Glenn Heights Thanks Communities for Fire Assistance; Sets Special Election

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Glenn Heights Thanks Multiple Departments For Assistance With Last Week’s Fire

The meeting was called to order by Glenn Heights Mayor Pro Tm Sonja Brown at 7:07 pm on Tuesday, August 2. She began by telling visitors there were two important events coming up. The first being the Back to School Celebration which will be held at Red Oak High School in cooperation with Red Oak ISD from 8:30 in the morning until 11:30 am on Saturday, August 6. Another Back to School celebration in partnership with DeSoto ISD will take place from 9 am until noon at DeSoto High School on Saturday, August 13.

David Hall, City Manager, began the public comment portion of the meeting saying he needed to tell the council, the public and the city’s employees, the fire department, the police department and the public works group how thankful the city is for the response of everyone in controlling the hundreds of acres of fires that broke out both the preceding Friday and Saturday. Hall also expressed thanks and appreciation for the regional response with help coming in from agencies far and wide surrounding Glenn Heights. He thanked Keith Moore, Director of Public Safety as well. Moore was the next to address citizens and the council.

Moore began by also thanking everyone who helped out with the grass fires, going on to name dozens of agencies in communities around the metroplex. Friday, 23 fire departments assisted with over 60 pieces of apparatus to fight the fires. When fires erupted again in the same area on Saturday, six departments returned to help.

Sonja Brown
Photo courtesy of the City of Glenn Heights

Mayor Pro Tem Brown echoed the thanks and said the cooperation received speaks volumes to the progress the city is making in the metroplex. She also pointed out that Senator Royce West was instrumental in getting some forestry equipment to help get all the undergrowth cleared out. Carl Sherman helped as well with social media and in sharing information to the public. Council people Shaunte Allen and Emma Ipaye also expressed their gratitude.

Glenn Heights August 2 City Council Recap

Ms. Penny Story then addressed council about the need for a bond and her feelings that it needs to be “the right bond.” She said an architect was proposing the charge between one million and 1.3 million dollars for a plan. Story said there would be a meeting to get input from citizens and she urged everyone to come and express their viewpoints. She noted the meeting would be on Wednesday at Red Oak High School. She also discussed the possibility of selling the old Shields Elementary to raise money and to allow tax paying businesses to come to the site.

Tina Arjanen talked about the procurement policy and bids and whether capital expenditures are approved in the budget bids may not need to come to council for award and if this is true and could there be clarification. She also questioned whether the city manager could approve change orders totaling under $50,000.

Robert Rodrigues thanked everyone for efforts concerning the fire, for fixing older areas of the city. He thanked staff, council and former Mayor Leon Tate for contributions back when he was in the hospital and how his family was helped during that time.

Council person Ipaye moved to move consent agenda item number 2 be tabled. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously. CM Hall asked for rationale on tabling the issue. She was told the issue has nothing to do with the bid procedure but only discusses the city manager’s authority. CM Hall added that the objective is to streamline things and make the ordinance reflect what is already being done.

Clifford Blackwell, Deputy City Manager discussed the tax rate and approving the proposed ad valorem tax rate for the next fiscal year. He noted that since the property values have greatly increased the actual tax rate requested would be decreasing. Actual proposals will need to be published and discussed in future meetings, so watch your future Focus Daily News for details on the new proposed tax rates for the city.

Council then took up discussion for the reasons for absences of Council Member Alisha M. Brown. After discussion, her absences were deemed reasonable and she was excused for them.

Item number 4 on the agenda was to take action on the automatic resignation of Council Member Shaunte Allen so she could run for Mayor in the upcoming November election. She will continue in her position until a new replacement is voted in to replace her in Place 5.

Brandi Brown, City Secretary, presented Item 5 on the agenda to approve resolution R-19-22 authorizing an election on November 8 to elect a new mayor and council members for places 2, 4 and 6. She continued that there would also need to be a special election for council place 5 to fill the unexpired term of Ms. Allen.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:02 pm.