 7 days for 24hrs.

I have always been a team player and tried to make the best of all situations.

The reason I’m here today is because of the decision by the Court to cut 15% from County employees’ salaries. I wish it was that simple: You see my department has decided to eliminate my position and also my employment to comply with the orders of the court.

My last day of employment is scheduled for this Thursday July 31, 2014. Before this decision was made I was eligible for retirement in 4 months and 1 day.

I feel that the decision to eliminate my employment is an unjust one.

I know for a fact that I am the only employee in the Juvenile Probation Department that is losing their job and that no one else in the department is taking any kind of pay reduction.

My job elimination is more than the 15% reduction required by the Court. I am 55 yrs. old and have a 13 year old daughter that I have to support. Losing my job will be a major financial hardship, a 15% cut in pay was going to be hard enough but that was better than no job without my medicial benefits. I feel that there are other options.

Thursday July 31, 2014 I will lose my medical insurance, that I have worked toward for 19 years and will be unable to collect my retirement until May of 2015. I feel that I’m being treated unfairly to make someone else feel better about meeting the 15% pay cut.

4 months and 1 day is all I ask.

Thank you.

I contacted Harland Jones, the Chief Juvenile Probation Officer for Bowie County, about the matter. He told me he didn’t feel it was appropriate to discuss personnel issues.

***UPDATE – a detailed article about an alternative to the payroll cuts is here.

0 thoughts on “‘Four Months and One Day is All I Ask’

  1. Life is not always fair and this is a very sad story. Our country is in decline. Until we fix Washington, we will all continue to suffer. Vote out the Socialist Politicians (mostly Democrats) and we may start to heal like we did under Reagan. Keep them in and we’ll continue to get weaker and weaker until the terrorists destroy us. History is repeating itself. Remember the Roman Empire? The terrorists or as they were called in the day, Barbarians will eventually destroy us because they keep fighting and we keep retreating. Our border security is a joke and our “leader” golfs, drinks and fund raises his time away. Will we survive the next two and a half years? There is an increasing chance that we won’t.

  2. I Dollie Riggs call bull sh,,,t. That is as low as probation can go!!! Let her work out her time. What are you guys thinking? You guys will near retirement soon. (Probably overdue if County really wants to save money) Cut out all cell phones..but not screwing over a 19 year employee. GOD is watching you!

  3. LILLIAN, I am so sorry this happened to you. I will be praying for you and ur daughter. Your letter was very well written and professional. God’s blessing to you and your family.

  4. I think they should let her work out her time after 19 yrs of loyal service. Only 4 months and 1 day. My gosh have a heart Bowie County. I’m sure there are other people there that are past retirement.

  5. Harland says a personal matter, to Lillian not him how does he sleep ? I hope someone is reading this that can help her . So not right!!

  6. I am dissappointed in the county. What is happening is a disgrace to this community and everyone that has supported it. Cut the bigwigs salaries by 20% and see what happens!

  7. Bowie County Commissioners are you really going to allow Lillian Tidwell to be done like this at your hands? when there are so many other ways to cut cost. shame on every last one of you. you all one day will be close to retirement. i hope nothing like this happens to you. Miss Tidwell i will be praying for you and your daughter. Im so sorry that you gave them 19 plus years, and they cant give you 4 months. This is not the way God intended for people to be treated.This is a shame.

  8. This is not right and am wondering the gender of the people who made this decision. Seems like you were discriminated against because of your gender.

  9. Even Walmart, who eliminated the door greeter position is letting the door greeters who were there work until they can retire. If walmart can surely they can!

  10. What goes around comes around. Show some appreciation for a job well done. Let Lillian finish what she started.

  11. I agree, this is terrible treatment for a 19 year employee. I went through the same thing, only I was a 37 year employee and my job was eliminated with the local electric company. I will pray for you and your daughter! Keep your head up and remember that karma is a b***h!

  12. Bowie co resident….letthe poor woman retire! They should be ashamed..it’s the only thing we work so long and hard for!! I show her total support!!

  13. I agree with you, Peggy. Please find some way to let her stay for the 4 months and one day! Put yourself in her place…..and think how you would feel if you were losing your job and health insurance. Have compassion for a co-worker!

  14. My comment keeps disappearing! I want to know why are you not reporting that she was offered another job but refused it.

  15. I checked, and you had only one earlier comment, and it was in the spam folder because you spelled “gmail” incorrectly when you entered your email address.

    I didn’t report anything about another job offer because your comment is the first I’ve heard of it.

  16. Sorry about that. You should look into the job offer…. I really think you try to report the truth but she is not wanting that told. I believe Mr. Jones ( no relation) just like the other officials and department heads had to make a tough decision but he did try to help finish out her time.

  17. Steve and Lisa,
    The job offer Lisa is referring to is Managed by Adult probation and Lillian would have to work another 10 years at this position and retire from it before her medical insurance is paid. Just clearing up the facts.
    This was wrong in so many ways…

  18. It is the same retirement that the county has. I guess it is true she might have lost the insurance but she could have retired in 4 months. At least they did try to find her a job.

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