Jourdanton council rejects study from EMC Strategy Group

The Jourdanton City Council voted unanimously to reject the study from EMC Strategy Group LLC, and place it on the agenda once they are available to come to council chambers to answer questions by this council. The item was part of the April 15 council meeting.

There was some discussion by City Attorney Daniel Santee and council, on the quality of the work EMC Strategy Group performed.

EMC Strategy Group representatives did not attend the meeting.

However, EMC Strategy Group CEO and President Ernie Gonzalez Jr. sent a written statement to the Pleasanton Express stating, “EMC Strategy Group was contracted by the City of Jourdanton, on Jan. 19, 2019 to conduct a shortterm (five-six week) Local Resident Survey. The surveys were going to be used by a separate grant writing consulting firm that the city contracted to apply for a Texas Water Development Board Grant. EMC conducted surveys at targeted neighborhoods identified by the city manager. EMC also visited several local churches and conducted presentations at religious services on multiple weekends to promote the survey. In total, 270 surveys were obtained from Jourdanton households. Although the contract between the city and EMC did not include a survey target or goal, surveyors were aiming to complete 450 surveys.”

“On the first day of the project one of our team members sustained a canine bite and was treated at Methodist Hospital South. For safety, our staff had to avoid certain households because of the large number of loose canines on neighborhood streets. We were also fighting inclement weather on multiple weekends during the project,” said EMC President and CEO Ernie Gonzalez. “We wish the city well as it tries to improve its water infrastructure for the citizens of Jourdanton,” adds Gonzalez.

At the council meeting, City Attorney Mr. Santee began, “Lamar (Schulz) had copied me on a communication that he sent to this person who doesn’t know how to spell Jourdanton. Mr. Gonzalez’s response to Lamar was such that I felt compelled to interject as well. There is clearly a dispute and a disagreement about the quality of the work. Essentially, I’ve stated that look, at this point Lamar wasn’t truly authorized to pay the rest of this money because he disagrees that the job was done. It would have to go to city council.”

Santee explained that Gonzalez would be allowed to present his case to council. Gonzalez’s attorney emailed Santee, suggesting that he and his client wanted to meet with Santee in his office to discuss the city manager, Lamar Schulz.

“I didn’t respond to it,” said Santee.

Santee explained again the way the city conducts business and that Gonzalez would need to come before council.

Santee said he had not heard anything else. He considered the request to discuss the city manager as highly inappropriate.

More discussion took place, with Schulz describing the survey as spotty. He added that the city was not able to use any of what EMC did and that it was a total loss.

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