January 7th, 2014 Minutes

Click Here for print friendly version

City of Alpine
Regular City Council Meeting
January 7th, 2014
6:00 P.M.

1. Call to Order, Invocation and Pledge of allegiance to the flag – Mayor Pro
Tem Davidson called the meeting to Order. Lana Covington with First
Christian Church gave the invocation. Mayor Pro Tem Davidson led the
pledge of allegiance to the flags.

2. Determination of a quorum and proof of notice of the meeting – Mayor Pro
Tem Davidson, Councilors Bermudez, Fitzgerald, Gonzales and Castelli were
present. Mayor Rangra was absent. Meeting notice had been posted at
3:15 P.M. on January 3rd, 2014.

3. Presentations, recognitions and proclamations –
A. Proclamation for American Electric Power. (A. Rangra, Mayor) – Fred
Hernandez and Bart Rosenquist, along with several other AEP
employees were present to accept the proclamation. Mayor Pro Tem
Davidson read the proclamation on behalf of Mayor Rangra. He said
back in November we had some really inclement weather and many
people were out of power. Mayor Pro Tem Davidson proclaimed this
week, January 6th through 12th, 2014 as American Electric Power week.
Fred Hernandez thanked the City for their kind words. He introduced the
AEP staff members that were with him, Hector Holguin, John Salgado,
Bart Rosenquist, Eddie Pallenez. Fred discussed the power outages that
occurred in our area. He said he appreciated the proclamation from
Mayor Rangra. There was a photo taken of the group and he presented a
memento to City Hall to remind us of what happened in the ice storm of

4. Reports –
City Mayor’s Report – None
City Attorney Report – None
City Manager Report – The City Manager said he was trying something a
little different this week. He said what he wanted to do this week was take
the Council and the Mayor and the Community through the last three
weeks, from our last council meeting in December. He said one of the
things we talked about in December was the 180 day plan. He said that is
an agenda item this evening that we will be covering and what that is doing
from a city perspective is kind of providing some of the guiding principles
of what we are focusing on, on the administrative side. He said what we are
seeing across the city right now is quite a bit of weeds and brush around
the dumpsters. He said a byproduct of the ice storm was the weeds, not
necessarily the weeds, but the brush and the limbs. He said we offered to
the community to come kind of do that one time pickup. He said what we
are also seeing is quite a bit of residual issues around the city. He said
what he has asked our public works department to do in association with
our code enforcement team is to go out there and start cleaning that up in
our slower time of the year. He said what he wants to emphasize is that we
do not want to set a precedent as far as people trimming their bushes and
cutting things and leaving them by the dumpster. He said that is why we
have this week and next week and the week after with our bulky pickup. HeF
said with that being said, we are not naïve and we understand that there is
some visual challenges out there, some areas that just need to be given a
little additional attention. He said we did issue a citation to an individual for
illegal dumping so as people are communicating to us what is going on in
the community, we are able to identify some of the individuals and we do
issue them a bond for illegal dumping. He said concerning our
Recycle/Keep Alpine Beautiful Team. He said this week and the next two
weeks are bulky item pickup. He said we advertise that through our gas
bills and we also do quite a bit of local media and radio advertising. He said
we think this is a very important element to keeping Alpine clean and want
to make sure that the residents are very aware of this sequence and cycle
as well as the responsibilities. He said next week will be our electronics
recycling week. He said that will occur, at the old fire department, on 8th
and Avenue E. He said last year they used the bays on the North side
which is on the one way street on Avenue E and this year we asked to use
the bays on the East side of the building. He said we felt that was a little
safer for the residents as they drop items off. He said anybody who has
parked at One Way Nursery or last year parked at the electronics recycling
know that can get a little busy with semi trucks coming along Avenue E. He
said Martha Latta shared with him this morning that she is still short on
volunteers. He said anyone in the community who would like to volunteer
some hours, please work with Martha Latta on that. He said if you do not
have her number, please feel free to call City Hall and they will get you in
touch with her. He said concerning finance matters, kind of near and dear
to our team right now. He said the CO 2011 series and our parks grant are
our biggest two items that we are focusing on. He said working on actually
having a clear understanding of the spending related to those two items by
the end of this week our goal would be to get that on the January 21st
agenda for the City Council. He said we are also addressing the 2014
budget revisit as was committed to the council and outlined in the 180 day
plan, we are on target to have that revisit complete by the end of January
which will allow us to meet the first meeting in February to review that. He
said then gain subsequent council approval or renegotiation. He said we
continue on the financial side to track our cash flow for debt obligations
that are due in March. He said our ad valorem tax is giving us a big boost in

