POINT COMFORT – The city council meeting got a bit heated Monday night when two city employees asked why requests to discuss personnel matters concerning them were not on the agenda.
“I requested to have a hearing on my disciplinary action and it's my right.I was told by my department head it was going to be tonight,” stated Police Chief Troy Baxter.
“I forgot,” said Mayor Leslie Machicek, noting the Chief’s department head, Councilman Wes McKelvy, was not in attendance to remind her. “We have a lot going on,” said Councilwoman Linda Brush.
“I don’t like to be forgotten,” said Baxter, who added that he exercised his right to an open hearing.
The mayor responded by saying only councilmembers can put items on the agenda and that he could speak during the Citizens Comment portion of the meeting.
“The council is not required to talk during the Citizens Comment, so it would be like talking to a wall,” said resident Josh Grissom.
Maintenance Supervisor Brandon Mason also said he had twice requested to be put on the agenda and had been denied both times.
Machicek reiterated that he could speak during the Citizens Comment to which Mason replied, “I’m not a citizen, I’m an employee.” He added that he works for the five councilmembers who serve as department heads and not for the mayor.
Councilman Mitch McBride said, “She told you how to do it.”
“I’ve fought for you as long as I can,” Machicek told Mason.
Also, the city’s pool has been unavailable for three weeks due to a leak and the council discussed continuing to put money into repairs.
The pool is 50 years old, “so I need the council’s input into what to do – go ahead and spend the money to repair it,” said Hernandez during his department head report.
He noted that the city spends a great deal of money repairing the pool and, “we aren’t getting anything back from it.”
There is a crack that creates a leak that will not allow the pool to hold water.
Machicek suggested having a workshop to brainstorm solutions and to get public input on what to do with the pool. “This is a big topic for them and a heartbreaking one,” she said.
Grissom suggested a splash pad be considered and “it might be a better investment. You wouldn’t need to pay for lifeguards or to have the YMCA run it.”
Hernandez added that if they decide to repair it, they would have to find funding from somewhere like a grant.
Also, the council approved raising inspections fees as suggested by the mayor to $100 for plan reviews, $150 for structural and other reviews and $500 for full inspections.
The changes bring the city into compliance with a new state law that states inspection fees cannot be based on square footage.
In other business, the council:
-- Took no action following a closed session to discuss personnel matters.
-- Announced the Notice and Harvey Infrastructure Application has been posted at City Hall for the 30-day comment period.
-- Approved a resolution to oppose a rate increase by AEP Texas Inc.
-- Authorized the city attorney to proceed with negotiations for a contract with Inframark to run the city’s water system.
-- Issued a permit to Clark Construction for fuel tanks.