Body found near Millers Ferry and Adams Street on Tuesday morning September 4, 2012.
Read the Full Story in the Dallas Morning News CLICK HERE!
Here's our photo blog of the incident. Exclusive News Photos
Body found near Millers Ferry and Adams Street on Tuesday morning September 4, 2012.
DID YOU KNOW...
The City is short on income by more than a million dollars.
The City is a million and a quarter dollars under budget on expenses.
The vast majority of income has been received for the current fiscal year.....
but there are still 5 more months of expenses.
In a shocking expose based on the current City of Wilmer Profit & Loss statement, mayoral candidate Joe Aldrich blasted the City Council on fiscal irresponsibility and the budget. The City planned to overspend current income by $4,900 according to the published budget figures. Last year's budget doesn't seem to be quite in balance. It doesn't take an accounting background to see a problem here, just take a look.
No "red flags" appear in the report because everything is "under budget", so almost any expenditure the City cares to dream up (like the Dewberry drainage project) can be said to be in the current budget. The problem is the income shortage of over a million dollars and the vast majority of property tax proceeds already received, and little chance of significant additional revenue in the remaining months in the current fiscal year. All the while, expenses continue to accrue regardless of the availability of funds to pay the bills.
The City Council approved a budget with known deficiencies, such as the tremendous over estimation of permit income because Whirlpool's windfall last year wasn't factored out of the proposed budget. At time of adoption, the budget was known to have overstated $135,000 in permit fees alone.
No wonder those special public funds accumulating in the Economic and Community Development Corporation accounts seem so irresistible to the City Council - Wilmer only has a bit over $175,000 in the bank to last over the next 5 months - each of the development corps has a similar amount of money in their accounts currently. Perhaps this is why these development corporation boards can't seem to get enough cooperation from the City to be able to schedule a meeting and the directors can't get access to the financial records.
At the time the budget was being discussed in public hearings, last year's new council was in a huge battle with Jeff Steele. It's beginning to look like they may have approved a budget with the intent of embarrassing Mr. Steele and then forgot to repair the damage once in office - so now eight months into the fiscal year, they've neglected to come to grips with the issues and the responsibility lies solely on the current occupants of the seats in the governing body to repair the problem. After several budget workshops, why have no corrections or changes been made? How much is this going to cost US?
After some scathing comments and a extensive community interest discussion, the business of the Public Hearing on next year's Community Development Block Grand program funds was quite revealing. The City Council's plans for the money is none of our (We the People's) business according to Mayor A.H. Casarez. The public hearing about the next year's Community Development Block Grant funds got off to a bit of a slow start because there was no introduction by the council on the scope of funds or any description about what projects could be funded. First the audience in general asked how much money we were talking about: answer $104,000. The next general question about what the funds could be used for was answered by Ms. Birdwell about what past grant funds had been used for. A couple of citizens had some suggestions to fix certain roads or sewer issues, but it was evident there wasn't to be any discussion or dialog between the citizens and the council on the relative merits or potential consideration of the suggestions brought forth. This reporter questioned the City Council: What projects, proposals or plans does the City Council have for these funds, what's already being considered? Mayor Casarez answered that the city council's intentions were "nothing we'd care to discuss at this time". Unbelievable. The taxpaying citizens aren't entitled to know what the elitist city council is already planning to do with our public money. The public hearing was a mockery - the only things the citizens were going to hear was each other's great ideas about the greater good to put these monies to work in our community. Mr. Turner tried to engage the council in some discussion of use of these funds, but was "shut down" by Pena who said the public hearing was for "hearing from the public" - Pena was totally against SHARING anything with the public and would not participate in any discussion. The incredible hubris and contempt for public opinion openly displayed for all the VOTERS to see is an embarrassment to the entire council and most certainly does not help "A.H." Casarez in his bid for the mayor's seat. Read more!
UNTIL JUST TUESDAY APRIL 17 -
Evidently the residents and businesses along North Goode Road have had virtually no Fire protection since at least last October, according to Wilmer Water Superintendent Mike McVea, although the document received on April 9 from the City is clearly dated 4/5/2011. Click Here to View the List of Out of Service Fire Hydrants.
A leak on former mayor Don Hudson's property the last week in March prompted an inspection of the water service along both sides of North Goode Road. Only two fire hydrants exist, about half a mile apart - BOTH fire hydrants were covered in black plastic, "out of service". As of Tuesday, April 17, the fire hydrant next to the old "Red Dog Saloon" across from Hudson's property was repaired. The hydrant south of the creek bridge near Cottonwood Valley and Richmond continues to be "out of service".
According to Fire Chief Marcus Smith, he had been informed that a number of fire hydrants were "out of service". Water Superintendent McVea confirmed that he "bagged" the inoperable hydrants when he joined the City last October and forwarded a list of their locations to the Fire Department. Chief Smith also stated that the City Fire Truck carries 1000 feet of hose and the City can assemble up to 3500 feet of hose with outside assistance from other fire fighting companies. We requested and received a copy of the memo detailing the locations of the out of service fire hydrants.
