“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.

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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…

Councilman Offers To Resign Seat, If Lie Can Be Proven

Patrick Harvey

Patrick Harvey

In an unprecedented move, City Councilman Patrick Harvey publicly announced on Tuesday night he would resign his seat on the Council if a lie that was printed on the front page of The Suburban Newspaper can be proven true.

The Suburban Newspaper is the lone printed news outlet in the city of Duncanville and is published by The Burg, Inc. Listed owners of the newspaper are Ann Hubener and Katy Hubener. The Suburban editorial offices are located inside Crescent Realty at the corner of Main & Davis.

The statement in question can be found on the front page of the Full Edition dated May 1, 2014 issue No. 166. The column is credited to Becky Hall who has top billing in the editorial department.

The second sentence in the full page article starts, “Politics are in full swing, and the usual misinformation is being spread.” It goes on to say, “Certain candidates and city council members are stooping to new lows! For example, Patrick Harvey in a recent ethics complaint accused Mayor Deborah Hodge of sexually harassing him.

Mr. Harvey seems to have taken a disliking to this statement and feels that this was a libelous attack against him in an effort to further the political push behind the candidates the are publicly endorsed by The Suburban. Tuesday night at the regular scheduled council meeting, Patrick Harvey took the time during “Councilmember Reports” at the end of the agenda to openly discuss and defend what he called, “My good name.” Not only did he call out The Suburban Newspaper on running a lie, he also challenged Mayor Hodge to take a stand and admit that the accusation lodged against Harvey was false. Hodge remained silent and did not take Harvey up on his challenge, but did manage to appear to squirm in her seat.

During election season, council member reports are not aired on Public Access cable. In the video you can see Johnette Jameson try and stop Harvey from defending himself.

 

Apparently Jamesons’ stop measure didn’t go over well because Harvey was allowed to continue. The video provided is choppy and cuts Attorney Bob Hager off. One has to assume that there was an explanation as to why Harvey was able to continue to defend his “good name.”

Harvey has done something that no other has done on this council in recent memory. How often do you hear or witness an official put his elected seat on the line publicly and challenge the Mayor to join hands and stand together against lies that are propagated for the public to consume as truth?

An open records request will prove that you are more likely to find a chupacabra before you find the reported complaint.

Just recently, a “Cease & Desist” letter was sent to The Burg Inc. and their Attorney, Darlene Ewing. Would you like to see it? Of course you would. The letter is dated April 4th.

 

HubenerCEASE&DESIST

 

 

The second to last paragraph; Pure Gold

One would think that after the Economic Development Council agreed to settle the litigation with the Andersons, after being unable to prove any of the unfounded allegations against them, you and your newspaper would quit publishing articles like this that have no factual foundation and serve no legitimate purpose but to attempt to harm the Andersons and their business for the benefit of certain local politicians who were voted out of office and a Mayor who is running for re-election and making similar false and defamatory statements on her re-election web-site.”

Your Moves Are Soooo 2011, But Thanks For Being The First

I’m sure you’ve heard/read how past leaders were nothing more than “Good ol’ Boys” and how they were leading our city into a financial apocalypse and destroying the trust of good citizens all over Duncanville with their reign of terror .

I’m positive you’ve heard/read about how the past “Good ol’ Boys” (GOB’s) appointed  their “cronies” and “henchmen” on boards & commissions in an effort to help expedite their dirty work.

I guarantee you’ve been informed about how “current” members of the exclusive GOB’s Club have circumvented the rules and abused their power to place themselves on boards and commissions.

What you won’t hear/read about is how it was all done before.

But not by those dirty GOB’s you keep hearing about.

The precedence of this so-called abuse of power of  vacating boards and “self-appointing” or appointing political allies were set by none other than the ones that are telling members of the current council are wrong.

On August 27th 2011, the following story was posted on duncanvillevoice.com

8-27-2011 (Council-members Play Chess With Economic Development)

Council members (Janet Harris, Johnette  Jameson, Don Freeman and Leslie Thomas)  voted on Thursday August 25th, 2011 to vacate the entire 4B (DECDC Board) and strategically replace current standing members with some of their long time political allies.

JamesonDistrict 5 Council member Johnette Jameson made the motion to terminate the service of all current 4B Board members, which was seconded by newly elected District 1 Council member Don Freeman. Freeman was clearly not happy after the 4B Board decided to not follow the council’s recommendation to terminate Earl Jones’ contract with the City of Duncanville as Economic Developer.

freemanFreeman explained the reasoning for his second of Jameson’s motion by saying, “They (the 4B Board Members) have a right to come in here and express their opinion but not to second guess a decision we make. They report to us, they make recommendations that we approve. What they did the other night wasn’t right.” 

  • During the August 25th 2011 Duncanville City Council Meeting:
  • Councilmember Johnette Jameson made a motion to vacate the entire Duncanville Economic Development board and reappoint new members. Jameson (District 5) made this motion due to remarks made by some board members after the DCEDC Board voted to renew the contract with former Economic Development Director Earle Jones and the Duncanville City Council voted 4-3 (Jameson, Harris, Thomas, and Freeman voted) not to offer the new contract. 
  • Smithey disagreed with the motion saying that members of the DCEDC were taxpayers and had the right to voice their opinion.
  • Freeman agreed with Jameson that while they had the right to disagree with the decision, but disagreed with them making remarks about the council.
  • The vote was 4-3 (Jameson, Harris, Thomas, and Freeman for) to vacate the entire DCEDC.
  • The following were  appointed to the board:
    • Wendy Nalls (2-year term)
    • Jack Coleman (2-year term)
    • Tracy Shook (2-year term)
    • Tommie Rains (2-year term)
    • Ann Hubener (1-year term) 
    • Deborah Hodge (1-year term) 
    • Homer Fincannon (1-year term)

What was the motivation for the recent exile of the DCEDC?

I’m sure that the above information was left out of the story you have been hearing, hasn’t it?