The Brownfield City Council met in regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday morning May 6, 2021 with a lot on the agenda. After the call to order, invocation, and pledges, the council got to work.
There were no public comments and the Council quickly approved the April 16, 2021 meeting minutes. Next the Council certified the municipal election results and declared the winners which there was only candidate who was declared a winner, because there was one contested race for a city council position. Councilman Eric Horton who represents District 5 was re-elected to the same position and had 72% of the votes over his challenger Julian Silva Hernandez.
The next item of business was to administer the oath of office for the two At-Large City Council positions who are Isiah Bautista and Michael Tackitt. City Council District 4 who is Michelle Cooper, and City Council District 5 Eric Horton were also administered the oath of office. Even though Bautista, Cooper, and Tackitt were not challenged, they still had to take the oath of office. After the oaths of office, Mayor Tom Hesse presented outgoing Councilman Chuck Nave with a plague of appreciation for serving on the Council. After every election which is held once a year the Council must elect the Mayor Pro-Tem. Current Mayor Pro-Tem and Councilwoman Judy Besler was elected for another year.
In item #7 the Council discussed and considered recipients of the 2021 City Council Scholarships. There were three scholarship recipients this year. In order to be eligible the student must be a child of City of Brownfield full time employee or a child of a council member. They must either live in Brownfield or attend Brownfield ISD. They must fill out an application and essay. The funds for the scholarships are from the Council Members compensation for their meetings. A council member has the option to donate their council meeting earnings to a special account for the scholarships. The three recipients are Katelyn Besler, Amelia Gusman, and Stephen Martinez.
Moving on to the next agenda item was to hear and consider the monthly financial report for the city. According to City Manager Jeff Davis there has been $10,253,249.47 of revenue brought in and 49.65% of revenue for the $20,650,272 budget for 2020-2021. There has been 46.78% or $9,660,328.55 in expenditures of the budget spent. “The budget is looking great… this shows us seven months into our budget and less than 50% has been spent.” Davis said.
Item #10 was the Brownfield Police Dept. first quarter report. According to BPD Chief Tony Serbantez calls for service went up each month during the first quarter. January 2021 there were 828, Feb. 900, and March 1,151. Of note total in the first quarter there were 47 thefts, 11 stolen vehicles, 51 domestics, 66 civil matters.
On the incident side from January 2021 to March 2021 there were 180 citations given. There were also 153 arrests/charges, and 53 total warrants served. The BPD Code Enforcement had 363 total inspections.
In item #13 the Council discussed and considered taking voluntary water conservation steps to help preserve the future community water supply. James Nix, the Water Superintend said, “Right now we are only going to stage one for water conservation. This is a voluntary stage only.”
The next two agenda items were to approve applications of Type 2 special events. One is from the Brownfield Chamber of Commerce for the 9th Annual Grape Capital of Texas Vineyard Festival to be held July 30-31, 2021. The second event was to approve a Type 2 special event for the Knights of Columbus Great American Cook-off to be held June 11-12, 2021.
The council turned their attention and authorized a Request for Proposal (RFP) for auditing services. The Council then moved to discuss and consider the extension, renewal, amendment, or cancellation of the Declaration of Local Disaster-Mayoral Order due to the public health emergency to slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Mayor Hesse on the final item of business asked the council to consider naming June 8, 2021-June 15, 2021 as “Clean-Up Days in Brownfield TX”. There will be more information in the weeks to come for this community project.
All items of business were approved by the Council, except item #16 which was to discuss and consider Emancipation Day Celebration to be held on June 16,17, & 18, 2021. This item was tabled due to no representatives being present at the meeting to discuss the event.
The meeting was adjourned and the next meeting is slated for May 20, 2021 at 7:30 a.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.