Colleyville, Texas June 22, 2016
“As you said Mike Taylor, last year, elections have consequences and this is one of them,” Mayor Pro Tem Chris Putnam.
As part of Mayor Pro Tem Chris Putnam’s response to Council Member Mike Taylor over his opposition that the city was going to solicit responses for Proposals for City Attorney services. Despite the fact Mayor Richard Newton pointed out he had met with the current City Attorney and was assured there would be a smooth transition, Council Members Jody Short, Nancy Coplen and Mike Taylor spoke in opposition and all voted NO while new members Tammie Nakamura, Bobby Lindamood, Mayor Newton, along with Mayor Pro Tem Putnam voted yes for a 4 to 3 decision.
Councilperson Coplen ask, “how did this get on the agenda?” The process to put items on the Agenda have always been reserved by the Mayor’s position, as well as requests by council members.
Mayor Newton explained two of his problems with the current City Attorney firm was a.) the release of a “client privileged” opinion from the City Attorney shortly before the City election of 2015 that included a hotly contested race between Lindamood and Taylor, on the issue of the citizens petition to have a say in the negotiations of the final design of Glade Road and 2.) allowing an R-20 application to be changed to a PUD-R without going through the normal channels of moving back to P&Z for a public hearing, then back to city council.
This discussion followed contentious objections by Council Member Short, Coplen and Taylor concerning 0-16-1981 Ordinance, an ordinance amending Section 3 A of the Water and Sewer by eliminating the tiered water rates and establishing a rate of $4.36 per thousand gallons of water for all gallons not included in the base rate. Coplen’s primary objection was lowering the water rates would jeopardize future capital improvement to the system. Mayor Newton explained that this was not the case; further that a detailed study of not only what is the water costing the city, but what is the actual administration cost, to determine a rate that takes care of these items but does not create a surplus to the city. For example, the city has charged the citizens a 4% “franchise tax” on their water bills, although the city owns the water lines, therefore is paying that amount to itself. This was the first reading, the vote will be the following council meeting.
The City Council approved, on a unanimous vote, members of the new Charter Review Committee, to make recommendations to City Council and upon Council Approval place on the November 2016 ballot for citizens approval of changes in the Charter. Some of the changes expected is Term Limits, Ethics and a clean up of certain Charter language concerning matters such as how Special Meetings may be called. The members of the Review Committee approved are:
Frank Carroll, Chairman
Mike Muhm, Vice Chair