Thursday, November 6, 2008

City Council Meeting Leaves a Vacuum *UPDATE*

The November 6 City Council Meeting was again, quite interesting and somewhat puzzling. Surprisingly, Former Mayor and current Ellis County Resident Don Hudson showed up to attend the proceedings as a member of the audience. Former council member and mayoral candidate Teresa Bain also was in attendance.

Mayor Pro Tem Matias Leal called to the meeting to order at 7:30PM with councilman Eugene Lowe giving the invocation. First two orders of business: approving the minutes of the last meeting and paying the bills for the preceding period were approved unanimously. As is becoming a modern tradition, Tiny Lange and Marlena Dyess traded motions and seconds on these and every other agenda action item.

The council adjourned for 5 minutes before reconvening in Executive Session to discuss the appointments of a new police dispatcher (Teri Cohen), a new city secretary (Alice Holloway) and a new City Administrator. A half hour later the group met in open session again, (without actually reconvening the meeting) and continued with actions as necessary from the executive session. Teri Cohen was hired as police dispatcher. Alice Holloway was appointed as City Secretary, with Eugene Lowe voting NO and stating he wanted to make a point of the reason for his NO vote. Nothing was said of the City Administrator appointment, prompting the audience to ask specifically what had transpired before adjournment. A supposed city attorney that wasn't afforded the consideration of an introduction ("Doofus" seems an appropriate moniker), stated that the council was under no obligation to discuss the results of any items considered in executive session when no action was required, even though those subjects were clearly detailed in the agenda.

The high point of the meeting was the acceptance of a bid for a much needed new ambulance for the Fire Department. The motion passed unanimously and Marlena Dyess asked that Fire Chief Marcus Smith describe the purchase - it's a brand new 4 wheel drive unit capable of responding to airplane crashes (first class).

With Former Mayor (and Ellis County resident) Don Hudson watching the proceedings, Marlena Dyess nominated Tiny Lange for appointment as Mayor. We missed the second, apparently from Matias Leal, and the vote was called. The measure failed with Lange not voting, Leal and Dyess FOR and Lowe and Rolison AGAINST. The attorney stated that the current situation with Mayor Pro Tem Matias Leal acting as mayor would continue.

Tiny Lange gave a report for the "Wilmer Water Advisory Board", which remained an unnamed and unidentified entity, presented no written material, and held no open meetings announced publicly. She stated that Wilmer could get water from Dallas for $1.47 via Mike Rader's pipe through Hutchins, but that a direct pipe with flow meter on Wilmer city property would cost the taxpayers a bit over $3 million and would have to be donated to the City of Dallas upon completion. (ED NOTE: We could not remember any appointment of a "Wilmer Water Advisory Board" occurring at any deliberations open to the public).

Mayor Pro Tem Matias Leal adjourned the meeting at 8:30PM. Allen Group Leslie Jutzi congratulated the council after the meeting for no apparent reason.

One interesting aside that occurred before the meeting: activist Lorrie McDonald opened a door to the storage room containing allegedly public records and snapped a photograph before being "shut out" by the interim City Administrator. A police officer was prepared to intervene, but his assistance was not required as Ms. McDonald quietly reseated herself after the incident.


Anonymous said...

Lange and Dyess were part of this advisory water board. It included 3 private citizens. They started meeting down at the community center and Leslie was a regular attendant. 1 citizen (that I know of) has since decided to stop going to these meetings. I understand that they are frustrated with the Allen group and Lange & Dyess. It is also my understanding that Hudson is the one who chose the members (if you would) of this board. Really don't see how anything positive would come of this, since you have two of the dullest knives in the drawer running it. Lange & Dyess.
So Lange could not vote for herself? Interesting. What is she willing to give up to become the Mayor of Wilmer? Agree to bring Lauer back? Agree to do anything for Mr. Wickliffe, as long as she gets to sit at the head of the city? Could you just see it now.....Just when you think Wilmer has seen its darkest hour, Lange as the head of the city? Seems to me she must now switch back to Wickliffe's side if she is to achieve her dream.

Editor Publisher said...

RE: Just Asking
Thanks for the update on the composition of the water advisory board. I still need to press for full disclosure on this and get the meeting notices and records or minutes (if any). Another occurrence of closed-door, back room, politics as usual - even though I remember when Hudson first mentioned it - the intent sounded good. Seems like I remember something about it all needing to be done in the public eye though.

The Associate Moderator said...

Lange, Dyess-Hagen, Allen Group's Leslie Jutzi (representing a group with a plan) and a group of people fed up with the Lange-Dyess operation? WOW, now that is the recipe for disaster. How can they accomplish anything good with that drama? Especially a group unwilling to operate in the public eye on behalf of a PUBLIC ENTITY?

I can see why there are problems. Keep digging Joe, probably more there than meets the eye.

Editor Publisher said...

RE: The Associate Moderator
Just like the TRANSFORMERS - more to them than meets the eye!
I still need to find out which citizens were on the board - Leslie Jutzi hasn't returned my call yet.

The Associate Moderator said...

I have been offered the following anonymously from a reliable source:

Mary Shoemaker, Connie Saunders and Jennifer Dominguez, along with Lange and Dyess (the Wilmer twins). Lange (of course) is the chair. Don Hudson appointed all of the members.

I hope this helps!

Editor Publisher said...

RE: The Associate Moderator
I confirmed your information about the citizens on the advisory board. A public records search turned up no information for a Jennifer Dominguez in Wilmer.
The advisory group allegedly had a posted meeting last week, but we could find no record of it.

The Associate Moderator said...

I am sure they don't post their meetings. Tiny doesn't want anyone to know they meet, when or where. Why don't you go check a book out at the library Joe. Something on illegal meetings maybe? You can ask the Librarian's Assistant for help with the Dewey Decimal System.

Anonymous said...

It might be possible that this is the same Jennifer that works for the library (Wilmer)

Editor Publisher said...

We just received a notice from our readers that our report on Teri Cohen, hired as a police dispatcher at the Nov. 6 Council Meeting, was in error. We apologize for any inconvenience or embarrassment our initial report may have caused, and as always, look forward to correcting improper reports in a timely fashion.
We have revised the article from its' original form "Teri Cohen was 'reinstated' as police dispatcher, overriding the mayor's firing (who the mayor was at the time was a point of discussion among the audience)."
We have restated the report simply as "Teri Cohen was hired as police dispatcher."

We're also wondering where we came up with the erroneous information in the first place and will report on the source of our error as we find it.