While no definite repair schedule could be determined, Water Superintendent McVea promptly returned our calls to ascertain the details of the "out of service" hydrants the first week in April. He stated that a number of hydrants were out of service in various locations and that at least one was scheduled to be repaired in the next week, although he did not have that location at the time he spoke with this reporter. Upon visiting and inspecting each location on April 15, it appears all of the hydrants have NOW been repaired EXCEPT the one on North Goode Road South of the bridge and one hydrant at Millers Ferry & Patrick Pike that is partially uncovered and could be functional. There are additional fire hydrants at acceptable intervals along Millers Ferry, however, given the proximity to GWG Wood Group, lack of a fully functional fire hydrant in that location presents a health and safety risk issue.
The problem for the residences and businesses along North Goode Road is that the nearest fire hydrants are in Wilmer Heights on Richmond and in Sunridge Business Park on Distribution Drive. Both locations are far in excess of the 1000 feet of firehose available on the City's Firetruck.
With the newly repaired hydrant on North Goode, most residents and existing businesses can now be serviced (except for those three houses immediately adjacent to the creek and along Cottonwood Valley).
Hopefully, the progress on providing fire protection to all Wilmer residents will continue.
Nearly a hundred children turned out to participate in the 2012 Wilmer Easter Egg Hunt in Cottonwood Park. Hundreds of hot dogs were eaten and a general good time was had by all. Check out the photos!
Wilmer Citizen Activist Exclusive: Joe Aldrich, Candidate for Mayor of Wilmer Texas.
WILMER CITIZEN ACTIVIST ENDORSES JOE ALDRICH CANDIDATE FOR MAYOR
VISIT THE WEBSITE AT WWW.VOTE4JOE.US or click the link above
Scroll down for Spanish!
Aldrich for Mayor
What's My Story?
The wife and I moved to Wilmer in 2005 to avoid fast-growing Dallas City property taxes and ever increasing appraisal values. Don Hudson was my neighbor and Mayor at the time and when his land sold for big bucks, I got the tax bite. So I've spent the last six years speaking out in public meetings and blogging news and commentary about the goings-on here in Wilmer at this blog wilmercitizen.info.
Ask just about anybody at a City Council meeting who I am and they'll say "He's the guy that always gives them hell."
Why Do I Want This Job?
I DON'T Want the Job - it's a Job that MUST be DONE!
The uncontrolled spending and inadequate money controls from The City has to be restrained - the reigns at City Hall need to be taken up and put SERVICE back in the minds of the Public Servants.
In my experience, Wilmer is like any other "corporate turnaround" situation that will make or break itself in 90-120 days - maybe 6 months with deep pockets. I've already put in my time working in public service and I don't need another full time job.
MY goal is to get myself out of the direct management of the day-to-day affairs of the City within 6 months and leave that to a competent professional - knowing that proper controls and processes were in place, the deficiencies were identified and remedies were in progress BEFORE the job of managing the daily operations of the City is decided by the CIty Council OR the voters! Once the City is back in the business of serving the people and the needs of the community, the Mayor's job is pretty much hands off, definitely part-time, but completely in the loop about everything that goes on.
For many folks, trying to work with the City is like having to reset and rewind your alarm clock every day before you can use it to wake you up - at least on those days you don't have to completely rebuild it! Our City government should run like Clockwork, be reliable and consistent, do it's function day-in-and-day-out without complaint. And Let Us Know When It's Time to WAKE UP!
How Can You Get That Done? Experience in Government - A Decade of Government Management
Wide Industry Expertise - Banking Finance Aerospace Energy Architecture Engineering Technology
Excellence - 2000 Excellence in Innovation Award for USDOT Website Project (Oracle)
Over Three Decades Building "Faster Smaller Cheaper Better":
* Organizations * Processes * Services * Systems * Products
What's Your Plan? Strategic Planning, Measuring Quality Efficiency & Performance were big parts of my career.
I wouldn't say there is just one "plan" but a set of "guiding principles":
* Respect the People
* Serve the People's Interests
* Follow all Laws.
The overriding principles are "Work Smarter Not Harder" and "Do More with Less:
Cheaper, Faster, Smaller, Better - that's the way government should run.
My Plan is to actually have a program of plans, not just say I have a plan.
My Plan is to get the word out, so the public understands the City's plans and the council understands the public!
My Plan is to Plan the Work, Work the Plan, Measure-Adapt-Revise & Move Forward with the public's support, because without that support we'll have to answer to the voters a lot more often.
What Do You Mean By "a Vote for JOE is a Vote for US"?
It's like this: US is who YOU make it - just like THEM.
