Recap of Duncanville City Council Meeting – March 6, 2012

Filed under: City |

Duncanville City Council
7:00 P.M.
Council Chambers, City Hall
203 E. Wheatland Road

Members in attendance
Mayor David Green
Mayor Pro Tem Scott Cannon
Member at Large Janet Harris
Member Don Freeman
Member Leslie Thomas
Member Grady Smithey
Member Johnette Jameson

Meeting was called to order at 7:00PM.



Pledge of Allegiance

Mayor’s Report

Recognition of Visitors / Proclamations / Presentations

Proclamation presented to the American Red Cross in recognition of Red Cross Month.

Keep Duncanville Beautiful recognized the Spring 2012 Curb Appeal Properties

  • District 1: 903 Greenbriar Lane
  • District 2: 660 Parkwood Circle
  • District 3: 446 E. Cherry Street
  • District 4: 1634 Cedar Hill Road
  • District 5: 1231 Bow Creek Drive

Citizens Public Comment Period

[Each speaker will be allowed two (2) minutes to address the Council.]

Homer Finacannon spoke and invited everyone to an Irish Festival on March 16th at the Duncanville Fieldhouse from 7PM to 10PM. The ticket to get in is to show $50 worth of taxable goods receipts purchased in Duncanville. There will be dancing and green tea.

Consent Item(s)

1C. Approval of minutes.

2C. Approval of an expenditure in the amount of $395,525 with Douglass Distributing Company through the Tarrant County Fuel Cooperative for annual purchase of fuel.

3C. Approval of five-year maintenance proposal with The Library Corporation for library circulation and cataloging software.

4C.Approval of Resolution No. 2012-03 0604 approving the terms and conditions of the first amendment to the contract for the collection of municipal court delinquent fines, court costs and fees between the City of Duncanville and McCreary Veselka Bragg & Allen, P.C.

5C.Approval of license agreement between the City of Duncanville and PlayNow Enterprise for software systems and video services at the Fieldhouse located at 1700 S. Main Street.

Items 4C was pulled to workshop at a later date, and Item 5C was pulled for discussion during the meeting. Item 1C, 2C, and 3C were voted upon. Jameson moved with Smithey seconding to approve and the three items passed 7-0.


5C.Approval of license agreement between the City of Duncanville and PlayNow Enterprise for software systems and video services at the Fieldhouse located at 1700 S. Main Street.

Smithey moved to approve and Cannon seconded.

PlayNow came forward to explain that PlayNow enterprise that will allow any child to speak to any scout and attend any university in the United States. They can develop themselves through performance and training and watching their practices and talk with their coaches while they are both watching the video. Athletes can upload their video, edit it, and distribute it to scouts and colleges. This will stream games live from games across the country. This will be the only center in the Dallas/Fort Worth market that will have this technology. PlayNow will also be bringing in professional athletes to speak with children to speak on the core value of sports. Since this is the only venue in DFW with the technology available, athletes from across the area will be coming to Duncanville for training and exposure to scouts.

Smithey clarified that this is at no cost to the city for this system. PlayNow will be spending money to market the facility and the cost is nothing to the city.

Homer Fincannon spoke about his own efforts to promote Duncanville and about other items not related to the item on the agenda.

Thomas stated she has two problems with this item. Thomas stated that she would like more time to investigate this, and another concern is that we will be giving space to a private company inside a city building.

Jameson asked PlayNow about the manpower at the facility. PlayNow stated that they would bring in staff as the scheduled items dictate. They stated that on a nightly basis they would be seeing what they needed to operate. The first 90 days will be spent promoting the facility and giving tours of the facility to promote it. PlayNow has events that they can book, but the Fieldhouse has first scheduling rights. PlayNow will be there the entire event to assist with exposure of the facility and events to the media. PlayNow will also be there on a nightly basis to talk with parents. The filming will only happen during large events and PlayNow will be there during the events. PlayNow will only be filming when the parents are paying for the filming. They will also be filming premier events. During tournaments, and a lot of teams and players, PlayNow will be there to film. This is for any sporting tournament (basketball, volleyball, cheerleading, karate, etc.). Jameson stated she wants to have PlayNow to come to an upcoming workshop to discuss the scheduling of filming. The Fieldhouse can also have PlayNow film an event at their request. The major tournaments will be streamed via the Internet for families that can’t attend to watch their child.

