The City Council met in regular session on Monday night, May 7, where the big item was the swearing in of three councilmen. Councilman Clinton Bowman, Mark Sherman, and Keith Mensch all took the oath of office for another term of office. The regularly scheduled election on May 5 had been canceled when no one filed to run against the three incumbents.
During the announcement portion of the meeting, Mark Sherman complimented Public Works Director Dave Tedford on the paving of the city streets. Councilman Clinton Bowman congratulated new school board members Danny Escalante and Edgar Salazar on being elected to the school board on election day May 5. He also thanked Robbie Underhill and Johnette Mansur for their service to the district during their terms of office. Also, during the announcements, Mayor Tommy Hicks read a Proclamation making May 2018 as Lupus Awareness Month. As part of the Proclamation Mayor Hicks noted May 18, as being “Wear Purple Day” honoring those individuals who are suffering from the disease.
Moving into the agenda the three unopposed Councilmen were declared winners of the election and were issued Certificates of Election from City Secretary Beverly Prather. This was followed by the swearing-in ceremony.
In the next item, the Council needed to decide who would serve a three-year term and who would serve two-year terms. Last November the Council voted to place on an election ballot to make a change in the City Charter for the term of office for Councilmembers and the Mayor be three years instead of two starting with the May 2018 election. This item was placed on the November 7 ballot where voters approved the change 142-97.
One of the newly sworn-in Councilman would have a term of three years while the other two would serve a two-year term. In the next election, two members will be elected for a three-year term while the other one would serve a two-year term and in the following election all Councilman and the Mayor will start serving three-year terms. After some discussion among the three affected Councilmen, Keith Mensch made a motion and Councilman Mark Sherman second the motion to give the three-year term to Councilman Bowman with the other two serving a two-year term. The motion was unanimously approved by the Council.
Moving on the Council unanimously approved a motion to purchase an outside video camera system for a city patrol vehicle. Criminal District Attorney Bill Helwig was in attendance and emphasized how important these videos were in helping him prosecute a case. The total cost of the camera system is $5,000. A motion was made and unanimously approved to make the purchase.
City Manager Stan David then updated the Council concerning the ongoing street maintenance on several Denver City streets. He informed the Council he had been visiting with James Tompkins, a consultant with West Texas Consultants from Andrews concerning the different projects. He noted these improvements have been placed in the yearly budget since 2010 with the first estimated cost being between $100,000 and $150,000 per year. However, the following year the cost was $325,000 followed by 2012 where it dropped back down to $100,000. After more discussions, David noted an additional $400,000 should be enough to complete the project. A motion was made and unanimously approved to grant up to $400,000 in additional funds.
The Council then went into Executive Session to get an update from Helwig concerning the interview process for the new Chief of Police.
Following the Executive Session, the Council unanimously approved to pay monthly bills that totaled $696,264.63 and manual checks of $253,316.13.
Councilmembers Joan Breith, Ronald Weir, Robert Hanneman, Clinton Bowman, Mark Sherman, and Keith Mensch along with Mayor Tommy Hicks were all present. The next meeting will be on Monday, May 21 starting at 7 pm in the Council Chambers.