One way or another we are all in this together as residents, business owners and taxpayers - from the air & water quality to the deterioration of roads and civil services - it's our daily lives that feel the impact of the City's direction and decisions. With the expansion of existing facilities like FR/CAL and Sunridge and the increase to the tax base these expansions will bring, NOW is the time to make certain the value of your homestead is preserved. I think it's time the tax money got used to help the people of the community instead of the city employees with their big expensive toys.
If you're with me on any of this we'll both be part of "US" - "US" doesn't exclude anyone!
Why Should I Vote4Joe?
Dave Letterman's TOP TEN LIST says:
10. Aren't you tired of Scarecrow from the Wizard of OZ singing "If I Only Had a Brain" as the City Council theme song?
9. Wouldn't you like to see Joe shut up and DO something for a change?
8. Joe's been watching so long from the outside isn't it about time we let him look inside?
7. Sometime you have to change the TV channels from Hee Haw & American Idol to Perry Mason & CSI.
6. Instead of trying to drag the City Council into the 20th century - it's time to Push it into the 21st!
5. We'll save money and people just by letting him handle his own open records requests!
4. THREE of FIVE Statutory Powers of Mayor relate to following the laws, bringing violators to justice and arresting law breakers that commit crimes.
3. You should support the candidates you think will do the best job for the taxpayers & citizens because We All benefit from Better Government.
2. One thing is Certain: IT WILL be interesting!
1. Just this once: let the smart guy do it!
Aldrich for Mayor No Cost Political Advertising Paid for by Joe Aldrich.
Joe Aldrich para el alcalde
¿Cuál es mi historia?
La esposa y yo nos mudamos a Wilmer en 2005 para evitar el rápido crecimiento de Dallas impuestos a la propiedad de la ciudad y crecientes valores de tasación. Don Hudson era mi vecino y el alcalde en ese momento y cuando su terreno vendido por mucho dinero, tengo la porción de los impuestos. Así que me he pasado los últimos seis años, hablar en reuniones públicas y las noticias de blogs y comentarios sobre los tejemanejes de aquí en Wilmer en este wilmercitizen.info blog.
Pregunte a casi todo el mundo en una reunión el Ayuntamiento de lo que soy y que voy a decir "Es el tipo que siempre se les da el infierno."
¿Por qué quiero este trabajo?
Yo NO QUIERO que el trabajo - es un trabajo que se debe hacer!
El gasto incontrolado y la insuficiencia de los controles dinero de la ciudad tiene que ser sujetado - las riendas en el Ayuntamiento hay que tener y poner el servicio de nuevo en las mentes de los Servidores Públicos.
En mi experiencia, Wilmer es como cualquier otro "giro corporativo" situación que va a hacer o deshacer a sí mismo en 90-120 días - tal vez 6 meses con bolsillos profundos. Ya he puesto en mi tiempo de trabajo en el servicio público y no necesito otro trabajo a tiempo completo.
Mi meta es para mí salir de la gestión directa de los asuntos del día a día de la ciudad dentro de 6 meses y dejo a un profesional competente - a sabiendas de que los controles adecuados y los procesos se encontraban en el lugar, las deficiencias que se identificaron y fueron los remedios en curso antes de la tarea de gestionar las operaciones diarias de la ciudad se decide por el Ayuntamiento o los votantes! Una vez que la ciudad está de vuelta en el negocio de servir al pueblo y las necesidades de la comunidad, el trabajo del alcalde es bastante mucho fuera de las manos, sin duda a tiempo parcial, pero completamente en el circuito de todo lo que pasa.
Para muchas personas, tratando de trabajar con la ciudad es como tener que reiniciar y rebobinar el reloj de alarma todos los días antes de que se puede utilizar para despertar - al menos en esos días en los que no tienen que reconstruir por completo! El gobierno de la ciudad debe correr como mecánica, es confiable y consistente, lo que la función de día-en-y-el día sin queja. Y háganos saber cuando es tiempo de ¡DESPIERTA!
¿Cómo puede usted hacer eso?
La experiencia en el gobierno - una década de gestión del Gobierno
Amplia Experiencia en el sector - Finanzas Banca Aeroespacial Energía Arquitectura de Tecnología de Ingeniería
Excelencia - 2000 Premio de Excelencia en Innovación para el proyecto web del USDOT
Más de tres décadas construyendo "Más rápido más pequeño más barato mejor":
* Las Organizaciones * Procesos * Servicios * Sistemas * Productos
¿Cuál es tu plan?
Planificación Estratégica, Medición de la eficacia de Calidad y rendimiento eran grandes partes de mi carrera.
Yo no diría que sólo hay un "plan" sino un conjunto de "principios rectores":
* Respetar a las personas
* Servir los intereses del pueblo
* Siga todas las leyes.
