Recap of Special City Council Meeting – August 28, 2012

Filed under: City |

The Special Meeting of the Duncanville City Council meeting was called to order and 6:00PM and was finally gaveled closed at its usual closing time, shortly before midnight.

In between there was an exceptionally long executive session, with the majority of time being committed to the discussion about the lawsuit Ford v. City of Duncanville.

After being in Executive Session for almost 5 hours, the council reconvened in open meeting to appoint members to several boards.

Members were nominated to the vacant positions on the Parks and Recreation Board, Library Advisory Board, and the Regional Animal Shelter. The council decided not to appoint members to the Keep Duncanville Beautiful Board, Duncanville Community Multicultural Commission, and the Duncanville Retirement Community Oversight Committee.

Item #4, Discuss and consider removal of Board and Commission members whose terms are not yet expired was withdrawn.

Item #5 was the appointment to the Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Adjustments, Sign Control Board, Duncanville Community and Economic Development Corporation, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Library Advisory Board, and the Tri-City Animal Shelter Board. Due to the names being read very quickly, and our wish to spell the names correctly, I asked for a list of the names and was told that I would need to submit an open records request and then make arrangements to come pick up the list. The City has a new policy that they will no longer be e-mailing responses to Open Records request. As soon as the information is available, we will publish and updated list.

One change is on the Duncanville Community and Economic Development Corporation. Councilmember Mark Cooks withdrew from his position on the board and he was replaced by Councilmember Stephen Jones. Cooks explained that he resigned because he did not feel the council needed four current councilmember sitting on the board.

Mayor Deborah Hodge also submitted for approval that these boards and commission members were appointed with the condition that all fees, taxes, and fines owed the City of Duncanville were current and not outstanding, and that the members placed would have to sign a statement stating such.

For item 6, Thomas submitted for discussion at a Town Hall meeting that the Keep Duncanville Beautiful Board, Duncanville Community Multicultural Commission, and the Duncanville Retirement Community Oversight Committee be combined into the Duncanville Community Board. She recommended that the board be made up of four members from each of the listed boards, and three from the business community.  Thomas further stated that she supported the business members could be either resident, or non-residents of Duncanville, as long as their business was in Duncanville.

Johnette Jameson stated that she could not support non-residents being voting members of a board.  Don Freeman stated that he could support non-residents being non-voting members. Hodge reminded the council that the current Keep Duncanville Beautiful Board allowed non-residents to serve.

Cooks stated that he would be concerned about current members elected to the new boards would only serve in their current roles, and he wanted everyone to serve in all areas.

Thomas stated she could see sub-committees continuing work in the specialized areas.

Freeman questioned any contingency plan should the community show an overwhelming negative response. He stated that he had received a large number of phone calls speaking against this.

Hodge stated that there was no contingency plan in place, as no details had been discussed and that the council was going into the Town Hall Meeting to make the new board work. She went on to explain that due to the need to slim down the boards and free staff, it was necessary to look at reducing the number of boards.

Thomas asked if the meeting was to discuss the Duncanville Community Board only, or was it open to other topics. Hodge stated it was her desire to have an open meeting and allow additional topics and citizens should contact their council representative to give input as to what items need to be discussed and placed on the agenda.

The Town Hall Meeting is scheduled for September 13, 2012 at 6PM at a yet determined location.

The meeting was closed at 11:22 PM

5 Responses to Recap of Special City Council Meeting – August 28, 2012

  1. Let me try to figure this out……Mark Cooks resigns from the EDC because he feels there are too many Council Members on the board ( and good for him), BUT is replaced by another Council Member, Stephen Jones. 4 – 1 + 1 still equals 4 Council Members on the EDC. Just waiting for Cooks, Freeman, Harris, and Jones (hopefully) to join together and stop the nonsense.

    Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 1:29 am

    • Cooks did vote against appointing Jones to the board. He then explained why he voted against the slate of appointees.

      Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 1:37 am

  2. As I understand it, 4 council members being in the same room at the same time constitutes something called a “quorum” so technically, they can do city business just like a regular city council meeting.

    And I to believe I heard once that there is something wrong with this.

    Is that true?

    Steve Madison
    Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 5:40 am

    • Steve, the more complaints sent to the AG’s office the better. We need their attention.

      Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 7:53 pm

  3. I heard that during the executive ‘double top secret’ session, Councilwoman Leslie Thomas had to remove herself due to conflict of interest during discussion on the Paul Ford V. City of Duncanville lawsuit. Is this true? If so, has she done this before – removed herself? If not, what changed… when & why? I think we have a right to know.

    On top of the regular council meetings, we have countless Special Meetings & endless Executive ‘Top Secret’ Sessions.

    We are read information abruptly and then told we must put in an open records request to find out what they said? What are they hiding? What are they afraid of? Sounds like we must pay to find out.

    We are being taken on a ride…

    ‘Information is the lifeblood of a democracy. Without adequate access to key information about government policies and programs, citizens and parliamentarians cannot make informed decisions and incompetent or corrupt governments can be hidden under a cloak of secrecy.’ – Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada

    John Kyle Pennebaker, District 5
    Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm