“You’ve Done It In Secret Before.”

Part (2) of “Brings Slap”

Don Freeman makes the statement that “We are trying to change something and make it secret” during a special City Council meeting. 

Deborah Hodge, the Mayor of our fair city replies with, “You have done it in secret before.”

Need to hear it again? (Short Version)

The question begs to be asked;

Mayor Deborah Hodge, what are you aware of that Don Freeman has done in secret? Why have you not brought that forth to the public? Are you withholding information about a council-member that may have participated in city business in secret?

If you’re aware, then one would have to believe you were present at the time when “secret changes” or a “secret meeting” was going on.

If not, then you’re making accusations against a fellow council-member which is against the council-member code of conduct [which Johnette Jameson pointed out earlier when she “POO’d” Don Freeman and his rant earlier…but I digress…

Your definitely not talking about the resolution at hand. Essentially it’s the complete opposite. [the resolution] makes it possible for this council to conduct all board appointments and removals during executive session. And if the City Manager/Attorney and every employee under the sun is a “Officer” of the city, then those decisions to appoint, remove, add positions and change duties will be made behind closed doors as well.

Life is made up of choices.

Choose wisely.

Addressing Fellow Council-Members Brings Slap To The Face

The video provided to duncanvillevoice.com has been edited into 8 minute increments in an effort to ease the burden of watching copious amounts of video in one sitting.

Sometime before 5pm on New Years Eve 2012, an agenda was posted for a “Special Duncanville City Council Meeting” set for January 3, 2013. This was conveniently scheduled directly after the joint meeting between the city council and the Duncanville Library Board.

If one was not paying attention to the city website, or hanging around the front door at city hall, this meeting would have been whispered in front of a mostly empty room devoid of any recording devices.

TurtleDue to verifiable erratic behaviors and inconsistent decisions that oddly mimic the thought process of a turtle; this current Duncanville City Council has forced citizens to keep a constant vigil on the activities at city hall.

Word spread and a good show of people made it. Citizens pulled up a chair and made it a night.

Here are some details of the meeting:

The beginning of the meeting was apparently not captured on video when “Agenda Item #4″ was moved until after executive session and Item #2 was discussed.

The video starts on Agenda Item #3.

For those who want to follow along, click here for the 1/03/13 Special Meeting Agenda (PDF)

Agenda Item #3 was to discuss and consider approval of Ordinance No. 2187 creating offices/designating officers for the city as authorized by Section 26.041 of the Local Government Code.

This item was brought to Julie Fort to review, research and to write by Mayor Deborah Hodge. **Turn up your volume**

In the first 8 1/2 minutes of this video, did everyone hear and see the same things I did? Let’s review.

At the 2:10 mark in the video, Don Freeman of District 1 has some “serious problems” with this agenda item. He starts by reading from the City Council Packet that is given to members of the council to inform them of what is on the agenda for freemanthe meeting. After his reading, Freeman questions as to, “When in the hell did we investigate this?” which brought laughter from the gallery and a “point of order” from Leslie Thomas.

As Freeman continues, he makes the accusation that “somebody is trying to pull the wool over somebody’s eyes” which draws out a “point of order” from Johnette Jameson. Jameson has to “POO” Freeman a couple of times before Hodge makes a decision on how to proceed. Janet Harris steps in to help by informing Hodge that she thinks Jameson interjected with a “POO” because of the audience, not Freeman. Freeman interrupts again to say that she [Jameson] wants him to “shut up.”

jamesonJameson finally gets to explain why she threw the “POO” in the middle of Freeman’s rant. She stated it was because he was “making an accusation of…about the council..our code of conduct.”

Freeman continues to ask questions about the proposal, who made it, when did it happen…ect…

At the 4:30 mark in the video, Freeman states, “I don’t trust what is going on here, and the public doesn’t trust what’s been going on here.”

At the 5:00 mark in the video Leslie Thomas of District 3 claims that this item was proposed at the last meeting. Thomas explained what was talked about, what needed to be changed and then asked “didn’t we talk about this last meeting?”

Thomas Nov 15 2011Actually Leslie, this council in fact did not discuss this at the last public meeting. In a search of the last 4 meetings that this council has held, there is NOTHING on an agenda that discussed the changing of a resolution or discussing if the City Attorney was an officer of the city. I’m not clear on what meeting you were at. I think you may be “confused” again. Could this be another possible violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act?

Janet Harris jumps in and admits that she is not ready to vote on this item, which is really the right thing to do.

You bring forth an item, you discuss it, you come back at the next meeting prepared to talk about it, you discuss, you put it to a vote….but I digress…

At the 6:03 mark, Hodge wants to go back and talk about said last meeting. Hodge explains what kind of discussion went on; yet the only three people in the room who seem to know anything about it is Hodge, Jameson & Thomas.

Deborah HodgeAt the 7:30 mark in the video, Hodge claims that there wasn’t any violation of the Open Meetings Act.

An item to discuss “who is and who is not an officer of the city” cannot be found on the last city council meeting agenda. Again, only 3 people in the room seem to know anything about this meeting. Just in case you want to look for yourself, here are the past 5 city council agendas.