Los principios fundamentales son "trabajo mejor, no más" y "hacer más con menos:
Más barato, más rápido, más pequeño, mejor - así es como debe funcionar el gobierno.
Mi plan es tener en realidad un programa de planes, no sólo decir que tengo un plan.
Mi plan es correr la voz, por lo que el público entienda los planes de la Ciudad y el consejo entiende que el público!
Mi Plan es planificar el trabajo, el Plan de Trabajo, Medida-Adapt-Revisar y avanzar con el apoyo del público, porque sin ese apoyo vamos a tener que responder ante los votantes mucho más a menudo.
¿Qué entiende usted por "Un voto por JOE es un voto para US"?
Es como esto: US es que usted lo hace - al igual que ellos.
De una forma u otra todos estamos juntos en esto como residentes, dueños de negocios y de los contribuyentes - de la calidad del aire y el agua para el deterioro de las carreteras y servicios públicos - que es nuestra vida cotidiana que se sienten el impacto de la dirección de la Ciudad y las decisiones. Con la ampliación de las instalaciones existentes, como FR / CAL y Sunridge y el aumento de la base imponible estas expansiones traerá, AHORA es el momento para asegurarse de que el valor de su vivienda se conserva. Creo que es momento en que el dinero de los impuestos se acostumbró a ayudar a la gente de la comunidad en lugar de los empleados de la ciudad con sus grandes juguetes caros.
¿Por qué debo Vote4Joe?
TOP TEN de Dave Letterman LISTA dice:
10. ¿No estás cansado de los espantapájaros del Mago de OZ cantando "Si sólo tuviera un cerebro" como el tema del Ayuntamiento?
9. ¿No te gustaría ver a Joe callarse y hacer algo por un cambio?
8. Joe ha estado viendo durante tanto tiempo desde el exterior no es hora de que le permitió observar el interior?
7. En algún momento tienes que cambiar los canales de televisión del ídolo Hee Haw y estadounidense Perry Mason y CSI.
6. En lugar de tratar de arrastrar el Consejo de la Ciudad en el siglo 20 - es el momento de empujar en el 21!
5. Vamos a ahorrar dinero y la gente simplemente dejándole manejar sus propios pedidos abiertos los registros!
4. Tres de los cinco poderes estatutarios del alcalde se refieren al seguimiento de las leyes, con lo que los infractores a la justicia y detener a infractores de la ley que cometen delitos.
3. Usted debe apoyar a los candidatos crees que va a hacer el mejor trabajo para los contribuyentes y los ciudadanos, porque todos nos beneficiamos de un mejor gobierno.
2. Una cosa es cierta: Será interesante!
1. Sólo por esta vez: que el hombre inteligente hacerlo!
Aldrich a la Alcaldía n º Publicidad costo político Pagado por Joe Aldrich.
The applications are in, the candidates chosen and the ballot places established. FIVE citizens vie for TWO seats on the city council.
Two citizens go toe-to-toe & head-to-head for the hot seat Mayor's job.
The Candidates are in order on the ballots:
COUNCIL MEMBERS - TWO POSITIONS TWO YEAR TERMS:
1 Robert Turner (incumbent)
2 Jennifer Alexander
3 Vicky Vandygriff (incumbent)
4 Phyllis Slough
5 Dean Rolison
MAYOR - ONE POSITION TWO YEAR TERM:
1 "A.H." Hector Casarez (incumbent)
2 Joe Aldrich
Recent comments at the March 1st City Council meeting regarding the City employees limiting access to the public open spaces - kicking the kids off the City property playing in the Gazebo - was reported to John Phinney (as head of the Library Board) who brought the comment to the council meeting. This reporter was involved in a similar incident last year on October 18 - here's my first person account.
Original Title: "Citizens Banned from Public Property"
Wilmer City Administration has evidently decided citizens and taxpayers are no longer to be allowed on city property.
The City operates a "dump" on a piece of property on Millers Ferry Road that was deeded to the City by the Lions Club for the sole purpose of erecting a community center. The property is owned by the City, which operates "dump" (aka attractive nuisance, hazardous waste disposal site) there without statutory or other authority by ordinance to do so and has no permits for such activities from regulatory authorities. There are no signs on the property nor is the property fenced although there is a vehicle gate which was open at 2:20 in the afternoon Tuesday October 18.
Evidently, the City Water department was compelled to stop their southbound journey down Millers Ferry and expel this reporter from the "Lions Club" premises while sitting in the car eating lunch. While the passenger demanded I vacate the property immediately, the driver had positioned the truck so as to make entering the roadway impossible. Following the City truck and proceeding to City Hall, my Calls to City Hall and AdminSec Birdwell have been left unanswered as we go to press. Wilmer PD confirmed there was no ordinance or restrictive signage on the property shortly before press time.
[ED NOTE: This was written October 18, 2011 and never published. The fact remains City Hall has never addressed this complaint.]
