Charter Review recommends changes

In News by Reporter NewsLeave a Comment

During Monday night’s Manvel City Council meeting, Debra Davis addressed council about the Charter Review Committee’s findings. The review committee is required to meet every 5th year to determine if there are any areas in the City Charter in need of updating or change. This committee is comprised of eleven residents chosen by council and the mayor. This commission held its first meeting on Aug. 24, 2016, then held regular meetings and one public hearing thereafter. The commission solicited and allowed comments from each commission member, city staff and the general public. Legal counsel was present during these meetings for input and clarification on legal matters.

The Commission found some areas in need of updating, to reflect recent changes in state law; as well as some changes that would merit revision. Section 3.03(a) specifies that a person who has been elected Mayor or councilmember for four consecutive terms shall not be eligible to become a candidate until the second regular election after the fourth consecutive term has expired. The Commission recommended changing from four to three year term limits. In Section 3.04(a)(6) Remove the “prohibition against” city employees running for city elective office. This section prohibits an employee of the city from being a candidate for city elective office. A state law passed in 2013 (after the Charter was adopted) states that a city may not prohibit a city employee from becoming a candidate for public office. Section 6.06(c) Remove the “job forfeiture” provision pertaining to city employees running for city elective office. It currently states an employee of the city forfeits their employment with the city upon becoming a candidate for city office. A state law passed in 2013 requires that a city cannot take disciplinary action against an employee solely, because they become a candidate for public office. The commission further suggested adding section 3.12 requiring the city council hold a goal setting retreat every year, prior to April 30; Section 5.02 to require council to discuss separation pay in any employment agreement with a city manager. Section 10.18 updating the Time interval for the Commission to review the charter.

The City Manager Update on the Water Plant Expansion Project was clear that the process was moving along and would be sent to TCEQ in the coming weeks for an expected swift approval of the detailed plans. The water concerns for Lakeland were addressed with Dan Johnson informing council that once that section four came on board it would allow for a continuous loop in the system and they would not have the current issues with stagnant water.

Council went into Executive Session to discuss the appointment and employment of a new Finance Director. They returned and unanimously approved hiring Michael Higgins as Finance Director.

Newport Lake Estates submitted a preliminary plat for approval with the recommendation of PD&Z. It is 64.17 acres on the corner of Cr 58 and Cr 48 that will be a gated community with 60 and 70 foot lots.

Bluewater Lake submitted a preliminary plat for approval also with the recommendation of PD&Z. It is 35.1 acres located on Highway 6 behind the Burger Barn.

Council approved Ordinance 2017-O-02, amending Ordinance 2016-O-02 of the fiscal year 2017 Budget, by amending the general fund to cover the cost of a new patrol car and possible equipment that was destroyed in the recent accident with a Manvel City Police Officers patrol car. The estimated cost to replace the vehicle was $36,000 with an estimated $17,000 coming from the insurance company of the individual that hit the patrol car. The officer was not at fault and was checked over and did not sustain any serious injuries.

Councilman Cox requested the city pave Rogers Rd. passed Pine St. another 50 feet. Stating that Mr. Lowe who owns the property in that area requested he ask that the city extend the current paving on the road. Mr. Lowe has plans to develop the property in the coming year or so and felt like it would be more beneficial to do the paving another 50 feet than to come back later and continue the paving. There was much discussion about the road continuing another 100 feet and the city manager requiring that it all be paved before any future construction would be allowed. Mr. Lowe felt it would be a road to nowhere and that it would not make since at this time to pay for a road that may not be used for five or ten years. Council decided to pave the 50 feet and revisit the 100 extra feet of roadway at a later date.

Council went into Executive Session to review the 380 agreement as it has done in the previous months.

Story by Terry Ruiz

Print Friendly, PDF & Email