Duncanville City Council – District 5 Candidate Forum

 

Johnette Jameson – No Show-

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“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-

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~

A Bad Case Of The Freebie Jeebies

Originally Posted on May 6th, 2013-

Voters in Duncanville have inquired as to the validity of the attempt to deny local children a free meal last summer. It has been questioned due to the only documentation that has been provided is a copy of the minutes [which are not “exact” minutes] of the City Council meeting from June 19th, 2012 and a recap of the meeting by other news sources.

The following is some background to this issue in an effort to help those who are new readers catch up.

On June 19th 2012, Mr. Kenneth Woods and Carla Lacy were brought before the council as representatives of Help is Here, a non-profit corporation to provide information and answer questions from Council-members regarding the USDA Summer Food Program.

Before June 19th, then City Manager Dan O’Leary stated he had received “phone calls” regarding the usage of city parks for the Summer Food Service Program. Duncanvillevoice.com was unsuccessful in determining who was behind the “phone calls” made to O’Leary which subsequently led to the temporary cease of free meals served to area underprivileged children until it could be discussed and approved to move forward under the direction of the city council.

Mr. Woods answered questions and provided information to the council regarding how the program was operated.

Eventually, the council decided to take action on the item in question. Former councilman Grady Smithey made a motion, seconded by Leslie Thomas, to approve the use of city parks and facilities for participation in the USDA Summer Food Program for the remainder of the Summer of 2012 while waiving the requirement for signs, banners and associated fees. The staff was also directed to obtain a waiver of liability from the providers and to develop a formal policy regarding the use of city parks & facilities regarding the program prior to Summer 2013. The vote passed 7-0 which was surprising given the opposition that confronted Mr. Woods and Ms. Lacy during the discussion.

Speaking of the opposition, here is the video from that night in question. Excuse the bad color and tint, the city’s archive video collection is a bit rough. Please watch the video all the way through.

It has been reported that during the public comment section of the latest council meeting, Mr. Woods spoke and was discouraged by the phone call he received by the city stating that the city was not interested in participating.

 

AgendaItem16On Tuesday night, the council will be discussing and will consider approval for the organization “Help is Here” to provide free meals in the parks of Duncanville. It will be interesting to see if the council followed up and worked to complete the “formal policy” regarding the use of city parks and facilities set forth in 2012 or will it be argued that these types of programs are unnecessary due to a lack of “underprivileged” children that live in a certain area and the possible saturation of such programs like those of Help is Here. As you can see, the item lacks any acknowledgement of what was requested/recommended in the past.

You have seen the video, you decide if this was an attempt to “protect” children from being feed improper foods or if the program had the appropriate permits or inspections; Was this an attempt to keep kids from having access to a free meal within a close proximity in a safe and very public space? Or is this just a bad case of the “Freebie Jeebies.”

Doubting Thomas? Never Did-

Duncanville,

Thank you for continuing to be such loyal readers.

Shall we begin?

Does anyone remember the date February 22nd, 2013? I do. It is engrained in my thoughts as one of my fondest memories.

That was the day when duncanvillevoice.com broke the story about how the Suburban Newspaper had posted, on their web-site, the 16 page audit that Sandy Alexander of CA Forensics provided the then sitting Duncanville City Council and then Interim City Manager regarding the lawsuit against Monte & Rosa Anderson & MARA Inc.

Fact is, the 16 page audit was scheduled to be discussed in Executive Session that same night at the end of the Duncanville City Council meeting. Yet somehow, someway the audit, in its entirety, was posted previous to Executive Session ever happening that night at the council meeting. The other unmitigated fact of this story is that a Open Records request was formally made with the City of Duncanville by then publisher, David McKamie two days after the Suburban had published the documents online.

The critical question at the time was; “How did the Suburban publication acquire the documents prior to them being revealed in Duncanville City Council Executive Session?”  There was much speculation on who was responsible, but it was left at that, speculation.