Let us settle for a reasonable amount of compensatory and punitive damages over this denial of use of public assets, this abuse of official capacity, this continuing denial of due process to many Wilmer taxpayers. Or let's just go to USC Title 18 Section 245 for relief, save the taxpayer's money and put the offending officials in the federal prison for a year or so.
Former "resigned in disgrace" mayor Jeff Steele continues his journalistic endeavors and forays into social networking with the facebook group "Let's Make Wilmer Great!". Unfortunately, after hearing from a few people with opposing views, Steele kicked them all out, closed the group and made it secret - not very conducive to promoting the community's interests at large.
It seems the group started with the description that included "taking Wilmer back" but that was updated fairly early on in the lifecycle of the group. At one point during the holidays, Steele asked all the members of the group to invite as many folks as possible to participate in online group activities. Evidently, the suggestion to direct the group's attention to focus on one particular member was considered "abuse" and that's when the situation began to take on the character of a junior high school clique.
One member and all her posts were removed by Steele, two other member were booted off the group for being nay-sayers, but at least initially, their posts were allowed to stand. There were seventeen remaining members at this point following these expungements.
At this point Steele announced that the group had been purged of naysayers and was now closed so that only members could comment. He also made the group SECRET which restricts anyone not a member from seeing the page as well as eliminating the page from search results. Very odd behavior for someone trying to rally public support to re-take Wilmer politically.
What happens next is interesting: Now that the group was CLOSED and SECRET, former mayor Steele invited a number of folks to join the group and a number of them accepted: Alice(& J?) Holloway, Vicky Vandygriff, Anita Camehl, Eric Pon Victor Kemp, and Ellis County Press reporter Megan Gray. Of course, whomever rejected his invitation to join the group wasn't listed, but there was obviously someone that did not accept as Steele commented that he'd inadvertently invited a naysayer to the group. Fortunately, this reporter was not expunged at that time.
Vicky Vandygriff took the opportunity to comment about the upcoming City Council Meeting and budget workshop on 5 January. She commented, somewhat sarcastically, on having a productive 15 minute workshop and then stated that there wouldn't be a workshop. Whether she planned not to attend, to disrupt the workshop, or immplied that the content of the session wouldn't be workshop material is unknown. However she did publicly state that the Budget Workshop would not happen. Upon disclosing this information to City Hall, this reporter's access to the group was also eliminated.
So it seems that Mayor Steele is content to have his core supporters networking together on facebook to make their plans for the takeover and domination of the political subdivision called Wilmer. It's a good thing we've got members of our local police force watching this group - but it does look bad for those civil servants still answerable to the public and dependent upon taxpayer support to be recruited by former-resigned-in-disgrace-mayor Jeff Steele for his political ambition of re-taking the town. It's a good thing all those blackberrys, smart phones, computers and stuff owned by the city are subject to open records so we can see what our taxpayer dollars are subsidizing and what kind of online activities are considered necessary expenses and appropriate uses of time. Then we can clean house.
Last night, Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 9:21pm Jeffery Steele resigned as Mayor of the City of Wilmer. The City Council scheduled action on the Mayor's resignation at the next City Council Meeting on September 19.
Apparently, the move was not a complete surprise to everyone. Vicky Vandygriff had a motion to accept Steele's resignation and appoint Hector Pena to the position. Lacking adequate notice for City Council action, the matter of the mayor's resignation and potential appointment of an interim mayor must wait for the September 19 meeting.
More News to come.... Read more!
Open Records Requests produced this email exchange between Mayor Steele and Alderman Pena regarding motions, agenda scheduling issues and authority. Note I've added my comments in blue and used bold to highlight important passages in the email. I invite readers to make their own assessments of the personalities involved and the issues to be resolved.
Thank you Alderman Pena for your timely response to my open records request. I will "re-order" the emails in ascending chronological order so that a historical timeline is evident. Through the use of colors, formatting and bolding I will highlight areas to which my comments will be addressed.
I appreciate that Mayor Steele has asked for my opinion based on the research I've completed thus far into the city's records.
The Agenda for the July 7, 2011 Meeting in question can be found at cityofwilmer.com:
Click Here to View the Agenda of July 7
date Sat, Aug 6, 2011 at 3:11 PM
subject FW: Re: Agenda Items For Special Called Meeting Monday, July 11, 2011
Joe, here is the email you asked for.
On Jul 8, 2011, at 3:11 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Dear Mayor Steele:
As voted on and passed by council on the July 7, 2011 meeting to hold a Special Called Meeting Monday, July 11, 2011, below is a list of Agenda Items to be placed thereon:
A. DISCUSS AND CONSIDER THE RESIGNATION OF CITY SECRETARY ALICE HOLLOWAY. (ACTION AS REQUIRED)
B. EXECUTIVE SESSION: PURSUANT TO TEXAS GOV’T. CODE §551.074,
( A) (1) PERSONNEL: TO DELIBERATE THE APPOINTMENT, EMPLOYMENT, EVALUATION, REASSIGNMENT, DUTIES, DISCIPLINE OR DISMISSAL OF A PUBLIC OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE: CITY SECRETARY MARCUS SMITH.
C. EXECUTIVE SESSION: PURSUANT TO TEXAS GOV’T. CODE §551.074,
(A) (1) PERSONNEL: TO DELIBERATE THE APPOINTMENT, EMPLOYMENT, EVALUATION, REASSIGNMENT, DUTIES, DISCIPLINE OR DISMISSAL OF A PUBLIC OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE: APPOINTMENT OF CITY SECRETARY/ADMINISTRATOR.
D. ANY ACTION NECESSARY AS A RESULT OF THE EXECUTIVE SESSION.
E. DISCUSS AND CONSIDER RESOLUTION NO. 0711-11 DESIGNATING THE AUTHORIZED SIGNATURES FOR ALL CITY BANK DEPOSITORY ACCOUNTS REMOVING ALICE HOLLOWAY FROM ALL CITY BANK DEPOSITORY ACCOUNTS AND ADDING A NEW CITY SECRETARY. (ACTION AS REQUIRED)
F. REVIEW AND CONSIDER AMENDING THE 2010-2011 BUDGET CHANGING THE CITY SECRETARY LINE ITEM TO READ CITY SECRETARY/ADMINISTRATOR.
(ACTION AS REQUIRED)
There is Pena's request for a special meeting, claimed as a result of a council vote on Madrigal's motion. I would call Alderman Pena's attention to the statutory requirement for a City Secretary and a City Ordinance mandating a City Administrator are two different functions and cannot, by law, be combined.
From: "Mayor Steele"
Sent: Friday, July 8, 2011 10:36pm
Subject: Re: Agenda Items For Special Called Meeting Monday, July 11, 2011
I am happy to discuss these items with you. Especially city secretary.
Is there a candidate name?
The Mayor has stated he is aware of numerous candidates for the position. The appropriate venue for discussion is in an Executive Session to deliberate on the candidates. The fact that two people occupy the position currently must be resolved before considering or naming a replacement.
i dont understand you stating there was a vote for a special meeting.
Did you have a vote.
Where was it located?
At the meeting, the motion Alderman Madrigal put to a vote was abbreviated by the Mayor in his restatement when the vote result was called and may not have accurately reflected Alderman's actual statements. Mayor Steele is attempting to ridicule Alderman Pena's assertion, denying the original motion's existence, rather than its' validity.
What is the grounds of discussion for marcus smith?
Is there reason to discuss an officer of the city that i have not heard one council member state any grounds to intimidate an employee of the city?
Why does the Mayor refer to intimidation, when none is implied or intended? Indeed, is this not more self relevation, Mayor Steele inserting his bias into the motivational aspects of Alderman Pena's request? The grounds for discussing Smith have everything to do with his position and contract as City Secretary - the Mayor should notice the personnel action discusses "City Secretary Marcus Smith" referring to the fraudulent contract executed by the Mayor at the City Council's direction. Smith was an employee before the contract and still will be after the contract is quashed. He just won't have any claim to the statutory position of City Secretary.
There is not a position of city administrator so I dont understand this
item. your item e is redundant.
According to Wilmer City Codes Section 2-6 there is by ordinance a City Administrator position, although it is temporarily unfilled and the Mayor has assumed the duties, responsibilities, and authorities thereof, whether or not specifically empowered by statute or ordinance.
The secretary can be authorized to sign at time of appointment.
Prior banking signatory authorizations have been completed by resolution of the City Council, appointed boards must make resolutions approving any change in bank account administration. Fiduciary procedures require the City Council act in order to change the banking signatories, as they are the empowered authority of funds for the municipality.
Finally, you item f dealing with the budget will have to be researched. As i understand any change of the budget requires notice and possible public hearing. I will check and you can too
Mayor Steele's understanding of budgetary process is less-than-rudimentary and definitely non-compliant, but this time he errs on being overly cautious. Conducting a regularly noticed city council meeting is all that's required for a budget amendment, just like last year in case the Mayor has forgotten.
Last thing Mr Pena, if this is your idea of leadership, i can only hope that you see the errors that you are making because you are in for a rude awakening by these actions.
What are you trying to do to this city by these immature and irrational actions? I suggest you pick up a book and read it, perhaps the local government code for starters.
The Mayor's belittling comments are Arrogant and Insulting. There is an implied threat by the Mayor of a rude awakening. I would suggest the Mayor look in the mirror for immature and irrational actors in the city government and brush up on his own reading comprehension skills. I understand his best use of the Local Government Code is to hurl it across the City Hall at Mr. Pena.
