Discussion On Annual Audit, Employee Manual, An Annexation
The resignation of a recently appointed alderman marks the second in recent months, which could necessitate a May 2 special election of fill the Place 2 alderman seat on Cumby City Council.
The city employee manual, rescinding the recent Alderman appointment and a resolution calling for a special May 2, 2020 election, allowing Chris Turner to begin conducting the city’s annual audit, a hearing regarding annexation of property owned by Texas Ranchitos were also on the agenda.
Appointment, Special Election
Initially, the council was slated to consider taking action to rescind their appointment Sept. 21 of Audri Mayo to the Place 2 council vacancy. She resigned, so that was not necessary.
However, because of two vacancies on the council due to resignations at the same time, a resolution calling for a special May 2, 2020 election is required.
Place 1 Alderman Doug Simmerman has stepped up from mayor pro tem to acting mayor when Cody Talley resigned as mayor in August. He will continue serving doing so until the November election.
The Alderman Place 2 seat is also open, due to Kristen Thompson’s resignation. While the mayoral seat is on the November ballot already, the Place 2 resignation was made too late to be on the Nov. 5 ballot. Any time two positions are open at the same time a special election is required to be called for within eight days, a community member and the city’s attorney noted.
Alderman Place 3 Monty Lackey expressed concern about the expense of holding a special May election, whether it would coincide with other elections so the cost for voting equipment could be shared or if the city would have to pay the thousands needed to obtain the equipment. He asked if paper ballots could be used instead of voting machines if the city has to foot the full cost.
Officials said they’d be in contact with the requisite elections administrator regarding costs and options.
Once the mayoral seat is filled, the election could be canceled and the council could appoint someone to the Alderman Place 2 seat. If the election isn’t canceled, the candidate filing period would begin in January. The election would be May 2, 2020, and would be through the current term for Place 2, which ends in November 2020.
Cumby City Council opted to table discussion and action on allowing Chris Turner to conduct the 2018-19 audit of city finances. When the topic was first broached Simmerman noted he did the city’s audit for the previous year.
A community member asked if the city had sought other bids or potential options for auditor. Alderman Julie Morris suggested tabling the matter until a quote was obtained from Turner for his services.
A public hearing regarding the proposed annexation of property owned by Texas Ranchitos LLC, was held.
The property is located outside the city limits, but the owner asked the city to provide water and sewer services. City Attorney Edgar J. Garrett Jr. said in talks with the owner’s attorney, he explained that if he wants city services the property must be within the city limits.
Simmerman said in his talks with the property owner, there was a bit of a language barrier. The man told him he’d told the people planning to buy the property that it wouldn’t be in the city, so it wouldn’t be subjected to city restrictions. When told it was on the Oct. 8 agenda.
Garrett said when he talked to the man’s attorney on Friday, he expressed no objects to annexation and they talked about setting up a meeting between the stakeholders involved.
He said he’s not sure how many or if any of the properties have actually sold, so he could potentially be contracting them for deeds.
Morris asked if a mediator had been suggested due to the potential language barrier. Simmerman said a meeting had been held previously between the man’s realtor, Talley (who was mayor at the time) and Simmerman. Garrett has been brought on board as well regarding the appropriate procedure for the matter.
Garrett suggested adopting a policy regarding annexation and extension of city utilities outside of the city limits. Potential costs of extending services to the requested area should also be factored in, the attorney recommended.
Discussion on a city employee manual was tabled to allow members of the City Council to further review it. Lackey reported he was still looking it over, but did anticipate recommending some changes.
Following an executive session, Simmerman reported the city attorney spoke about litigation regarding substandard buildings. The council will proceed forward with that information. Also discussed during the executive session was development. Simmerman afterward said the city would “leave as is,” and no further attention was needed. No additional information about either item was provided by the council.