City Council Meeting Recap – 08/25/2011

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Duncanville City Council Meeting Agenda Thursday, August 25, 2011 Special Meeting – 6:00PM Briefing Room, City Hall 203 E. Wheatland Road


  1. Call Meeting to ordercalled to order at
  2. Recess into Executive Session pursuant to G.C. Section
    551.074, Personnel to discuss appointments to the Planning & Zoning Commission, Board Adjustments, Sign Control Board, and DCEDC Board. Recessed into Executive session.
  3. Reconvene Open Session (workshop) to discuss appointments to the Park & Recreation Advisory Board, Library Advisory Board, Keep Duncanville Beautiful Board, Tri-City Animal Shelter Board, Certified Retirement Community Oversight Committee, and Duncanville Community Multicultural Commission.
  4. Consider appointments to the Planning & Zoning Commission, Board of Adjustment, Sign Control Board, DCEDC Board, Park & Recreation Advisory Board, Library Advisory Board, Keep Duncanville Beautiful Board, Tri-City Animal Shelter Board, Certified Retirement Community Oversight Committee, and Duncanville Community Multicultural Commission.After a brief discussion about how to proceed on nominating and voting for board and commissions members the following persons were appointed:Planning and Zoning Commission (2 year terms)
    • Todd Durant
    • Sue Maze Janet Travnicek
  • Board of Adjustments
    • Howard Fields (2 years)
    • Joe Kyle (2 years – Alt. #1)
    • Paul Cole (2 years – Alt. #2)
    • Ronnie Bradberry (2 years – Alt. #3)
    • Charles Maze (1 year – Alt. #4)
    • Mark D. Cooks (1 year)
  • Sign Control Board (2 year terms)
    • Alexander McLachlan
    • Billy Townsem
    • Lisa Bradley
  • Duncanville Community and Economic Development CorporationCouncilmember Johnette Jameson made a motion to vacate the entire board and reappoint new members. She made this motion due to remarks made by some board members after the DEDC Board voted to renew the contract with former Economic Development Director Earle Jones and the Duncanville City Council voted 4-3 (Jameson, Harris, Thomas, and Freeman voted for) to not offer the new contract. Smithey dissented with the motion saying that these were taxpayers and had the right to voice their opinion. Freeman agreed with Jameson that while they had the right to disagree with the decision, but disagreed with them making remarks about the council. The vote was 4-3 (Jameson, Harris, Thomas, and Freeman for) to vacate the board. The following were then appointed to the board:
    • Wendy Nalls (2-year term)
    • Jack Coleman (2-year term)
    • Tracy Shook (2-year term)
    • Tommie Rains (2-year term)
    • Ann Hubener (1-year term)
    • Deborah Hodge (1-year term)
    • Homer Fincannon (1-year term)
  • Park & Recreation Board (2 year terms)
    • Ramero Sanchez
    • Calvin Wells
    • Linda Lydia
  • Library Advisory Board (2 year terms)
    • Dian Lemons
    • Jeff Jones
    • Sharon Jones
    • Ella Heister
  • Keep Duncanville Beautiful Board (2-year term)
    • Gale Sliger
    • Madeline Schwoch
    • Richard Raphael
    • Dorothy Wolverton
    • Rebecca K. Hall
    • Estelle Hergele
  • Tri-City Animal Shelter Board (3-year term)
    • Angela Thorpe-Harris
  • Certified Retirement Community Oversight Committee
    • Betsy Vance
    • Elsa Perez Mary
    • Ann Taylor
  • Duncanville Community Multicultural Commission
    • (Postponed until next meeting)
  1. Workshop to discuss proposed FY 2011-2012 budget for all City
    Discussions centered on expenditures to Bank One and the Duncanville Chamber of Commerce (Thomas). City Manager Kent Cagle explained that Bank One was the bank of the city and that these were bank fees, and that the payments to the Chamber were due to attendance by council members to the various luncheons, events, and the annual State of the City address. Jameson questioned Rotary Club dues. Cagle pointed out that as city manager he was required by the council at that time to be a member of the Rotary, and that while he is a member of the Lions Club as well that he pays those dues personally. Smithey pointed out that he supported the budget as presented because employees would finally receive a raise for the first time in three years, and that this was accomplished without a tax increase. Don Freeman brought up his concern about how car allowances are given to employees. Scott Cannon pointed out that employees were providing a service to the citizens and brought up the recent article in the Suburban paper and the inaccurate numbers that were presented by them. Jameson called for a point of order, that this was a discussion on the budget, and not the paper. Cannon said that he was trying to make a point about the budget. After a discussion amongst the council, Cannon was allowed to continue. Cannon pointed out that the administrative staff was close to the bottom of the 20 Dallas suburbs that were used for the comparison, and while staff faired a little better, they were still in the lower half in salaries. Cannon said that the city needs to compare “apples to apples” and look at what the market comparison is in those positions, not compare to the median salary of the citizens.Cannon then addressed that the city was not doing anything in salaries and allowances that isn’t the normal operating procedures in most cities. “If we were doing something that no other city is doing, we’d be in the news.” Smithey echoed his support for Duncanville employees. “The point is, what do we want do with our employees. This is embarrassing…We seem to want to punish our employees.” “Look at the gross pay,” Smithey continued. “Look at the bottom line of where our pay scale is compared to our surrounding cities.”
  2. Consider directing staff on proposed FY 2011-2012 budget.
    A motion was made by Smithey to accept the budget as presented, and was seconded by Cannon.Cannon made an amendment to include the following additions to the budget:

