Duncanville City Council Meeting Recap – October 18, 2011

Filed under: City |

Revised Agenda

Council members Don Freeman, Scott Cannon, Leslie Thomas, Janet Harris, Grady Smithey, and Johnette Jameson, along with Mayor David Green were in attendance.

Invocation

Pledge of Allegiance

Mayor’s Report

Recognition of Visitors / Proclamations / Presentations

Citizens Comment Period

Terry Webb related new council members to fire recruits.  It is wise for new recruits to listen to the wisdom of those that have been on the job for a while.  Sometimes that wisdom comes after a few hard knocks. He advised the council to listen to those that have been there before.

Cindy Jones thanked the council for the decision to hold the park workshop to discuss new uses, but is concerned about actions taken to remove 4B Board members.  She asked why it was necessary and questioned the beliefs and if they are in line with the betterment of Duncanville.

Consent Agenda

  1. Approval of Minutes
  2. Approval of amended minutes for special meeting held August 25, 2011
  3. Approval of one-year contract with Grand Prairie Ford L.P. and a General Fund expenditure in the amount of $59,400 for fleet vehicle maintenance and repair.
  4. Approval of a one-year renewal of the contract with CURTCO, Inc. and a General Fund Expenditure in the amount of $79,962.50 for crack sealing services.
  5. Approval of a one-year renewal of the contract with PMAM Corporation for alarm permitting management services.
  6. Approval of Ordinance No. 2139 amending the Code of Ordinances by adding a new Chapter 21, Stormwater Management…(see the agenda for the remainder of this item)
    Item was moved from the consent agenda to be voted on separately.
  7. Approval of Ordinance No. 2140 amending the Code of Ordinances by amending Chapter 21, Stormwater Management, by adding Article III, ISWM Criteria Manual for Site Development and Construction…(see the agenda for the remainder of this item)
  8. Approval of Ordinance No. 2141 amending Code of Ordinances, by amending Appendix B, Subdivision Regulations, Article VI “Plats, Streets, Utilities and Other Infrastructure Improvements…(see the agenda for the remainder of this item)
  9. Approval of Ordinance No. 2142 amending Chapter 17 of the Code of Ordinances, Article II, Street Improvements by Private Contractors, by repealing and replacing Section 17-20, Safeguards for Pedestrians and Vehicles; Provisions for Passage…(see the agenda for the remainder of this item))
  10. Approval of Ordinance No. 2158 amending the Code of Ordinances by amending Chapter 20 by repealing Section 20-6, Depositing Trash, Rubbish, and Etc. into Storm Sewer and Waterway Prohibited…(see the agenda for the remainder of this item)
  11. Approval of Ordinance No 2159 amending Appendix A of the Code of Ordinances, by amending Section 2, Permitted uses, of Articles XII-F, Light Commercial District Regulations, and XII-G, Heavy Commercial District Regulations, by deleting “Pawn Shops”… (see the agenda for the remainder of this item)
  12. Approval of Ordinance No. 2160 amending Appendix A of the Code of Ordinances, by amending Appendix A of the Code of Ordinances, by amending Article XXIII, Definitions, to provide a definition for Check Cashing/Pay Day Loan Facility…(see the agenda for the remainder of this item)

    Consent agenda items passed by a vote of 7-0

Reports/Recomendations/Requests

  1. Approval of Ordinance No. 2139 amending the Code of Ordinances by adding a new Chapter 21, Stormwater Management…(see the agenda for the remainder of this item)

    The  motion was made by Smithey to approve and Cannon seconded.Thomas stated that this ordinance would not cover construction projects less than 1 acre in size.  But, that it did apply to small construction projects (greater than 1 acre) and large projects (greater than 5 acres).  Small projects would be subject to the ISWM Criteria Manual.  Thomas also requested a friendly amendment that “shall not apply” be placed into the ordinance where it pertained to projects less than 1 acre in size.  Smithey and Cannon accepted the amendment and the motion passed by a vote of 7-0.

  2. Receive demonstration by Andrew Howard and discuss application of the Better Block Principle in Duncanville.

    Jason Roberts of Team Better Block addresses the Council

    Andrew Howard and Jason Roberts of Team Better Block made a presentation to the council regarding their Better Block Principle.  Jason Roberts made the presentation and explained that their principle involved taking city blocks that are underutilized and making them active and engaging.

    They attempt to take these areas and make them social centers by introducing tables, chairs, plants, and businesses to encourage walking and socializing.

    They encountered several problems along the way.  They discovered that antiquated ordinances either punished or restricted the items that would encourage this social feeling. Also, the areas that were thought to thrive had seating, music, café seating, flower shops and studios. They also discovered that if a few changes were made, they would be embraced.