revenue. He said January is our high revenue time of the year. He said we
still continue to feel very comfortable that we will make those larger debt
obligation payments in March. He said one of the things on the financial
side that he is targeting is a more detailed reporting on our income
statements and our budget variance reports. He said starting in February
that will happen during the second of our Council meetings. He said from a
visibility perspective it is important to see how our enterprise units are
doing. He said all of our department heads are also starting their budget
variance reporting and what that is, is each department head is responsible
for every line item on their individual budget, both expense and revenue.
He said on the first of the month they are given a report that shows where
they are at, accumulated year to date for this fiscal year. He said with any
variances, they are required to report back to the City Manager, on the
variance and what they are going to do to get within budget. He said that
will be available to the council on the second of every month as well, for
the council’s visibility. He said he thinks it is no secret that the finance
matters are near and dear to all of us. He said that is one of his strengths
and some of these different building blocks are important on tinthe
administrative side so that we can get very clear moving forward. He said
asset tagging initiative is working with every department right now to
identify every capital asset that each department has. He said historically
they have not been tagged. He said he believes from a city perspective we
need to understand a cost basis on each asset, what we depreciated on it
and what our current value is. He said we also need to tag every asset so
that as we do our annual audit we have a clear representation from a
department perspective on what we own. He said the other thing that
happens is annually as we have capital requests from the departments, it is
important, from his perspective, to go back and understand what they have
before they ask for more. He said the reason he brings that up is he has
been touring through the city and looking at different departments, going
out, looking at the parks, looking at our maintenance warehouses and he
has come across a lot of what he would categorize as new equipment still
in boxes. He said he is questioning why these assets were bought and the
functionality of them. He said with that being said, all new assets obviously
have to go through the city manager. He said we need to tag them and we
need to understand them and utilize them. He said along with that we have
many retired assets that are sitting on our property if you go look at our
maintenance warehouse or if you go look at Hal Flanders Recycling Center,
you will see a lot of just old abandoned assets. He said the ones that are
constructed of steel and metal still have financial value to the city. He said
each department head is putting together the list of every one of these non-
functioning assets and then in February we will start looking at different
places that will purchase them from us with the goal of completion by
March. He said it just pains him to see an old car or old vehicle just sit on a
lot and waste away, when there is financial value to those assets that we
could be using today. He said if we are going to abandon it and not use it

again we need to basically retire it and sell it off and use the money while
we still have the greatest value of that asset. He said we are also in the
midst of reviewing every contract for services in excess of $2,000 annually.
He said number one ensuring that we have contracts for these services
and number two ensuring that they are current and then number three,
ensuring if we need a rebid to get better service or better price. He said that
will do that. He said effective today, working with Naismith, who is our
chief engineering firm, he has asked them to halt every work item that they
are doing on behalf of the City of Alpine until they are given further
instruction to move forward. He said what he is seeing happening in our
budget is that we have what he categorizes as a lot of stranded engineering
expense. He said if you engineer a project, and you do not build a project,
from a gap perspective you cannot capitalize those engineering dollars. He
said you have to expense them. He said what he is seeing happening a lot
in the last twelve months is we are going out and we are engineering
projects and then we are not completing the projects so we have to
expense those dollars. He said he has asked Grant Jackson and his team
to stop everything effective immediately until they get approval from him.
He said all new work requests will come through the City Manager. He said
most of them are authorized by the City Council. He said we are putting
some definite structure in place on that. He said we have also this last
week started an audit of the hotel fund usage. He said what we are finding
is that we are giving the entities the requirements of utilization, like this
last year in July, as people submitted their applications, but the
requirements around utilization is not always translating into proper
invoicing coming back to the city. He said this week for example he had to
deny an invoice reimbursement because it did not fall within the guidelines
of what we have set out. He said Stewart Ramser who is our tourism
director, is working with us on this audit. He said there will be a meeting in
February where we will be very clear with the people looking to tap into
that hotel fund of the requirements and the adherence to those
requirements. He said concerning technology, what we have opted to do is
go ahead and build the website internally. He said we do have a couple of
resources on city staff that are capable of building the website. He said we
are using word press. He said the goal of the 180 day plan is to have the
new website built and functional by the end of January. He said he feels
very comfortable at this point that we will meet that expectation and at that
point we will migrate the existing domain name to the new website. He said
word press allows us to integrate a lot of neat widgets and a lot of video.
He said the City of Alpine has produced tremendous amounts of video and
pictures over the years but we have just not done a good job of
demonstrating that. He said we also need a tool that is easy to update so
when we hire a new City Attorney, we get their name updated. He said
when we are doing a bulky items recycle program we get that updated. He
said when we have an ice storm that requires us to ask the residents in
Sunny Glen to minimize water usage, we need to update that immediately

