The Denver City City Council met in regular session on Monday night, September 17, where the main topic of the night was to select a new Chief of Police for Denver City.
In the end, the Council felt like the best fit for the community of Denver City was David Hennigan of Woodville, which is located in Tyler County. A committee of Denver City residents and led by Criminal District Attorney Bill Helwig started the task of narrowing the field of 30 applicants down to just three. Those three consisted of Hennigan, Kenny Lopez of Dallas, and current acting Chief of Police William Gardner. Those three applicants were interviewed on Facetime by the committee. Hennigan and Lopez were then invited to come to Denver City were a small meet and greet reception was held at the Best Western Hotel. Following that reception, some of the Council members then had a one on one interview with those two candidates.
Hennigan has over 30 years of law enforcement experience which included 12 years as a highway patrolman with the Department of Public Safety. During his 12 years with the DPS, he was promoted to Sergeant/Investigator in the Narcotics Service. He also served as Sheriff of Tyler county for four years. Outside of those years he also served with federal-level law enforcement.
From 1999 to 2008 he served in three overseas police missions as an International Police Officer/Advisor in Kosovo, East Timor, and Iraq. He also traveled extensively throughout the Far East serving as an Intelligence Operations Specialist.
“I’m looking for a stable place to call home, preferably in a smaller community, with a population that does not exceed 50,000,” Hennigan said. “Whatever my next position is, my intentions going in is that it will NOT be a stepping stone to a better/higher paying job. I have every intention of staying for good.”
A high school graduate of Center, Texas in 1982, Hennigan received his police officer Master Certification in 2005. He has 27 hours of college education with his main studies being in computer science. He is expected to make the move immediately with his wife and mother-in-law. He has two sons, one who lives in Colorado and the other one lives in Arizona. City Manager Stan David was to contact Hennigan on Tuesday and start the process of negotiating a salary for the new Chief.
Hennigan will be replacing longtime chief Jack Miller who informed the Council during the spring of his intentions of retiring. His retirement became effective the end of June.
In other action brought before the Council, City Manager Stan David conducted his last Public Hearing on the 2018-2019 budget. There were no comments from those in attendance concerning the proposed budget.
Moving to the main part of the agenda the Council considered and unanimously agreed to an interlocal agreement with Yoakum County concerning the use of building security funds for the installation of a bulletproof resistant glass in Judge Troy Scott’s office at the Annex building in Denver City. These funds are money collected by the Municipal Court and restricted to uses related to building security for the court. The total cost for the project will be $11,959. The City will provide $10,095 of that cost and the County will pick up the remaining cost.
In the next item, EDC Executive Director David Mitchell approached the Council asking permission to use over $10,000 for a search of a new Executive Director to replace him when he retires at the end of the current year. There was concern from Councilman Robert Hanneman about the amount of money needed to find someone to replace Mitchell.
At that point, Mitchell informed the Council the EDC has been searching with little luck for a suitable replacement since his decision to retire. The funds, which he said the EDC has, will be used to hire a Head-Hunting firm to find someone for the position. After more discussion, a motion was made to allow the EDC the funds to hire a firm to find a good replacement. The Council unanimously approved the motion.
Also dealing with the EDC, Mitchell said its time to appoint or re-appoint someone for the EDC board. It was noted that Josh Parker’s 3-year term in up.
Mitchell said Parker was willing to serve another 3-year term whereupon the Council unanimously approved his reappointment. There are five members to the EDC Board of Directors. Mitchell has also presented a copy of the EDC budget for the next year. It showed total revenues of $273.500 and an estimated balance of $273,500 in expenditures. The Council unanimously approved his proposed budget.
The Council also unanimously approved the appointment of Beverly Moreno as the Election Judge and Kathy Smiley as the Alternate Judge for the November 2018 election. At that time voters can once again decide on the sale of alcohol in restaurants. It was narrowly voted down the last time it was on the agenda.
Following this item, the Council unanimously approved a series of ordinances. These included the 2018-2019 budget ordinance, the ordinance adopting the tax rate for 2018, a resolution on rates and fees for 2018-2019, a resolution on a salary schedule for 2018-2019, and budget revisions for 2017-2018.
At that point, the Council went into an hour-long Executive Session to discuss the appointment of the new Chief of Police. Following the Executive session, a motion was made and unanimously approved to appoint Hennigan as the new Chief of Police.
Manual checks that totaled $133,610.83 and regular bills that totaled $331,583.02 were unanimously approved.
Council members 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 October 1 in the City Hall chambers starting at 7 PM.