    • Restore the library hours to 56 hours a week.
    • The addition of Code Red alert services to warn citizens of weather danger by phone calls
    • Allow the library to continue promotional events
    • Totaling an additional $74,373 to the budget.

In addition, $59,186 to Dallas County to continue patrolling and working accidents on the highway by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department was added to the amendment. Initially Dallas County had quoted a much higher cost, but the Regional Council of Governments stepped in and due to potential air quality concerns with accidents on the highway, they agreed to assist with the cost. The amendments were accepted and further discussion began. Cagle confirmed that the roadwork and fleet replacement that had been removed from previous budgets had been restored. Thomas made another amendment that straight car allowances would be taken away, those employees would need to report their mileage and be reimbursed, and that all phone allowances are reduced to $40. During the discussions about the amendment, Cannon pointed out that once again the council was trying to compare apples to oranges, corporate to municipal. That surrounding cities do exactly what Duncanville currently does on phone and car allowances. Staff had been directed to conduct a brief study over mileage used by those employees with car allowances over a nine-day period. While that was a brief time, it was learned that if those employees used a mileage reimbursement, it would be the same costs and the city currently sees, and that there would be an additional burden on the finance department to oversee this.

That costs would wash out when administrative time was added in. “Why put the employee through more work when the costs were so close,” said Janet Harris. “I have concerns over some the amounts and who gets them.” “We are arguing over $120,000 in car allowances and phone allowances in a 22 million dollar budget,” said Smithey. “Less than 1% of the budget.” A vote was taken on the amendment and it was added to the original budget motion by a vote of 4-3 (Jameson, Harris, Thomas, and Freeman).

A vote was taken on directing the staff to prepare the budget, with the proposed amendments, and it failed by a vote of 3-4. (Green, Smithey, Cannon and Harris voting against). Harris explained that she couldn’t vote to approve the budget with the car allowance amendment in place. Smithey moved that the general budget be postponed until the September 6 meeting. The motion was seconded and was approved by a vote of 7-0.

  1. Consider directing staff on proposed FY 2011-2012 hotel/motel tax budget.Smithey moved to direct staff to prepare the budget with funds for the Duncanville Community Theatre ($4,000) and the Duncanville Chamber ($15,000).Jameson then offered an amendment that would change the amounts to $4,000 to the theatre, $5,000 to the chamber and $5,000 to the International Museum of Cultures. This was later withdrawn after a brief discussion.Discussion then was centered on the role of the Duncanville Chamber and the visitor’s center and the possibility of removing or significantly cutting the money given to the chamber. Chamber director Steve Martin was asked to come to the podium and address the role of the chamber and the visitor center.Martin pointed out that chamber was working with the Duncanville Fieldhouse to bring in more, and larger, tournaments. Also, the Hilton Garden Inn was working with them to prepare welcome baskets for the large number of family reunions that they are staying at the hotel.Thomas then offered an amendment to add $5,000 to the International Museum of Cultures, which was seconded by Jameson. The amendment was added to the motion by a vote of 5-2 (Smithey and Cannon voting no).Staff was then directed to prepare the budget by a vote of 7-0 with the included amendment.

One Response to City Council Meeting Recap – 08/25/2011

  1. Glad someone is asking questions. Also glad to see someone is at least trying to keep personal politics/slander off the podium at city council meetings. Important to note that for 3 years no raise was given to city employees – there was a reason for that, And now it is ok to give raises. Is there a rainy day fund we citizens don’t know about. Generally, people that work for their livelihood haven’t gotten raises either. Who gets cut or takes a cut when revenues don’t meet expectations next year or the year after.

    Jerry Frazier
    Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 4:07 pm