The council at the time which consisted of Deborah Hodge, Don Freeman, Stephen Jones, Leslie Thomas, Mark Cooks and Johnette Jameson never made the issue of the documents “magic appearance” public, or addressed the situation during a regularly scheduled council meeting .

All questions that were targeted at the council regarding an explanation went unanswered, and the citizens of Duncanville were ignored.

If names on the previous council seem familiar, four of the former are currently running for a seat back on the City Council.

Don Freeman District 1, Leslie Thomas District 3, Johnette Jameson District 5 and Stephen Jones At-Large.

I am sure some of you are asking, “how is this information relevant today?”

I have an answer, and the documentation.

The question of “whom” had access to the documents prior to executive session has been answered in sworn deposition dated March 19th 2014.

If you’d like to re-familiarize yourself, or if you’re new to the wacky world of Duncanville politics, click the links below to previous posts.

Suburban To Print CA Forensic Audit Report – 2/22/2013

Confidential Executive Session Information Illegally Shared – 2/26/2013

Now that you have caught yourself up, please download the PDF file provided for you below. It is the full transcript of the sworn testimony of previous Interim Duncanville City Manager Greg Contreras taken on March 19th 2014 regarding the Internal Investigation of the Duncanville City Council.

What you are looking for starts on page 59. I have highlighted items of interest. It is suggested that you inform yourself and read in its entirety. It will all be relevant to this years upcoming election.

Sworn Testimony Of Greg Contreras (PDF)

Now that you have read the sworn testimony, you now know who admitted responsibility for taking documents intended for executive session off of a printer and handing them to another former council-member. You’ve also learned that this issue was taken to the “then” Mayor and Council and how it was ignored and never revealed to the public.

In a recent article in the Daily Focus News Leslie Thomas stated her goals if elected;  “Achieve transparency and adhere to the Texas Open Meetings Act.” Leslie Thomas was quoted as saying, ” When there is no discussion on issues it’s obvious that there is either a violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act, or a gross dereliction of duty.” Thomas says she will bring her “law background in municipal law” if elected.

Questions that should be asked of Leslie Thomas:

“Is it true that you knowingly and willingly removed confidential documents off of a city printer without permission, read said documents and hand them to Johnette Jameson, then council person for District 5?”

“And is it also true that this deliberate dereliction of duty and failure to follow the laws and guidelines of the Texas Open Meetings Act not presented to the citizens of Duncanville?”

“Did you also watch the video of said acts with Greg Contreras and the Marshal?”

If the answer resembles “I didn’t know what I was doing.”

A Juris Doctorate should know..

Ignorantia juris non excus,

but I digress…

~P~

Please share, it’s the right thing to do.

Duncanville Should Rent Office Space Inside The Dallas County Courts

Please excuse the silence, but I was just watching in awe of how the community has come together, and it has been a beautiful experience to do so.

“Anonymous Bloggers” have been blamed for the “negativity & downfall” of a community and was pointed out as the core problem with everything wrong in Duncanville. Even without the “Voice” the citizens of Duncanville have changed council seats, promoted new business, created community events, adopted and cleaned parks and have ignited a sense of involvement that this city hasn’t seen in years.

Please remember, the “Voice” will never go away. This site may not be as active as it once was, but it will always be here when needed.

Duncanvillevoice is still here; And this is one of those times.

 

gavelsYes, this is court related.

The following is a PDF of the complete Defendants’ Original Counterclaims To Plaintiff Johnette Jameson. This was filed in response to the suit filed by Johnette Jameson (District 5) in an effort to avoid an investigation that was voted on by the Duncanville City Council to determine if misconduct or violations of the Charter were committed by ALL sitting Council-members.

 

The only objection came from District 5. 

Feel free to print this off and deliver to those that may have interest in the content or may not have access to the internet.

This document was procured through the Open Records Act.

Cause No. DC-14-03379 (PDF) Right click to save to your desktop.

Comment if you feel so inclined.

Good to see you again,

~P~