The Jourdanton City Council monthly meeting was held August 17. Mayor Susan Netardus called the regular meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. The meeting ran four hours in length with council members Donnie Blue, Robert “Doc” Williams, Raul Morales, Patsy J. Elizabeth Tymrak- Daughtrey and Chester Gonzales in attendance.
The first item of business was the approval of the consent agenda which contained the minutes from the meetings of July 14, July 20 and July 30. The minutes were accepted with Tymrak-Daughtrey voting against. Consent agendas encompass routine items that are normally approved by a single motion and a vote without debate. If a councilmember objects to a consent item, it is removed from the list and added to the regular agenda.
Tymrak-Daughtrey had questions about the city bills, specifically involving purchase of new equipment and transmission repair on a backhoe in the amount of $78,255.27. Tymrak-Daughtrey maintained that amount was above City Manager Dan Nick’s purchasing power and stated that the council had not approved it.
City Manager Nick replied that this was a line item on the budget and that it had been approved. He purchased the equipment through the Buy Board, which meant that it did not have to go out for bids. City Attorney Habib Erkhan confirmed that was not an unreasonable assumption on Nick’s part. Tymrak-Daughtrey began to cite some information that was discussed in an executive session (closed meeting). City Attorney Erkhan cautioned her to not discuss anything said in executive session. Tymrak-Daughtrey then claimed that Erkhan was trying to infringe upon her rights and her right to free speech. Councilmember Gonzales said that he also thought it should have been brought to the council. Motion to accept the payment of the bills passed with three voting for, Tymrak voting against and Gonzales abstaining.
Tymrak-Daughtrey threatens city with lawsuit
A lengthy heated discussion regarding the destruction of some city records in accordance to the Records Management Program occurred toward the end of the meeting. The city had hired an expert to go through records that are being stored in the old city hall building to determine which could be legally destroyed. Council member Patsy Tymrak-Daughtrey threatened a lawsuit if any documents were destroyed before she saw them.
She said that she had filed a request for copies of all the records, including those to be destroyed. She filed a complaint with the State of Texas Attorney General’s office who sent a letter to City Attorney Habib Erkhan. She’s been waiting since May 9, 2014 for the copies. Erkhan suggested that he be directed to give an opinion and he’ll work with the Attorney General on this, because her request was too broad.
If going under the Open Records Act, she has to abide by those rules, as she would with the Public Information Act and under that one, she would have to pay the amount quoted to her for copies of the documents. Tymrak says she is not going to pay the $7,000 she was quoted. Erkhan said he felt it was outrageous that she’d asked for all the city’s records and then thought $7,000 was too much to pay. He added that nothing can be done since there is an open request. Mayor Susan Netardus said that Tymrak was holding the city hostage over this and they couldn’t sell the building because there was too much stuff in it. Mayor Netardus told City Manager Erkhan to give an opinion and get with the Attorney General on this matter.
Boots Campaign event to help vets October 10th
Chief Eric Kaiser asked the Jourdanton City Council to sign a resolution allowing members of the Jourdanton Police Department to participate in a Boot’s Campaign event on October 10, 2015. The Boot’s Campaign organization is a 501(c)3 non-profit that promotes patriotism and those who serve by assisting military veterans in need. They offer a wide variety of help and raise funds by selling “combat” boots online and with other wearable items at their events. The October 10th event will be county wide and is “Boots, Birds and Birdies” in which there will be a bird hunt, golf tournament and a “Hero Ambassadors” dance at the Pleasanton River Park. Performers will be Jack Ingram and Radney Foster. Sponsors are from all over the county and a Jourdanton hotel will serve as the anchor. This is a large event which will be held annually. Kaiser added that some of the money earned here will stay in the community. Motion passed for the resolution with Tymrak voting against.
Officers okayed to suit up for security duty
Councilmember Patsy Tymrak-Daughtrey moved to change the personnel manual so that police officers were not allowed to wear their uniforms or any symbols when off duty, especially when they were working security. Councilmember Chester
Gonzales asked Chief
Eric Kaiser if the officers did that on occasion He said that they do, within Atascosa County, mainly at the Community Center and Riverpark when doing security. Kaiser stated that he is very selective about what he lets the officers accept as security duty. Also, Kaiser added that just because they are not wearing their uniform, does not relieve the city of any liability. Full time officers can act anywhere in the state as a Texas Peace Officer. He felt that this was making up a problem where there was none. All voted against, except Tymrak who voted for.
Jourdanton proposed tax rate passes
The proposed effective tax rate for the year is .4450 with the roll back rate of .4849, based on the information given to the city by the Atascosa County Appraisal District. This rate has not been increased in four years. Tymrak argued that you cannot set the tax rate until you’ve done the budget, but everyone told her that is not true. The motion to accept the proposed rate passed with Tymrak voting negative Public hearings for the budget and tax rate were scheduled for September 2 and September 8 at 5:30 p.m.
The Jourdanton City Council meets on the 3rd Monday of every month at 6 p.m. in the Jourdanton Council Chambers, which are located at 1220 Simmons Ave. Agendas are posted on the front of city hall at least 72 hours prior to any council meeting.