The Jan. 4 Poteet City Council meeting proved contentious once again with numerous agenda items tabled. The meeting included two agenda items from the Dec. 7 meeting regarding lowering the librarian’s salary and dismissing the city administrator, Kim Davis. Multiple citizens signed up for opening comments and voiced their support for the librarian, Lisa Burbridge, as well as Davis, including former Poteet Mayor Willie Leal Jr. In addition, Wendy Knox, a citizen of Poteet, stated that she along with others have gathered signatures for an ongoing petition to change the ordinance for a recall of elected officials. Mayor Sanchez asked to sign the petition prior to the council meeting and signed it with question marks.
“As of the last meeting of this board, the citizens of Poteet and its surrounding communities have started a petition to ask the city council to pass an ordinance defining how to recall elected officials,” Knox said. “As of [Jan. 4], we have collected well over 200 signatures in support of this proposal, and a statement of no confidence in the mayor’s ability to effectively govern. I find it very disheartening that the mayor would ask to sign the petition as I came in, and when she came to the dais, and then make a mockery of it by signing question marks.”
Knox then went on to express her support for Davis and stated that complaints have been filed against the legal counsel, Maldonado Law Group PLLC.
“We have filed numerous ethical violations against Mr. Maldonado and other attorneys within his law firm,” Knox said. “We will continue to do so when violations are committed. The needs of the people of Poteet are being held hostage to petty bickering by the mayor’s vendetta against people who have offended her.”
The first agenda item discussed lowering the librarian’s salary. Lisa Burbridge, the librarian for the Poteet Public Library, answered questions for the council. She went on to state that the library currently has thousands of users registered.
“I’ve been in the library system for 12 years and I’ve been a library director for eight of those years,” Burbridge said. “Aside from Charlotte, I am making the lowest amount. I have registered users of 4,925. We have Kennedy with 2,454 users and they’re making $23.75 hourly. So they’re making quite a bit more than me and I have more users than them. And I also spoke with the department of labor and wages and my salary is based on a predetermined amount, and a predetermined amount cannot be reduced as per the US Department of Labor Wages and our division.”
Council member Crystal Bautista added the item to the agenda. Bautista said she has asked Burbridge to complete other tasks, but Burbridge replied by saying the council doesn’t have the authority over employees.
“Well really the council shouldn’t be asking me to do anything,” Burbridge said. “That should be my city administrator because the council can’t tell employees what to do.”
After council member Rick Flores motioned to take no action, council member Nicholas Sanchez seconded it and the motion passed after N. Sanchez, Bautista and Flores voted in favor of the motion. Council member Candace Cantu abstained and council member Jeremy Fernandez voted against.
Agenda Item C. Discuss and Consider possible action regarding the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment of duties, discipline or dismissal of City Administrator Kim Davis was held in an open session after Davis waived her right to have it in an executive session.
Bautista motioned to table the item until the council and city administrator attend their retreat later this month. The council voted unanimously for the motion. Davis added that she has attempted to reconcile with the council, but hasn’t been given an adequate response from her emails.
“The cooperation has to be two ways and I’m not sure how to fulfill that,” Davis said. “And if any council member has a suggestion, feel free because I have a full stack of emails that go unresponded to. And I’m just trying to figure out how between now and when we have our retreat on the 25th, we can start to move forward to conduct city business.”
The council went into an executive session for Agenda Item Q: Consideration and action to remove the Mayor Pro Tem and designate a new council representative(s) to represent the City at the mediation regarding Mayor Sanchez’s litigation against the City. Following the executive session, Flores addressed the item and denied the accusation made against him.
“It was stated that I had made a comment in the last meeting that I hated the mayor,” said Flores. “I apologize, Mayor, if you thought you heard that. I will tell everybody and I think most of the people here know me and know that’s not in my nature.”
Council member Cantu made a motion to reconsider Flores as the Mayor Pro Tem in the mediation. The motion failed for lack of a second after the council members were unable to fill in for Flores in the mediation. Flores reminded the council that his words were misheard and recommended the council go back and revisit the tape.
“If that’s what you thought you guys heard, I would recommend that you review the tape and listen to the tape. That’s not what I said,” he said.
N. Sanchez motioned to have no action for the item, followed by a second from Flores. The motion passed 3-2 after N. Sanchez, Bautista and Flores voted in favor.
Following the adjourning of the meeting, Mayor Sanchez called out N. Sanchez and said she didn’t want any phone calls from him. When N. Sanchez tried to respond, Mayor Sanchez told him she would press harassment charges against him.
“Mr. Sanchez, I want to say right here in front of everybody,” Mayor Sanchez said. “I wish for you no unwanted phone calls. I told you we talk to each other here or I will press charges for harassment. No, you cannot call me. I’m asking you or harassment charges will be filed. And I’ve already talked to someone about that. They will be filed against you.”
The next Poteet City Council meeting is set for Feb. 1 at Poteet City Hall.