on the website. He said he feels very comfortable that by the end of this
month, we will be able to do that. He said we are also working with Big
Bend Telephone on communications planning. He said he has had the
fortunate opportunity to meet the new CIO at Sul Ross State University. He
said he is also working on a plan for advanced business products. He said
he does know Rusty Moore who is the COO at Big Bend Telephone and he
has asked him to consider deploying word band services. He said as
committed we will stay within our existing spend on our budget but right
now we are spending a lot of money on voice lines, when we need to
redirect that more to Ethernet based products that will allow us to have a
more robust wifi connectivity at some of our city facilities, as well as do
business from a city administrative perspective. He said the main thing that
Big Bend Telephone is doing right now is they have procured conduit
space to build a redundant route out of Alpine and so as many of you have
experienced over the years, if AT&T gets cut, you are isolated. He said now
with Big Bend Telephone building a redundant route, he is going to have
two ways to get out of the town so if one gets cut, he can fall over to the
second. He said he thinks it is important that the larger entities in the town
of Alpine work and at least give them a shot at business because they are
doing things to enhance the stability in infrastructure again. He said
concerning the fire department and law enforcement, we have had several
fires, interestingly enough, several fires over the last couple of weeks. He
said we had one yesterday, across from the elementary school. He said it
was contained very quickly. He said fortunately, no one has been hurt. He
said that is our number one concern. Also he said around New Year’s,
Chief Scown had shared with us that we had no major incidents around
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day so that is a positive. He said
concerning Public Works, we are mapping out our road priorities for 2014.
He said he brings this up now because he knows a lot of our councilor’s
and a lot of the constituents in the community have ideas and thoughts
around which roads are the worst out there. He said there are more than we
will be able to do in one year. He said the AG will come and meet with him
on the 16th of this month. He said he knows that the Council wanted him to
attend our January 21st meeting. He said he unfortunately is not able to
attend. He said he did say he would come on the 16th of this month. He said
his goal is to accept the response from him and at a minimum allow him to
meet with the AG. He said he has asked the AG and Texas Ranger to put
some structure around the remaining requests from them. He said he
thinks we get requests around payroll advances and what has been paid
back. He said we are delivering that to the AG office. He said as well as
they are looking at the CO 2011 series. He said those are the two remaining
items and once they get all the answers back from our City staff, then they
will move to the next steps. Councilor Davidson asked if the City Manager
thought there would be any value to the City Council if they wanted to sit in
and call a special meeting just to ask questions. Councilor Fitzgerald said
he would kind of like to hear what the AG had to say and where we stand.