    On a block in north Oak Cliff they closed off a traffic lane on each side of the street and introduced café seating, bicycle lanes and a few plants. They had over 1,000 people show up, along with street musicians and businesses were allowed to move in temporarily for the 2-day event. One of the businesses (a children’s art studio) leased space and remains at that location and is a thriving business in the area.  The common thought among naysayers was that it was April, but it would not work in the summer.  Their second project was held in the first week of September and they took the 1300 block of West Davis street and brought in 42 trees and 100 shrubs which were strategically placed throughout the area.  They arranged for businesses to temporarily move into long vacant buildings, and brought in art and street vendors, and provided seating, tables and awnings. This project had over 3,000 people attend.

    A third project turned the Plaza area in front of Dallas City Hall into a thriving area by bringing in seating, tables and awnings. As well as providing a food vendor for the event.  The City of Dallas now uses that area as a business incubator. More information can be found no their websites at www.teambetterblock.com and www.betterblock.org.

  3. Public hearing to consider amendments to Appendix A, Article XIV-E (Landscape Requirements) of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.

    No one spoke

  4. Consider directing staff on proposed amendments to Appendix A, Article XIV-E (Landscape Requirements) of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.

    Smithey made the motion, seconded by Cannon. Motion passed 7-0.

  5. Public hearing to consider amendments to Appendix A, Article XIV-H (Site Plan Review) of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.

    No one spoke

  6. Consider directing staff on proposed amendments to Appendix A, Article XIV-E (Landscape Requirements) of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.

    Smithey made the motion, seconded by Freeman. Motion passed 7-0.

  7. Public hearing to consider approval of Ordinance No. 2161 providing for the taxation of Good-in-Transit, as defined by Tax Code, Section 11.253, beginning tax year 2012.

    No one spoke

  8. Consider approval of Ordinance No 2161 providing taxation of goods-in-transit; providing a repealing clause; providing a severability clause; and providing for an effective date.

    Jameson made the motion to approve and was seconded by Cannon.Leslie Thomas stated her concern about taxes that might keep businesses from moving to Duncanville.  City Manager Kent Cagle explained that the city currently had no businesses that this applied to and that a current business would have to change operations, or a new business would have to come in and that the City of Duncanville could always vote note to levy the tax at that time. But that if the city does not vote to approve this ordinance, it would eliminate in opportunity in the future should a business move into Duncanville.Smithey said that the question is down to eliminating the option for the future.

    Motion passes 7-0.

  9. Receive Fire Department Public Safety Report.

    Item was pulled from the agenda

  10. Discuss new DART policy providing for associate memberships for non-member cities.

    DART is trying to entice non-member cities to participate at some level.Cagle shared that this was an important change of philosophy on behalf of DART.  Duncanville held two elections when DART was first formed and citizens chose not to participate in DART. There is a state cap on sales tax set at 8.25%, of which 6.25% goes to the state. In those cities that participate in DART, 1% goes to the city and the other 1% goes to DART. In Duncanville 1% goes to the city and .5% goes to debt reduction and the other .5% goes to the Economic Development Corporation (4B Board). In order to join DART, citizens would have to vote to give up the 1% that is split between debt reduction and 4B and either taxes would need to be raised, or services lowered to make up the difference. Cagle stated that he believed that Duncanville would need to talk with Cedar Hill and Midlothian, the two nearest cities that Duncanville’s rail line goes through, to see what their interest was.Smithey said that the rail system that Denton County Transportation Authority is using is what the three suburbs would probably need to look at.  The cost of light rail currently used by DART would be cost prohibitive. He also reminded that past councils have gone to the legislature to allow them to ask citizens to vote on raising the sales tax rate and go over the 8.25% cap, but that legislation did not pass.

    Thomas asked if anyone has spoken with DART and Cagle said that DART had a meeting with all the City Mangers of the Best Southwest cities. Cagle then went on to say that DART would like to have us commit to coming on board, but they also knew what our commitments and our current debts.

    Cannon said that this gives the city a chance to start discussions with DART, Cedar Hill, and Midlothian and to further discuss the possibilities.

  11. Discuss and consider approval of neighborhood sign policy.

    This items was pulled.

  12. Discuss and consider acceptance of letter of resignation from the City Council Audit Committee from Councilwoman Thomas and reconstitute the Audit Committee membership from four members to three members.

    Councilwoman Thomas stated that she was rethinking her resignation due to receiving numerous phone calls.  The item was removed from the agenda.

  13. Discuss and consider removal of Duncanville Community & Economic Development Corporation board members Stan Smith and Reginald Schwoch.

    Cagle stated that he reason for this item was that the legal opinion received was that the agenda did not give sufficient notice of the action taken to fulfill the Texas Open Meetings Act.Jameson moved to remove Smith and Schwoch, and Freeman seconded the motion.Smithey said that staggered terms were needed to allow for experience on the board and that citizens have the right to state their opinions.

    Jameson pointed out that that they opinion was not an Attorney General’s opinion, but simply a legal opinion by a lawyer not affiliated with the city and that this agenda items was to clear up any possible confusion.