On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 6:07 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Dear Mayor Steele:
In response to your email wherein you have questions regarding a simple email directing items be placed on a Special Called Meeting agenda which, in my humble opinion, you have no authority to question, I will attempt to answer as briefly as possible.
Sorry Mr. Pena, everybody has a right to question - statute gives three aldermen the right to call a meeting of topics of your choosing in LGC 22.038(b)
These items are not up for discussion with you or anyone else outside of council chambers in a meeting. The Attorney General for the State of Texas has determined that the presiding officer (you) are not authorized to control the content of the agenda, even though by statute you are the presiding officer. Under LGC 22.037(a) By statute and by virtue of our position, any one council member may place any item on the agenda for discussion and action if they so choose. No Reference
As to a Special Called Meeting. I call your attention to the motion made by council woman Madrigal and seconded by myself, passed with a 3-2 vote, wherein the motion was:
I make a motion to approve the consent items with the exception of any legal bills for City Attorney, any City Secretary appointed, interim or otherwise until we can set up a time to appoint a City Secretary that we can work with and possibly have a Special Called Meeting on Monday July 11, 2011 to appoint a City Secretary with action as necessary.
You were present at the meeting, presided over the meeting, and called for the vote of the council on this very motion. It is a fact at this point, you have once again failed and ignored the will of the majority of council and did not call a Special Called Meeting. Am I to exercise my right as Mayor Pro-tem and call the meeting myself, do you leave me another choice? Under LGC 22.037(c) There were no other legal motions that could be taken on the agenda you posted, typed and signed wherein you listed all other agenda items to be "(Discussion Only)" with no other line items for action necessary as a result of executive session. Therefore, any other actions, motions and votes taken after the above motion are null, void and invalid. The motion stands.
??? Evidently there's some disagreement between the Mayor and Alderman Pena on the Motion as passed by the Council!!!
Didn't the Executive Session proceed out-of-order and occur immediately after the discussion of consent items was initiated? Or did any action on the consent items get deferred? The only action item on the agenda was consent items - the only other item that could have resulted in an action would be the motion for adjournment. [ED NOTE: See the Link Above for the Agenda]
Marcus Smith is not to be discussed outside of council chambers and call your attention to 551. Mr. Smith is a personnel matter and shall be dealt with as such. Basic GC 551 compliance on employee matters If you perceive intimidation, no intent is made. Question Mayor how many employment agreements for the position of city secretary were signed and issued to employees?
I have two in my possession, one for Marcus Smith and one for Alice Holloway.
Please Mayor Steele, place items A. thru F. on the August 4, 2011 agenda that I previously emailed to you on July 8, 2011 for the special called meeting on July 11, 2011.
The governing body may change the budget for municipal purposes Mayor Steele. A simple change in wording. Post the agenda items and call the meeting Mayor Steele.
Blatant disrespect and disregard for the council members will not be tolerated by this council as long as I am a part of it. The high handed actions you are exhibiting could be construed as intentional unlawful behavior including an intentional or corrupt failure, refusal, or neglect to perform a duty imposed on you by law. And that would be the definition of official misconduct under LGC 21.022(4)
From: "Mayor Steele"
Sent: Thursday, July 21, 2011 12:15pm
Subject: Re: Agenda Items For Special Called Meeting Monday, July 11, 2011
First , I would like to address what you are assuming to be the authority that you have. The authority in which you have is null by yourself. It is only within a quorum of the governmental body in which you are a member vote on an issue. I am trouble by your lack of comprehension of the will of the council. You state there was no further action after executive session but sir, you are mistaken. After reconvening into open session, Mr. Turner moved to pay the Interim City Secretary. The motion was seconded by Vicky Vandygriff. The vote was 3-2 in favor of the motion.
As to the special meeting, I direct you to your own words of the motion,
"POSSIBLY have a special called meeting" Mayor Steele has a point on the verb used at the time, once the motion was followed with a written request, intent was clarified and the agenda items should have been accommodated in either a special or regular meeting. Intent of the majority was declared during the meeting. The follow-up email clarified that. Or not as you wish Mayor.
Your refusal to not speak to me and discuss what your issues with the secretary and city attorney are cowardly and immature. You have no authority to call any meeting whether you are mayor pro temp or God himself. I refer you again sir the the Texas Local Government Code.
More rude belittling commentary regarding Alderman Pena. Amusing the use of the phrase "refusal to not speak" which should mean you're getting an ear full! The incredibly blasphemous proclamation from the Mayor assuming authority over God for control of his precious meeting agenda. What else can I say except to remind Mayor Steele that I myself have un-called some of his meetings and unhinged an agenda item or two in the months leading to the election!
As to the governing body may change the budget. If the budget officer of the city (which is me )
The above sentence fragment is unintelligible and redundant.