Freeman asked the City Attorney if she has looked at the contract and she explained that the contract only goes to December of this year and can be terminated at any point, for any reason. Freeman also asked Shane Gravens, Parks and Recreation Director to speak about what went into the process. Gravens explained that he has talked with PlayNow over a year about coming into the Fieldhouse. The original offer was that the city would have to come up with $40,000 to get PlayNow to come in. When that wasn’t feasible, PlayNow went back and reworked the contract so that it would cost nothing to the city. The Fieldhouse has tournaments booked almost every weekend throughout the rest of the year on the efforts of the Fieldhouse. According to the numbers, it is possible to make $200,000 to $300,000 a year with PlayNow. All other marketing efforts would cost a significant amount of money to market the Fieldhouse. This would bring quality athletes in Duncanville. Pro scouts and college scouts have expressed interest in Duncanville should this program be put in place. The contract would expire in ten months and can be renegotiated at that time. Freeman’s major concern is that we are only getting a smaller percentage of profits, but realizes that it can be negotiated in ten months.

Harris asked about PlayNow having space in a city building, but she supports the idea of the program. She also asked for a clearer picture of when they will be filming. Releases would be given to every coach stating that the games can be filmed. With this system the parents and athletes can upload their own films.

Cannon, pointed out that the contract allows PlayNow to not only film, but to also access to the building. The attorney stated that they would have access to the public access area. Cannon stated the contract gives them access to all areas that the public would have access to, and gives them access and rights to the entire premises. Cannon points out that there is a sense of urgency due to the scheduled tournaments that are coming up very quickly. Cannon also points out the win-win for all parties. PlayNow will also provide a management system for tournaments, leagues, and teams at no cost to the Fieldhouse. The biggest portion is the monetary value from sales and advertising, marketing, and management systems make this a win-win.

The language of the motion was modified to include what portions of the Fieldhouse was excluded from access and accepted by Smithey and Cannon.

Thomas expressed her concern over the “fair market value” of the room that PlayNow would be using. The City Attorney stated that she feels this is not a “rent” situation.

Cannon stated that the money spent to install the equipment, and the marketing efforts, and balance that against the money taken in, then journal entries will be made to off-set any “rental” fees. The money would be taken off the top. The attorney stated that PlayNow is more of a service provider than a renter. She also stated that the contract could be amended to show the public purpose is the marketing of the facility. Thomas motioned the amendment and Jameson seconded.

The council voted 6-1 to approve the amendment. Smithey voted against it because he did not understand the need for the amendment.

The original motion to enter into a contract with PlayNow was then voted upon. The motion carried 7-0.

6. Discuss and consider directing City Attorney to prepare a draft policy of guidelines to ensure that city employees and officers comply with all existing state and federal laws governing the expenditure of any public or city-owned asset to any private entity.

Thomas requested this for the agenda. Thomas again discussed the Texas Constitution as it relates to city assets given to private citizens without council over site. Thomas stated that she has observed several instances of this happening, and that some instances are due to ignorance.  Thomas stated that her opinion is that these types of items could be approved if the public purpose is defined by the council. Thomas said this also applies to memberships in the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations. Thomas moved to direct the city attorney to draft a policy. Jameson seconded.

Smithey showed that he received a two-page piece of paper that is the backup for her proposed policy. Smithey pointed out that the council voted to approve 4B expenditures over something that was an illegal expenditure (money to Museum of Cultures) and no money given to the Chamber of Commerce, which is a legal expense.

Cannon stated that he actually purchased plants through Green Garden, who provides plants for purchase to the City, and did not get them from the City. In fact, Cannon had purchased a plant for Councilmember Thomas and given it to her. Cannon also said that since these items being presented by Thomas, were mostly line item expenditures that were set out and voted upon by the council when the budget was approved. He also stated that if we’ve been doing something wrong, then let’s fix it. But feels that there is no need to shut down city government for every paper clip of office usage by someone. Cannon asks for a workshop to look at what policies are currently in place to govern distribution of city assets. But, the council should not go overboard.