He said it could say on the agenda, no action taken, but for informational
purposes only. Councilor Fitzgerald said it never hurts to sit in and listen,
anyway. The City Manager said he felt that would be healthy. He said in fact
his request to the AG on coming on the 21st so he could address the
council. He said he thinks it would be healthy. Councilor Bermudez asked if
he was coming for sure. The City Manager said the AG committed today
that he could come on the 16th. He said he just has to respond to him since
that message came to him about 3:00 this afternoon. Councilor Gonzales
said he would like to ask a couple of questions about the information and
technology and everything. He said he would like to point out that not
everybody is computer savvy here. He said he has talked about this before.
He asked if the City Manager thought we could get an LED sign where we
have our sign out there telling people these things because we have a lot
of people that go to the post office or come to the city to pay bills. He said
if we could display that information on one of those boards it would also
help to get the news out. He said it could inform the citizens to limit their
water use and so on, fireworks are not allowed, burn bans extreme this
week, etc. He said he thought it would be worthwhile to spend the money
to get one of these. The City Manager said the Department of
Transportation has signs that they hang over interstates. He said they are
very helpful and this is the same concept. He said it would be more
localized for us. He said it would be easy to manage internally. Councilor
Castelli said he thought that was a terrific presentation and a lot of
Information. He said he appreciated that and it was wonderful. Bryon
Garrison said he had a question about the web site. He asked if the city
thought it would be secure enough to use the word press. He asked if it
had things that could be added on to it to provide security. The City
Manager said absolutely. He said word press is the most widely used
Platform. He said it has the most code writers, writing code for widgets. He
said widgets can include usage and security. He said we will host it
ourselves so the security elements we will add on will be related to the
hosting of the website.
City Staff Updates – City Manager Zimmer said it was his intention to try to
cover every bit of that for their staff. He said if there is something major
that he needs them to add color then he will ask them to attend. He said we
are good there.
Deborah Pattison, Interim Finance Director – Financial Report
Robert Polanco, Code Enforcement
Judge Schlosser, Municipal Judge
Russell Scown, Chief of Police
Virgil Clark, Interim Utilities Director
Randy Guzman, Gas Department Manager
Martha Latta, Recycling Coordinator
Hector Ramirez, Director of Public Works
Johnny Galvan, Airport Manager

5. Citizens Comments (on agenda items) –
Manfred Fritsche – said he lives in Ward 1. He said he paid his City property
taxes. He said the reason he is up here is because he wants to make a
comment on the public hearing, the next item on the agenda. He said he was
hoping that the proponent of that particular ordinance would give a
presentation on the purpose and the reason for that ordinance before a
public comment is invited from the public. He said he does not know whether
the City Manager is listed as the sponsor of this particular agenda item
whether he can address questions, the purpose, the reason why, etc. The City
Manager said there are two critical reasons why we want to move into this
environment. He said number one when someone is speeding through town
and they get a ticket, it allows them to pay that ticket on line and then number
2, by partnering with OMNI, what we are doing is we are notifying the rest of
the state that this person has an outstanding ticket if they do not pay it. He
said by doing that, if they need to go and get a license again, and say they
live in San Angelo, they will be notified and probably denied in renewing their
license. He said the system ties into that as well. He said he would also say
that long term what we are looking at is allowing constituents to pay their
water and gas bills online. He said this is one of the few communities out
there that does not allow for that type of payment. He said this provides us
for a learning process to be able to institute that. Councilor Davidson said we
are upping our game about enforcing these and getting the money in and the
other side of that coin is to make it easy to go on line and put in that credit
card and take care of it. The City Manager said if you are standing in San
Angelo and waiting to get your driver’s license and you have an outstanding
ticket in Alpine, you can go on line right then and pay for it and they can see
it and they will release it and then they can get their license. He said instead
of them having to mail a check in and wait for 3 – 5 days and then
confirmation back.
Carl Fleming – said the only problem he has with the public hearing is the
city establishing a fee for providing information on the internet to recover
costs. He said he understands that we are contracting with a vendor. He said
he hopes that these fees would be kept to a minimum rather than escalating
over time. He said there are a lot of folks who pay a ticket and may not have
the funds to pay it with. The City Manager said you do not have to pay on line.
He said you can still write a check and put a stamp on it or you can still come
in to pay in person. He said secondly from a fee structure, we are using
standard Visa, Master Card charge fees, which are usually between 1 ½ to
2%. He said that would mirror something you would do for pay pal or any
other transaction on the internet. He said our idea is not to make any money
on that. He said our idea is to provide it as a pass through cost to the person
using the service. Carl said we need to make it known to the citizens of the
town how much they will pay.
Sheila Ness – asked why the agenda could not be on the website. She said
she would like to be able to look things up on the internet. The City Secretary
said she sent it to Nectar but did not check to see if they did it or not. Mayor
Pro Tem Davidson said he was with her 100% on that. He said apparently we
are coming to an end of this solution and according to the City Manager, by
the end of the month we will have our own website that is not hopelessly
outdated with old codes that there is not anything out there compatible with.
Councilor Castelli said Mike Perry is good about posting it if it is not on our
website. Mayor Pro Tem Davidson said the City Website will be up to speed
very shortly. He said it also irritates him to no end.