    Cannon was voting against because of the continuity needed on the boards and that we appoint our brightest and most positive to the boards and see what happens.

    Freeman said that the council had every right to remove per the city charter. That the disrespect for the council by the board in a public was wrong.

    Green said that last night at the town hall meeting the assertion was made that the redistricting was all political, and that he feels this is political as well.

    Harris said that she does not have a political agenda and had no desire to make changes on the board until after she read the minutes of the meeting and that when you are part of a group, you don’t bash the leadership in public.

    Jameson stated that the politics have always been there.

    The vote was 4-3 (Cannon, Green & Smithey against) to remove Stan Smith and Reginald Schwoch.

  14. Discuss and consider acceptance of letter of resignation from Duncanville Community & Economic Development Corporation board member Ray Dorton.

    Cannon made the motion to accept and Freeman seconded the motion.Motion passed 6-1 with Smithey voting against.Stan Smith filled out a Citizen Comment Card and requested to speak. Smith said that the he thought the 4B Board did act appropriately toward the council. That the board had unanimously supported Earle Jones and that he had brought in over $110 million in projects to Duncanville.  He also addressed that he was disappointed in the council and that the members of the 4B Board had acted appropriately in addressing the council’s actions.

  15. Discuss utility service line warranty program. This item was moved up one on the agenda.

    Smithey pointed out the fact that he council had voted 7-0 to endorse the services.Cagle said that any business could come in and offer the same services and that the National League of Cities and the North Texas Regional Council of Governments had backed the company involved and that the city had voted to endorse and a letter from the Mayor was included to show that endorsement for insurance to cover the waste water lines from the house to the street, which is the homeowners responsibility.Freeman stated that he voted for it because it was good for the citizens.

    Thomas said that this was much ado about nothing. That the company was mortified that the citizens had responded the way they did and would work to remedy the communication issues.

    Jameson said that she explained to the citizens that called her that this was their choice to enroll if they wanted to.

    Cannon asked Cagle if the company had been contacted and if they were correcting the issue and Cagle said they were.

  16. They City Council will convene into closed Executive Session:
    1. Pursuant to G.C. Section 51.074, Personnel, to discuss appointments to the Duncanville Community & Economic Development Corporation
    2. Pursuant to G.C. Section 551.072, Deliberation Regarding Real Property, acquisition of land located at the southeast corner of Wheatland Road and Venice Drive.
  17. Consider appointments to the Duncanville Community & Economic Development Corporation

    Mayor David Green stated that there were three open positions, and that five names had been nominated during the session.  Each council member would get three votes and that the three with the most votes would fill the positions.

    Reginald Schwoch – 4 votes
    Deborah Hodge – 4 votes

    Ann Hubener – 4 votes
    Homer Fincannon – 3 votes

    Bobbie Turner – 3 votes

    Schwoch, Hodge, and Hubener were appointed to the board.

  18. Receive Councilmember Reports

    Thomas congratulated the Christian Homeschool Alliance Robotics Team in coming in first place in the state competition. These include a majority of Duncanville children.  Thomas’ oldest son was the mentor for the team and her four youngest participated.

    Cannon spoke on the events coming up the at the end of October, including the Duncanville Parks and Recreation Halloween Spooktacular from 6pm-9pm on the 28th with a community art contest that starts at 7pm in the recreation center. Saturday morning, the 29th, at 9am at Lakeside Park is a bike ride through Duncanville with stops in Lions Park and Armstrong Park. Also the Main Street Market between 9am and 4pm for the Keep Duncanville Beautiful Garage Sale with other vendors and live music along Main Street near James Collins. Also the Duncanville Marching Invitational is Saturday night at Panther Stadium at Duncanville High School and that the DHS band will be performing and exhibition that evening. He also congratulated the DHS band for their First Division Ratings and the UIL Regional Marching Band Competition and for winning first place at the Plano East contest.Grady Smithey reported that he would be giving the I-35 Committee report to the Texas Department of Transportation and would be giving a report to the council as well.

    Janet Harris reminded everyone about the Duncanville Chamber of Commerce Civic Auction on Saturday night and that tickets were available at the Chamber offices.

    Green said that the Better Block group was really onto something and that it was new urbanism at its finest and hopes that the council moves toward doing something like that.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:18PM

One Response to Duncanville City Council Meeting Recap – October 18, 2011

  1. Thank you for posting this information for all citizens to get the first hand feedback on the Circus that once was a very dignified Duncanville City Council, even with occasional dissention. Whatever happened to mutual respect and decorum, not to mention ethics, integrity, civility and truth?

    I hope that the good people who love our City and the direction it has been headed with Kent Cagle at the helm, as City Manager will monitor these posts, start speaking up and use their votes to return our leadership to mirror the days when we were referred to as the City of Champions!

    We sincerely appreciate you keeping us informed of the good news about Duncanville. Hopefully it is not too late!

    Earle Jones, Jr.
    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm