Poteet Mayor Tuttle lays out expectations for conduct during meetings

Mayor Richard Tuttle presided over his first Poteet City Council meeting on June 1. Also in attendance was new council person Rosalinda de la Fuente, along with Denise Sanchez, Sonny Estrada, Greg Groesbeck and Valerie Reyes. Tuttle began by laying out his expectations for the audience and the council, as far as conduct. He advised that there was to be “no slander, making fun of, etc.” during the business meeting. He sought to set the tone, from the beginning, for the business meetings.

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved, with de la Fuente abstaining. With no comments from the audience, the next item was the old business.

City Administrator Scott Moore updated the council on the city’s website. It will eventually have online bill pay, postings of the meetings and minutes and informational archives. He hopes to get the important information out to the citizens quickly.

He also advised that they signed a grant form for $27,000 which will allow the city to connect with Benton City Water in the case of an emergency. Their grant proposal was rated number one out of 30 submitted. He hopes that with this, the water issues will start coming together and be taken care of. Also, he announced that three families were selected for the Home grant, although 20 qualified. Finally, $46, 000 is left on the Trail grant and this will have to be spent or returned. The city has until August 31 to do so.

Requests for proposals were sent out to three companies for the solid waste service. They have extended the deadline to June 30. Moore is trying to get more pickups throughout the year than are currently offered.

Council voted de la Fuente to serve as Mayor Pro Temp, with Groesbeck abstaining.

Moore discussed the Notice of Violation for Chlorine Monitor letter that he received for the fourth quarter of 2014. He saidthe paperwork was done, but not submitted in time, due to the overturn in staff. There is no fine stated in the letter. Some internal changes have been made and everything is up to date now. Advertisement for the Public Works Supervisor has been run through TML and will be in the local paper next week. They are updating the ad to include the Class C certification. The Chief of Police will also be advertised, although they have already had two people from Pleasanton apply.

Council agreed unanimously to install stop signs on the north and south sides of 9th Avenue, because it is such a dangerous intersection.

Sanchez wants to see how much the city is spending each month and where the money is going. The attorney reminded her that if things are paid late, there are fees added to the bill, if they have to wait until council approves them. She stated she wanted to see “what’s going out that we don’t know about.” It was decided unanimously that a monthly financial report, including expenses and revenues from the general ledger, would be submitted prior to each monthly meeting.

Sanchez then began a tirade regarding the new municipal judge and court clerk. She claims that the guy hired is not coming to magistrate as he is supposed to. The attorney assured her that the council had already appointed this man for a two year term and that could not be rescinded. He said that he had not seen the man’s contract, so he couldn’t speak to it directly, but advised that they call him in and explain the problems to him directly. Moore said that there is an average of 3 magistrates per week and Jourdanton is willing to enter into an interlocal agreement for the municipal judge to magistrate, for a low fee. The contract should not be a duplication of service: this was not a problem before because the judge lived in the city. Sanchez wanted to appoint Cassandra Leal as clerk. She was reminded that Leal is an hourly employee. The attorney also pointed out that the city secretary serves as the clerk. Moore said he would firm up details with Jourdanton.

Groesbeck wanted a city administrator update on the agenda, but a written opinion from the Attorney General found that it could not be done because the wording is too broad. No action was taken. Next up for discussion was a city Facebook page. Tuttle felt that the web page should be online before they consider Facebook.

The council adjourned into executive session to discuss the duties and authority of the City Administrator at 6:46 p.m. and returned at 7:40. No action was taken.

Staff reports: Police Department answered 173 service calls, opened three new cases, made 16 arrests and responded to one shots fired call; Public Works reported flushing of hydrants to check to see which needed to be repaired, well number 8 should be installed at the end of the week. The plan for the $3 million grant was submitted to USDA for review, which has to be approved before they go out for bids. Moore hopes that everyone knows the council’s agenda is to get good water for everyone. He commended the staff and council for pushing to get this done.

Tuttle ended the meeting by saying they are “striving as a group to go one direction for you,” and advised he had an open door policy, being available every day from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm. Meeting adjourned at 7:48 p.m.

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