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2016-10-27

Bandera City Council continues discussion of possibly promoting treasurer

By Steven James BCC Editor

Bandera City Council continued discussing the possibility of promoting interim city treasurer Rose Garr to a permanent position at its regular meeting on Thursday, Oct. 20.
City council began this discussion in its last meeting due to a possible conflict of interest of Rose reporting to her husband, City Administrator Michael Garr. She was appointed to fix mistakes made by previous city treasurers, including cleaning the books and updating the city’s financial information.
“I found it to be disgraceful that council acted the way it did and to just once again, proven itself adequate of some of the jokes and some of the cartoons that have been drawn,” said Bandera Economic Development Corporation President Art Crawford, who voiced his opinions only as a concerned individual about the way council handled certain topics at the regular Oct. 6 meeting. “You [Mr. Mayor] allowed comments in public that were basically so far out of order that it was amazing to watch for a council member to declare an order, another council member not knowing what she was voting on and all of this after another motion had already been made.”
Crawford ended his speech by saying he filed formal complaints concerning a situation between a council member and the city administrator that he considered inappropriate with the Texas Attorney General’s Office, the Texas Secretary of State and county authorities. He offered paper copies of his complaints to anybody wanting to read one.
Although council members made multiple comments on the subject throughout the meeting, City Attorney Dan Santee repeatedly reminded the council discussion on the public comment would need to wait for a future meeting.
City council voted 3-2 to amend Article 1.04.036, which deals with the city administrator’s powers and duties, to the city’s Code of Ordinances at Santee’s recommendation. Santee suggested removing the treasurer from the list of people the administrator oversees.
“It was my recommendation to the mayor and to the administrator that you do something with your code,” Santee said to the council. “My thought is there was a desire that the council as a whole body oversee the review and the hiring and the disciplinary of the treasurer. We could clean that up.”
Also at the recommendation of Santee, council will vote whether or not to amend Article 3.03 of the Code of Ordinances in the next meeting to meet standards set in City of Dallas v. Heather Stewart, a court case in which the Texas Supreme Court ruled property owners have a right to complain to city officials if the city wants to destroy locations considered dangerous or a public nuisance. The city code does not currently give citizens the right to voice their complaints or concerns in situations like that, Santee said.
After further discussion, council member Cindy Coffey said if property owners are concerned the city will try to demolish their homes, they can come talk to council in future meetings.
Also in the meeting, Rose Garr reported that the monthly and third quarter reports had been filed, and that all of the city’s invoices and payroll taxes had been paid.
Michael Garr said the city received a 75 percent discount from AT&T for the city’s new, internet-based phone system, which should be installed and running by Jan. 6.