Stay tuned for part 2-

Thomas & Ford Sitting In A Tree?

Originally Posted in August 2012

To the numerous loyal citizens who sent this in, Thank You

~P~

One question down, so many more to go…

 

Yes; it appears that Leslie Thomas, current District 3 council-member is in an attorney/client relation with Paul Ford. It’s here in black & white.

Thomas confirmed this by signing an Affidavit Of Conflict Of Interest on August 20th, 2012 which was notarized by our city secretary, Lisa Palomba.

Citizens should find this highly inappropriate that a current sitting council-member can represent a plaintiff during litigation against the city that she currently serves. How can she possibly represent our city fairly and her client at the same time? A key question will be: when did this relationship begin?  How many executive sessions did she attend on this issue while she was one of Ford’s attorneys.  Even if she was not his attorney, how much of what she learned in those executive sessions will now be used against the City?

Another item of interest has come to light;

Although not confirmed (yet) multiple sources have claimed that the plaintiff’s attorney said he would not take Ford’s case unless a retainer was paid.

Duncanvillevoice.com has requested the invoice of payment regarding the retainer for Paul Ford’s attorney. Assuming that the Baylor money is gone, one would think that “help” was given with the agreement that the retainer money would be “recouped” after the lawsuit settles.

Now that the citizens know that Leslie Thomas is possibly in a legal relationship with whom is suing the city, what keeps us from thinking that another sitting member of our council,their husband or local newsletter possibly footed the retainer for Ford.

Represent thy neighbor…

Just When You Think The Cameras Are Off. They’re Not.

December 4th proved to be a great day for video clips of the Duncanville City Council.

First we get to see District 3 council-member Leslie Thomas pout about the outcome of a vote she should have seen coming; and instead of voting for “something,” they got nothing.

Next we get to witness District 5 council-member Johnette Jameson possibly step outside of the Code of Ethics with a public statement made to Mr. Ed Hicks of Clay Cooley Nissan informing him that she “expected” a sizable contribution to the Education Foundation because that’s what has happened in the past.

After that, Johnette Jameson wants a public pat on the back for “approving” a luncheon for city employees. You can read all the details concerning this item here.

The best part of this meeting though, everyone missed.

After the  3 hour marathon council meeting, the council adjourned into executive session.  It appears that everyone left to go home.

Unbeknownst to the council, the camera started rolling sooner than expected when they arrived back into the chambers to reconvene regular session.

Before we get into what was caught on tape, here is the back story.

Back in September of 2011, an item was placed on the city council agenda that would create an ordinance to ban “Parkour” for the parks in Duncanville. For those who do not know what Parkour is, click here.

The night of that meeting, the chamber was filled with the Parkour kids from Armstrong park. They all got up and spoke against the ordinance. The vote was cast in favor of the kids and the item was tabled for later discussion.

Jump back to present day.

Before the council meeting on December 4th, kids that were playing at Armstrong [Kidsville] Park were allegedly told by a Duncanville Police Officer that the kids were in violation of a City Ordinance that banned “Parkour” in city parks. The kids were also told that if they were seen again at the park, they would be arrested for criminal trespassing. A few of the kids from Duncanville “Parkour” made their way to city hall to voice their concerns in front of council.

DuncanvilleParkour

DuncanvilleParkour

As of today, no ordinance has been passed banning “Parkour”, or “playing” at any Duncanville park.

During the “Council-member Reports” section of the regular meeting, District 2 councilmen Stephen Jones spent a good deal of time “self-backslapping” regarding his work talking to the engineering teacher at Duncanville High School and inquiring if anything could be done about creating a space for the kids of Duncanville Parkour and getting them involved in the project. After Jones was finished, the crowd at the council applauded his efforts. However…

When the council returned to the chambers after executive session, the camera started to roll.

Thanks to Don Freeman’s “mush mouth” and the horrendous audio in the chambers it makes it difficult to hear what he is saying at first. Once the camera gets rolling, you can get the jist of the conversation that is being had “off the record.”

After Don Freeman states,” They beat those kids up, they tasered them, ” Stephen Jones and the other council members found it amusing enough to erupt into a chorus of chuckles.

Judging by Leslie Thomas’s, “The camera isn’t on is it?” question and then pointing at Don Freeman like she was scolding an incontinent dog for piddling on the floor, it must have been something “not for public knowledge.”

Don Freeman then puts his hand over his mouth with a “did I do that” motion as an audible “sshhh” is heard and Stephen Jones is seen turning in his chair chucking it up with the rest of the council.

Mayor Deborah Hodge offers some knowledge and guidance to Don Freeman by informing him that “less is more.”

If you start @ the 25 second mark, you can hear and see Johnette Jameson say, “turn it off if it’s on.

Why should it be turned off if it’s on?Want to hide something? Should I even ask that question?…but I digress…

Oh, here is the 40 second video clip of feet entering the mouths of our distinguished Duncanville city council.

Don Freeman Uncut

Don Freeman Uncut

Share it with friends or give it as a gift for the holidays. This is the gift that begs to be re-gifted.

Facebook & Email are the fastest & cheapest shipping method.

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

~P~