Thursday, September 6, 2007

City Council Meeting September 6

City Council (Mayor Pro tem Billy Wickliffe Presiding) met sans Mayor Don Hudson to discuss a varied agenda, including a Public Hearing on the rezoning of Mayor Hudson's former property on North Goode Road. Council member Tiny Lange raised an objection to the motion to approve the open items report without any discussion, and raised a number of issues with approval of several line items over $200.These included a Home Depot bill of $1600 and a skip-trace report costing several hundred dollars, as well as several smaller items for "prisoner food" and vehicle repairs. City Administrator Thom Lauer remarked that the repairs for the city's ambulance overrode the policy for prior council approval of major expenditures. The open items report was approed over Ms. Lange's objection, however, no consensus was reached on the requirement for prior council approval of items over $200. Wilmer Public Citizen expresses concern that the city administrator is permitted to dictate policy to our elected city council officials, apparently with no documentary evidence or definitive resolution to issues regarding ordinances currently in effect.

Chris Nelon petitioned the City to set up a Neighborhood Watch in his area and while the council seemed amenable to the idea, there were no resolutions or actions on the matter.

A number of objections were raised and a formal protest filed on the process and notices required to act on the proposed zoning change to "Industrial" (I2) classification from the current residential (SF1) classification. The measure passed without regard to the protests filed (to see the actual protest letter click here).
It should be noted that the city council had not received nor accepted the recommendation and report from the Planning and Zoning commission, nor were any members of the commission present to verify the recommendation. City Administrator Thom Lauer stated that the P&Z Commission had recommended approval of the zoning change. Council member Tiny Lange voted against the measure.

A final plat of 53.67+ acres in the Sunridge Business Park development was approved without comment or discussion.

Kevin Kline of the Texas Water Development board met with the council for the third time this year to discuss and plea for an audited financial for the previous fiscal year ended September 2006. State law requires that audited financial reports be filed within 120-180 days of the end of the fiscal year (ED Note: this statute has recently changed). Mr. Kline confirmed that the city had not missed any payments due. The city council reported that the completed audit report was expected by the next council meeting scheduled for September 20 and Mr. Kline requested an agenda item at that meeting to receive the report. Citizens commented that perhaps the city should change audit firms as the city seemed Mr. Kline also indicated that the city had filed late audit reports consistently over the past five years in a brief interview outside the public session. We will have to wait and see what transpires.

Two items regarding an agreement with Dallas County to provide fire and emergency medical services were passed, with some discussion regarding the payments for these services.