6. Public Hearings –
A. Public Hearing in order to obtain questions and comments concerning
Ordinance 2013-12-01, an Ordinance of the City of Alpine, Brewster
County, Texas, authorizing the collection of fees, fines, court costs and
other charges by credit card or by electronic processing; establishing a
fee for processing payments by credit card; providing for a service fee
for a credit card that is not honored by the credit card company on which
the funds are drawn; providing for authority to contract with a company
that issues credit cards to collect and seize credit cards issued by the
company that are out dated or otherwise unauthorized and a fee for
return credit cards; establishing authority for access to public
information and services through the internet; establishing a fee for
providing information through the internet to recover costs; and
authorization to contract with a vendor to provide services and
collection of payments through the internet on behalf of the City of
Alpine. (E. Zimmer, CM) – Manfred Fritsche said he lived in Ward One. He
said when he read the notice of Public Hearing on that in the local
newspaper, it was of interest to him because he has some experience.
He said from 1979 to 1985, he worked for the City of El Paso in the
Municipal Court department. He said he realizes that laws have changed
and technology has changed but when he counted up the number of fees
and processing payment by credit cards, fee for card not honored,
authority to contract, it struck him as an overreach. He said then he
looked in the budget summary for fiscal year 2012/2013/2014 and he sees
where the municipal court department in fiscal 2012 and 2013 had a total
revenue intake of $12,750. He said they expended $78,150 for a deficit of
$65,400. He said that was last year. He said projected for this year
2013/2014 the revenue they expect to raise is $28,530, spend $79,000 for
a deficit of $50,470. It said it struck him that the City Manager made a
point that this would enable out of towner’s to make payments over the
internet which is valid but he would argue that there are so few out of
towner’s and then in this particular situation the entire Ordinance strikes
him as a tremendous overreach for a pitiful amount of revenue and he
would ask Council to weigh that as they consider adopting this

7. Consent Agenda- (Minutes, Financial reports, Department written reports,
board appointments, etc.) –
A. Discuss and Consider approval of the minutes of November 5th, 12th and
18th, 2013. (A. Rangra, Mayor) –
B. Approve accounts payable. (E. Zimmer, CM)
Councilor Castelli requested that Accounts Payable be pulled out.
Councilor Fitzgerald made a motion by Resolution 2014-01-02, to approve
the minutes of November 5th, 12th and 18th, 2013. Motion was seconded by
Councilor Gonzales. Motion unanimously carried.

8. Information or Discussion items – None

Action Items to be accompanied by a brief statement of facts, including
where funds are coming from, if applicable. (Action items limited to 15 per
meeting.) –
7B. Approve Accounts payable. – Councilor Castelli said he did not know that
the City Manager was going to put on his report about cutting off Naismith
from further advising of projects. He said his question is about the $23,814
bill that we have from Naismith that he does not recall as a Council person
approving additional work, since he has been a Councilor. He said he knew
they came in six weeks ago and made a presentation about some EDAP
projects, but he does not recall the council ever voting to pursue those
projects. He said he would like to pull this out and get actual confirmation of
when the council authorized these funds to be spent for engineering work. He
said almost $24,000 is a significant amount. He said he would propose that
we pull that out of the report and approve the rest. Councilor Davidson said
he believes that goes back a good while to that EDAP project and that the
EDAP project was presented and approved by the Council. He said it is
implied that these are engineering costs. He said that is just a recollection
and he is sure the minutes will reflect that. Councilor Castelli said he did not
have any prior knowledge of it. Mayor Pro Tem Davidson said he believed the
approval was a couple of years ago so it might have been before Councilor
Castelli was on the Council. He said it was part of the general EDAP program
for our sewer problems and it was an economic distressed area project. He
said and then there was an East Side Interceptor project that did not qualify
for that particular program. Councilor Castelli said a couple of years ago, we
authorized this and we are just now getting a bill for it? Or if that work had
been done we would have been billed a couple of years ago. He asked if we
were getting billed again for something that maybe we paid a couple of years
ago. He said he would like that information. He said if this was approved two
years ago, before he was on the council, any engineering firm as they bill
billable hours, would send the bill. He said if we are two years late in paying
this there would be an associated late fee. Councilor Castelli made a motion,
by Resolution 2014-01-03, to approve accounts payable minus the above
referenced bill. Motion was seconded by Councilor Fitzgerald. The City
Manager said we could have the information by the next meeting. He said it
will not hurt to not pay that one. Mayor Pro Tem Davidson said they are
preaching to the choir when they talk about Naismith. Councilor Gonzales
told Councilor Castelli that he suggested he find out about this first before
making a decision. Councilor Castelli said that is why he is finding out.
Motion carried unanimously.

