Friday, October 17, 2008

What Just Happened?

That was the feeling most folks attending the Wilmer City Council Meeting of October 16 had after waiting two hours on the results of the executive session considering the termination of Crystol Birdwell.

As usual, the meeting opened with an invocation by Councilman Lowe, followed by approval of the prior meeting minutes and the consent items. In what is quickly becoming customary, all motions were "made" or "seconded" by Tiny Lange and Marlena Dyess with little discussion among the council members present.

The meeting convened in Executive Session to consider Ms. Birdwell's termination, with at least three separate "recesses" of the group so that City Attorney Bob Hager could confer with the council or Ms. Birdwell privately on a number of items. At the end of the two hours, open session was reconvened and Mr. Hager advised the council that no action was to be taken on Ms. Birdwell's employment status and seemed to remind the council that the matter had not been resolved and should be held in confidential status until such time as details were finalized. One interesting note is that the entire audience remained for the full proceeding.

Quickly, a resolution was adopted to include interim City Secretary Alice Holloway on the banking signature cards for the city's accounts.

City Attorney Bo Hager advised the council that while the purchase of an ambulance would require a bid process, an interlocal agreement could be reached with another city to use an existing successful RFP (Request for Proposal) and greatly reduce the time required to complete the competitive bid process. The suggestion was adopted as a motion.

The proposal to allow the Library to accept canned goods in lieu of library late fees until December 20 was amended to permit this practice annually so as to avoid having to reconsider the proposal in subsequent years. The City Attorney advised that a definite fee schedule for accepting the goods should be created before the measure was implemented.

And finally the ordinance denying the proposed Oncor rate increase was approved upon the advice of the City Attorney to preserve the city's status as a party to ongoing negotiations between Oncor and the state Public Utility Commission.

The meeting was adjourned shortly after 10PM.

In a surprising potentially related development, this reporter was admitted to Baylor Medical Center at 3:30AM on the advice of Wilmer Paramedics, delaying publication of this report by several hours. It is currently unknown what effects, if any, the results of this dizzying meeting had on other participants or attedees.


The Observer said...

Glad you have recovered from the City Council Meeting. Someone told me we're getting option to buy a vehicle from Houston. Isn't that area a problem with "flood" vehicles?

Editor Publisher said...

Re: The Observer
As I understood it, Wilmer was going to purchase an emergency vehicle using the purchase proposal (RFP or Request for Proposals/Bids) from the Houston/Galveston area to avoid delays in preparing a new RFP document - not an actual vehicle from either of those departments.
BUT - it does seem like we need to do more investigation!

Anonymous said...

This came from a reliable source at city hall. The city received a check from Xebec for $160,000.00. Marcus bought a four wheel drive ambulance, then found out he had to send it out for bid. The city attorney advised the council to send the paper work to Houston to cover their butts? In fact Xebec gave the check to the city the same time that Dyess changed her vote from No to Yes for the zoning change!

Editor Publisher said...

RE: Just Asking
The Fire Chief did not purchase a ambulance - it IS out for bids as authorized at the last city council meeting. We have no information about 4WD or other specs for the ambulance.
The check came to the city right after the "revote" on the Xebec annexation (9/19/08)...
Our best information was that Xebec put forth $140,000 - so if it is really $160,000 WONDER WHERE THE OTHER $20,000 WENT?!

Anonymous said...

Sorry my figure was incorrect. Your's is right. But, it is true that they already purchased it. The city attorney advised them to send it to Houston, so as to allow the paper work to appear to be sent out for bids.

Editor Publisher said...

Re: Just Asking
We can't confirm about the ambulance purchase. Our sources indicate that bids are still being received as of 10/22/08. An unconfirmed source indicated that a 4WD drive chassis had been held or reserved by one bidder, but no winning bid has yet been declared.

Anonymous said...

Do you know the legalities of the city taking this $140,000.00? Maybe someone needs to be looking at this exchange between the council and this developer..Remember, this council voted against the recommendations of the planning and zoning board? I guess if you put two and two together, you come out with 5. Xebec gave $140,000 and John Wiley wanted to give infrastructure. Sold for a new ambulance. What does that make? 4-5 ambulances in the last 6 -7 years? Also can you verify whether or not Marcus has been before the council to be approved as Fire Chief? Can anyone produce an agenda or minutes showing this or how the council voted?

neil young said...

Hey "just asking", do a little more of your own research and you won't have to ask so many seemingly dum..ig..sill...goof...
intriging questions.


The current ambulance is a 2001 model.

The Ambulance it replaced was a 1991 model.

Increased call volume mandates the purchase of a new ambulance before the current ambulance exceeds it's current life cycle. It can be retained as a safe "back up" ambulance when maintenance is needed on the new ambulance preventing response delays to the citizens of Wilmer.

TOTAL- 2 (two) ambulances in the last 17 years.


Check the agenda around...let's say, June 2005.I bet you will find him on the agenda, in the minutes and...well..probably in the recorded executive session on the same date.
You can also check with the State of Texas. I predict you will find him listed as the "Head of Suppression"(responsible for Fire Department Administration and Incident Command at emergency scenes) for the Wilmer Fire Department.

If you need further verification, go back to the first sentence of this post.(you know.. look the top.....yeah, there it is.......)