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2014-09-04

City's executive session yields little

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

During a special meeting called for 8 am, Tuesday, August 26, Bandera City Council convened almost immediately in an executive session.
The city's newest attorney was Charles E. Zech of the San Antonio law firm of Denton, Navarro, Rocha, Bernal, Hyde & Zech, PC.
The first topics discussed in the closed session included possible legal issues associated with the purchase of real estate in the city.
This might be of interest due to an earlier statement made by Councilman Suzanne Schauman during a city council meeting. She advised members of the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), headed up by businessman Johnny Boyle, to stop working on plans to develop Bandera City Park. She deemed the over $1 million price tag as too rich for the city's blood.
Instead, she thought a better project for the EDC would be to identify a piece of property within the city limits that might accommodate a hotel. Schauman's suggestion was met with rapt silence.
Previous attempts to construct a 55-room Best Western in the 700 block of Main Street, as well as a small boutique hotel behind The Mansion in Bandera, had been stymied by boards and commissions appointed by city council.
When later asked about her recommendation to EDC, Schauman said she did not have a piece of property in mind. It would be up to the EDC to identify the property, she said.
Rumors have long swirled that a 15-room "hotel" might be in the works for the corner of 13th and Hackberry streets and fronting on 13th Street. It was reported the area is already zoned business-residential so rezoning would not be necessary to accommodate that type of business.
Or, the executive session might have merely been about the final disposition of a substandard property within the city limits - razing the building to create a parking lot.
The other item discussed in executive session was "consultation with attorney to discuss the Texas Open Meetings Act and alleged violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act."
The Bandera County Courier first reported about the investigation by the Texas Rangers in the June 26 edition. The inquiry centered on allegations of illegal meetings in the Bandera County Library being conducted with a quorum of city council. However, other examples of alleged malfeasance were reportedly also cited in the complaints.
As expected, no action was taken on the three agenda items when the meeting reconvened in open session.
During the regular city council meeting slated for Thursday, Sept. 4, agenda items include:
• Possible purchase, installation, implementation and training of Incode Financial software in hopes of getting the city's financial house in order at last.
• Requesting a change in an ordinance amending historic preservation regulations as per the municipal attorney.
• Appointing county resident Robert Koimn to the Planning and Zoning Commission at the recommendation of Mayor Don Clark.
• Setting dates for a budget workshop and public hearings for the budget and city tax rate.
The city council meeting begins at 6 pm, in the municipal building, 511 Main Street.