9. Discuss and Consider approving second and final reading of Ordinance
2013-12-01, concerning approval of on-line credit card payment
Processing through Traffic Payment.com, LLC for the collection of
Municipal Court revenues. (E. Zimmer, CM) – Motion was made by
Councilor Gonzales to approve this ordinance, by Resolution 2014-01-04.
Motion was seconded by Councilor Castelli. Councilor Gonzales said he
would just like to point out that even though it might not be a lot of money,
it is moving in the right direction in the sense that if we do get somebody
that is out of town and we do give them a ticket, they do have the
capability of paying it and plus we are able to use a credit card here locally
so whatever they want to pay, whether it be utilities or permits, fees or
anything like that, we can make it happen. Councilor Fitzgerald said the
credit card payments have been around for a while. Mayor Pro Tem
Davidson said we will drag ourselves kicking and screaming into the
1990’s! Councilor Castelli said just like the City Manager, who we are
giving the tools and we respect the work that he is doing. He said we also
have a Municipal Judge that has asked for this and has brought it up and it
has come to our attention. He said she feels it is very important to bring
her court into this century and maybe the next one. He said based on her
recommendation and her request it is surprising that we are doing this at
this point, but we are finally doing it, and he supports it and thinks it is
very reasonable. Councilor Davidson said we have been over this a couple
of times. He said we have had the Judge come to us and we have had an
auditor over at the Municipal Court to try to get our finances together and
it is not that we use fines and other unfortunate activites to raise money
for the city but we do have to maintain a municipal court and we need to
make it run as efficiently as possible. Motion carried unanimously

10. Discuss and Consider approving Lease Covering Use of Railroad Property
at Alpine, Texas to allow the City to use right of way on the north side and
south side of the tracks in between Lackey and Cockrell streets for non-
exclusive roadway use and abatement of vegetation and trash. (E. Zimmer,
CM) – City Manager Zimmer said we are presently using the south side of
the tracks currently and we plan to expand that to the North Side as well.
He said this is a pretty basic lease. He said the lease was not signed by
last August. He said this was a piece of property that the railroad was not
cleaning up. He said at one point the prisoners from the jail cleaned it up.
Motion was made by Councilor Bermudez, by Resolution 2014-01-05, to
approve the lease covering use of Railroad property at Alpine, Texas to
allow the City to use right of way on the north side and south side of the
tracks in between Lackey and Cockrell streets for non-exclusive roadway
use and abatement of vegetation and trash. Motion was seconded by
Councilor Fitzgerald. Councilors Bermudez, Davidson, Fitzgerald and
Gonzales voted in favor. Councilor Castelli voted against. Motion

11. Discuss and Consider invoicing Paragon Corporation for problems due to
a bore through alleyway, experienced at Holland Avenue property, in the
amount of $7,739.49. (E. Zimmer, CM) – City Manager Zimmer said that
Paragon has stated that they called for locates with an 811 request and if
so the city would be liable for this expense. He said new gas lines were
being put in and they went right through a sewer line. He said if Paragon
does not provide a valid 811 request report, we will pursue this. Councilor
Fitzgerald said that Joey DeHart has an 811 request and he can prove that.
Motion was made by Councilor Castelli to postpone this item until the first
meeting in February. Motion was seconded by Councilor Fitzgerald.
Motion carried unanimously.

