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-

Spend, Spend, Spend… At Any Cost

At the conclusion of the January 15th 2013 Duncanville City Council meeting, District 3 council woman Leslie Thomas responded to a comment that was made by Patrick Harvey (prior to his election) during the public comment period.

Here’s the back-story.

Patrick Harvey, resident of District 1 (now Council-Member At Large), came and stood before the elected 7 on that evening and probed the council about the obscene amount taxpayer money that is being spent on a forensic audit and attorney fees against a local businessman known for bringing economic development to the area.

Mr. Harvey questioned if there was a “pot of gold at the end of this yellow brick road or if the city attorney was going round and round on the taxpayers carousel.”

The use of scripture by Mr. Harvey emerged as the catalyst that goaded a response from Leslie Thomas.

If you haven’t seen the comment that Mr. Harvey delivered before the council, it can be viewed below.

The following video has been edited for audio clarity. The audio had to be pulled and the bass removed. Replacing the audio was no easy task and it lags behind about a second or so. It reminds me of the greatness of old Kung Fu movies that were over-dubbed in English…but I digress…

The audio that you hear is complete and has not been cut. You can verify the completness by watching the end of the meeting on the city’s website. 

A couple of things should be pointed out here.

Then Councilwoman Thomas begins her statement by claiming that the city council hired the forensic auditor. This is not necessarily true. McKamie/Krueger hired CA Forensics to perform the audit and when work was completed, McKamie/Krueger then invoiced the city to pay said auditor.

Leslie Thomas then informs the citizens that “as a society that we spend a lot of money on law enforcement and no one complains because we know the importance of having police officers working the streets and no one questions their budget.” (Like the police replacement vehicles right?) Thomas then makes it clear that “this is the council’s attempt to bring justice to the city.

The statement that should be circulated around the water cooler in the morning is of her testimonial that seemed to speak for her fellow council-members. Leslie announced “It didn’t matter what the forensic auditor cost, as long as justice is being produced.” She continues with, “And when I say it doesn’t matter it’s a reasonable cost, we put out for the lowest bid and that’s what we got. So we are doing our due diligence on the cost. It’s what this council was elected to do. We were elected to investigate and to guard the city’s interests and that is what we are doing to our best ability.

Thanks to an open records request by a observant citizen, duncanvillevoice is able to bring you cold, hard evidence that this statement is well, completely false.

1. The search for a forensic auditor was never put out for bid. At some point, and not in public,  then City Attorney Julie Fort and company suggested auditors. The council supposedly picked one out; not sure if there was a vote on this because it never came before the public, and zero bids were taken and compared. It then ends up on an agenda to enter into an agreement with CA Forensics LLC and not to exceed $26,000 dollars without council approval.

What’s that you say? Are you suggesting that this is another attempt to impugn the character of a former elected official through innuendo, suggestive comments and outright lies posted on an instantaneous blog that is out to demonize the opposition? 

No Matter The Cost

No Bids

Mrs. Thomas, you stand corrected.

In light of the bible study earlier, I was reminded of Psalm 101:7

No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.

Jesus-