Is the City Council Seeking to Vacate 4B Board (DCEDC) Again?

Filed under: City |

Two major items of interest to Duncanville citizens are on the agenda for the Tuesday, July 17, Duncanville City Council.

Along with the hot asphalt mix purchase and purchase of new fire equipment is another consent item that is gaining attention.

Item 7C is an approval of an amendment to the Economic Development Incentive Agreement for 212 N. Main Street between the Duncanville Community and Economic Development Corporation and Options Holding, Ltd, regarding the date for obtaining all applicable building permits.

The reason for interest, is the history between some of the members of the council and Monte Anderson, President of Options Holding, Ltd. Some councilmembers have vehemently argued against Anderson and feel that other developers should be sought for Main Street projects, but as of this date, no other developers have come forward, or expressed an interest.

Anderson is well known in the Dallas area for redevelopment projects, having been instrumental in the Bishop Arts District of Oak Cliff, Jefferson Street in Dallas, and along Fort Worth Avenue in West Dallas.

However, the biggest item is the last item placed on the agenda, item 18, prior to the councilmember reports and the executive session.

Item 18 calls for the council to consider and act on removing all members of the Board of Directors of the Duncanville Community and Economic Development Corporation (4B Board) and the possible appointment of directors to serve temporarily until the time for making regular appointments for all City boards.

On August 25, 2011, the entire board was vacated on a motion by councilmember Johnette Jameson.  Jameson made the motion due to remarks made by some of the members after the board had voted to renew the contract of former Economic Development Director Earle Jones, and the Duncanville City Council voted 4-3 (Jameson, Harris, Thomas, and Freeman) to not offer the new contract. The same four voted on August 25 to vacate the board.

Questions arose concerning the action the council took to vacate the board, as the agenda for the meeting that night only called for the appointment for expired terms. On October 7, 2011 attorney Darrell Noga of the firm Fee, Smith, Sharp & Vatullo, L.L.P. sent a letter to then Mayor David Green and the Duncanville City Council that gave the opinion that the actions had violated the Texas Open Meetings Act.

According to the opinion, the official agenda posted for the meeting did not provide notice of the action that was actually taken. The letter also addressed the long history of disputes between the council and the DCEDC, and that some members of the council were “blindsided” by the motion to vacate.

In the October 18, 2011 meeting, the council once again addressed removing two of the members. Former City Manger Kent Cagle explained that the reason for the agenda item was due to the legal opinion received from Noga. Jameson voted to remove two of the members and the same four council members voted to remove the two. Later, in a surprising turn of events, Reginald Schwoch was reappointed to the board, along with the appointment of Deborah Hodge and Ann Hubener.

The packet for Tuesday’s meeting lists no additional information for the agenda item.

Current members are Jack Coleman (President), Tommie Rains (Vice-President), Ann Hubener, Wendy Nalls, Reginald Schwoch, Tracy Shook, and Ex-Officio Member/Chamber President Steve Martin.

Other items that night include the selection of Mayor Pro Tem, appointments to the City Council Audit Committee, and the designation of the North Central Texas Council of Government Voting Representative.

The full agenda can be viewed on the city website by clicking here.