Jameson asked that the City Attorney for an opinion on money being allocated in a budget, but not voting on the distribution separately to a non-profit organization. The attorney stated that there does have to be a public purpose and safeguards must be setup to protect the money and that the public purpose is met. There has to be a written agreement.

Freeman stated that all Thomas is trying to do is tighten up how tax dollars are distributed.

Harris stated that she is an active member of the Chamber and that she was excited to have won an award at the State of the City. She is also a member of the Best Southwest Chamber, and feels that it benefits Duncanville businesses. Harris said she supports a workshop to iron out the policy.

Thomas stated that they did workshop the State of the City, and that she doesn’t mean to harp on the Chamber, but that was the latest item. The policy she has purposed is about giving city assets away, not contracts. Thomas asks for the city to consider doing an internal audit as well.

Harris stated that we did have a workshop regarding the State of the City Address, and they have had numerous other workshops. Harris desires a workshop to understand the guidelines.

Smithey states that he hopes the citizens of District 3 are concerned about the money given to the Museum of Cultures as well. Smithey supports a workshop that will set out the policy so everyone can be aware of what it says.

Cannon states that Thomas has taken his comments out of context and accused her of impuning his integrity. Cannon also stated that there is an audit committee meeting tomorrow night and she is under the same responsibility that he is to notify the auditor of any wrong doings and she has failed to do so. Cannon stated that he understood that the council approves contracts over a certain amount, but once money is in a budget, it can be used for a public purpose.

Cannon moves to postpone this item for a workshop, Smithey seconds and approved 5-2 by vote of the council with Freeman and Thomas voting against. The workshop is set for April 23.

7. Discuss and consider approval of Ordinance No. 2173 amending the Code of Ordinances, Chapter 2, Article III, Code of Ethics; providing severability, repealing and savings clauses; providing a penalty of fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500) for each and every offense; and providing an effective date.

The council had asked the city attorney work on this and Smithey moves to postpone the item to allow the council to study this and workshop. Cannon seconds the motion. Citizen Jeff Burton spoke about the ordinance’s wording concerning the appearance of impropriety. Burton also stated that he was against the two-year limit on filing violations and that ethics is a lifetime of integrity. Stated that ethics violations should not be mingled with violations of law or unlawful action. Burton feels that the time limit should be set at the time the council member is in office.

The City Attorney stated that the thinking was not to limit accountability, but to help people that were accused of something, they could accurately respond. A longer time period makes it more difficult to maintain a fresh memory and retain documents.

Citizens Cindy Jones stated that while it would be hard to recall some of these things, but most of this was subject to open records and must be maintained.

Thomas stated that she appreciates the sentiments of Jeff Burton.

The motion to workshop passed 7-0.

8. Discuss and consider directing staff on submission of KaBoom! playground profile application and consider action authorizing the Interim City Manager to execute letter of intent and community partner agreement.

Smithey moves and Cannon seconds. Interim City Manager Jeanne Fralicks stated that the city would be responsible for $8,500 and coordinate the project so that the playground could be built in one day. It was determined that the park area in Waterview Park would be a good location. There are no other playgrounds in the area and that park equipment was in the first year Park Master Plan for Waterview Park and that it was an unfunded expense. KaBoom! would be willing to look at other parks, but that this location was considered a prime location. It is unknown at this time who a corporate sponsor would be, and that there is no guarantee that this would be in the final selection process and be actually selected.

Smithey clarified that this does not tie us to the project, but that it gets Duncanville in the process.

Jameson also clarified that the project is very small and could not replace Kidsville.

Shane Gravens stated that the project was approximately 2500 square feet, would probably match what is at Alexander Park and would possibly include a slide, small climbing apparatus, and a couple of swings.

Motion passed 7-0.

9. Receive Capital Projects Update.

Public Works Director Steve Miller discussed alley improvements, left turn extension from Middale to Pelt Place. Also discussed water/wastewater improvements on Roma Drive and the Bentle Branch Relief Line on Parkview Drive, Lakeview Circle, and Cedar Hill Road. The Wintergreen Road intersection with Main Street is 60% complete. The Wintergreen Road project should see no shortfall. The Eastbound IH-20 service road project is still in Austin under review. The Highway 67 bottleneck is virtually complete. The 408 and Clark Road bridge is scheduled to be complete by the end of March 2012. The emergency generator for the Danieldale Water Pump Station is 99% complete. Drainage improvements to The Greene North Basin is anticipated for bid opening on March 22, 2012.

10. Congratulate Duncanville High School Panthers girls’ basketball team for advancing to the UIL state tournament.

Smithey requested this and said that he has never seen a team dominate as the Pantherettes did this year. Smithey suggested we bring the girls in to congratulate them. Green states that there is talk in the community about a parade to congratulate the team, and to have the team present to receive a proclamation.  

11. Discuss and consider amending City of Duncanville Financial Policies to require recommendations on purchases and contracts $19,000 or more to be presented to the City Council for their approval.

Jameson asked this to be on the agenda due to the contract that former City Manager Kent Cagle signed that was around or under $50,000. In 2000, the City Council voted to line up with the state to allow the city manager to sign contract under $50,000. Jameson desires to bring that total back down.

Green states that fourteen of the eighteen cities surveyed allow the city manager to sign all contracts under $50,000. Green also states that the reduction to $19,000 would decrease service and increase the time it takes to make purchases because of the constraints.

The Finance Director Richard Summerlin stated that when the limit was raised to $50,000 it allowed a reduction a staff. Lowering the limit would possible bring back the need for more staff.

Cannon makes a motion to table until the next agenda to allow the city to study what lowering the limits would impact operations, Smithey seconded. Passed 7-0.

12. Discuss and consider allowing the Leadership Southwest Training Program to conduct a meeting on April 18, 2012 at the Bob Knight Fieldhouse at no cost.

Smithey motioned that since this has a public purpose that it be approved, Cannon seconded. Duncanville Chamber President Steve Martin explains that Leadership Southwest is a 27 year program that prepares leaders of the five member cities, Oak Cliff, Duncanville, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, and DeSoto. This event would also highlight the Fieldhouse. The day would be the law enforcement program that would bring the police chiefs from all cities to attend, as well as the participants would be taking field trips to other locations.

Thomas stated that she appreciates Smithey putting this on the agenda in light of the recent discussions. She also stated that she would be present to safeguard and make sure that the public purpose would be carried out.

Green states that he supports the program.

Cannon stated that he was a graduate of the class of 2004, and that it is a great program and would recommend it to anyone.

Jameson stated that she was a graduate and that the law enforcement day was her favorite day.

Motion passed 7-0.

13. Discuss and consider approval of an unbudgeted emergency expenditure and purchase of darn repair services at Lakeside Park from Insituforrn Technologies, Inc. in the amount of $43,350.

Staff had observed low lake levels at Lakeside Park and a growing sink hole. It was discovered that an overflow pipe had deteriorated and that the only viable solution was Insituform.

Smithey moved, and Cannon seconded. Motion passed 7-0.

Public Work Director Steve Miller stated that this should last 40-50 years.

14. Councilmember Reports — Items of community interest regarding which no action will be taken, as authorized by Section 551.0415 of the Government Code.

Cannon congratulated the Pantherettes on their state win and thanked the City for the new website at He also congratulated the Parks and Recreation Department for Duncanville being named a Tree City again, for the tenth consecutive year. A large part of the designation was due to the 750 trees along IH-20 and the wood chipping program.

Smithey stated that he has a close friend who is a veteran and is dying. Smithey feels that Duncanville lost more residents than any other city (per capita) than any other city during the war. He reminded us to be thankful for the veterans.

Harris reminded everyone that the Taste of Duncanville is March 15th.

Jameson said that she attended an all day legal Riley Fletcher law seminar upon the recommendation of the city attorney.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:57PM.