Sec. 22.042. POWERS AND DUTIES OF MAYOR. (a) The mayor
is the chief executive officer of the municipality. The mayor shall at all times actively ensure that the laws and ordinances of the municipality are properly carried out. The mayor shall perform the duties and exercise the powers prescribed by the governing body of the municipality.
(b) The mayor shall inspect the conduct of each subordinate municipal officer and shall cause any negligence, carelessness, or other violation of duty to be prosecuted and punished.
(c) The mayor shall give to the governing body any information, and shall recommend to the governing body any measure, that relates to improving the finances, police, health, security, cleanliness, comfort, ornament, or good government of the municipality.
(d) The mayor may administer oaths of office.
(e) In the event of a riot or unlawful assembly or to preserve the peace and good order in the municipality, the mayor may order and enforce the closing of a theater, ballroom, or other place of recreation or entertainment, or a public room or building and may order the arrest of a person who violates a state law or a municipal ordinance in the presence of the mayor.
Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.
Sec. 102.001. BUDGET OFFICER. (a) The mayor of a municipality serves as the budget officer for the governing body of the municipality except as provided by Subsection (b).
b) If the municipality has the city manager form of government, the
city manager serves as the budget officer.
Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.
In summation I will say, how dare you accuse me of intentional unlawful behavior and you or Joe Alderich may visit and speak to me on your issues.
I observed no accusations from Mr. Pena, although he mentions the possibility of an appearance of intentional (mis)conduct. The second rule of disinformation is the Mayor's oft used "how dare you" ploy; it has no effect on matters of fact.
[ED NOTE: "2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the 'How dare you!' gambit." from 25 Rules of Disinformation at http://www.whale.to/m/disin.html]
My observation is that Mayor Steele maintains his ignorance of propriety and the obligations of his office to the detriment of the City and the taxpayers. IMHO it amounts to "Criminal Stupidity".
And I thank Mayor Steele for inviting me to share my comments on his issues with you all. I would remind the Mayor that I will speak on these and any other issues I may have regardless of Mr. Pena's stance on matters, although I'd prefer not to subjugate myself to a personal visit with the Mayor!
Wilmer Citizen Activist, in public information requests has determined that the City of Wilmer has prosecuted 529 individuals for the crime of "Speeding in a School Zone" to the tune of $165,852since Wilmer Academy began operation in August 2009 - WITHOUT an ordinance creating a school zone. YOU COULD BE DUE A REFUND AND CLEANED DRIVING RECORD.
What if the City Council never adopted an ordinance declaring a school zone and just threw up some new signs and started issuing tickets and collecting money? What if the City did declare just one School Zone in an ordinance - where the old elementary school is on Walnut Street - but definitely not on Belt Line or Dallas Avenue where you got your ticket?
This is EXACTLY what happened, the charter school came in, new school zone signs were erected near the intersection of Belt Line Road & Dallas Avenue, the old signs were removed from Dallas Ave, Walnut Street and College/Kissell. The ordinance declaring the Walnut Street school zone was left intact, nothing was repealed, no new ordinance was created to replace the existing school zone ordinance.
"Unlawful Prosecution" doesn't even rate as a crime, but this situation is definitely one of unlawful prosecution because there is no violation of law. The depth of the collusion implicates both the entire Municipal Court and Police Department - as well as any attorney acting to prosecute the charges. Obviously, this is just a mere oversight, a clerical error, an exigent circumstance to be waived away as a minor inconvenience. We all know ignorance of the law is no excuse - that applies equally to those who uphold the law as well as those who violate it.
At a minimum, we've discovered egregious violations of due process rights for at least 529 individuals - roughly equivalent to one-in-six Wilmer residents!
This is nothing less than racketeering, an ongoing criminal enterprise, denying the citizens of due process, unlawfully collecting penalties for non-violations, defrauding the tax payers, generally obstructing justice and intentionally tampering with government records. Couple this with an unknown number of additional charges and a few custodial arrests and the potential liability claims of the victims of the City's unlawful acts are extreme.
As a potential victim, you have a choice of whether to join a class of similar victims in a class action against the City of Wilmer, or complain to the criminal authorities about the civil rights violations. Then there's always the State's Victim Fund.
Having discovered the current state of the City's finances, any class action litigation probably wouldn't net enough funds to cover the cost of litigation. Besides, any settlements are going to have to come out of the taxpayers' pocket - probably your own pocket eventually.
There are a number of remedies which seem appropriate in this matter:
EXPUNCTION - fix the victims's driving & court records eliminating the conviction,
REFUND any fines, fees & court costs,
CEASE the enforcement of school zone speeding and remove all the signs from the streets.
THEN perhaps the City can work on actually solving the legal dilemma by writing a new school zone ordinance and repealing the old one. Whatever the resolution, it's never going to be enough in my mind to adequately compensate the victims of this travesty for their time, money and continuing expense in increased insurance premiums, not to mention the emotional trauma and other damages sustained by the City of Wilmer's capricious administration.