12. Discuss and Consider rental of additional tables and chairs for events at
the Civic Center to help defray purchase costs. (E. Zimmer, CM) – The
invoice for these tables was $16,487. The City Manager said setting a
rental fee for the use of these extra tables would help to defray purchase
costs. He said approval to purchase 20 more tables and carts occurred on
October 1, 2013. He said there was a second purchase approved in the
amount of $5,000. He said there was some discussion but we have still not
approved rental rate. He said we do need to establish a rental rate. He said
the other option was to increase the hourly rental rate of the civic center
and allow them to use our tables if they need them. He said we used
hotel/motel funds to purchase these for the civic center. It was discussed
that the Country Club did not charge rental fees and that citizens could not
afford the higher rental rates. Motion was made by Councilor Fitzgerald, by
Resolution 2014-01-06 to keep the Civic Center rental fees the same and
to not charge rental fees for the tables or chairs. Motion was seconded by
Councilor Bermudez. Councilors Bermudez, Davidson, Fitzgerald and
Gonzales voted in favor. Councilor Castelli voted against. Motion carried.

13. Discuss and Consider installing emergency shut-off valve for gas
department. (E. Zimmer, CM) – The City Manager said according to the
plumbing code, an exterior shut off valve is required. He said this
necessitates the builder or home owner to hire a local plumber to do the
job and we have to make sure that it is there. He said this device is exterior
to the property. He said the cost would be about $60 to $75 for labor and
materials. He said what was supposed to be proposed was a $20 fee to
cover our accounts to install these. He said we need to add this fee to the
fee schedule. Motion was made by Councilor Fitzgerald, by Resolution
2014-01-07 to approve installing an emergency shut-off valve for the gas
department as part of the fee schedule. Motion was seconded by
Councilor Gonzales. Motion carried unanimously.

14. Discuss and Consider rescheduling workshop date with Hill Country
Software to help Council members understand how the software works.
(A. Bermudez) – Motion was made by Councilor Bermudez, by Resolution
2014-01-08, to schedule the workshop date with Hill Country Software to
help Council members understand how the software works for the 22nd day
of January, with the backup date being January 24th. Motion was
seconded by Councilor Gonzales. Motion unanimously carried.

15. Discuss and Consider approval of the 180 day plan for the City Manager.
(E. Zimmer, CM) – The City Manager Erik Zimmer said he would gather
input and feedback from this. He said he would like the council to
familiarize themselves with it. He presented his 180 day plan to the Council
for their consideration. Motion was made by Councilor Fitzgerald, by
Resolution 2014-01-09 to accept the 180 day plan. He said the plan was well
planned and well researched. Motion was seconded by Councilor
Bermudez. Motion unanimously carried.

16. Citizen’s Comments (limit 3 minutes) –
Carl Fleming – asked what the status of the lawsuit was with our former
City Attorney. He also asked about the payroll loans.

17. Council Member’s Comments and Answers –
Councilor Castelli – said this was a good meeting and he was optimistic.
Councilor Gonzales – said he liked the 180 day plan
Councilor Fitzgerald – said he had sat on the council for 2 and ½ years and
this was the first time he was reminded of being in a corporate board
Councilor Davidson – said he invited Mr. Fleming to email him
Councilor Bermudez – said she believed this had been a very good meeting
Motion was made by Councilor Gonzales and seconded by Councilor
Bermudez to enter into executive session. Motion unanimously carried.

18. Executive Session – Pursuant to Texas Government Code, Subsection
551.071, Consultation with Attorney, Subsection 551.074, Personnel
A. Consider Grievance Appeal Hearing for ViCindy Barnett. (E. Zimmer, CM)
B. Consider reviewing applications and hiring new City Attorney for City of
Alpine. (E. Zimmer, CM)
C. Consider reviewing applications and recommendation from City Manager
concerning Finance Director position. (E. Zimmer, CM)

19. Action Executive Session – Pursuant to Texas Government Code,
Subsection 551.071, Consultation with Attorney, Subsection 551.074,
Personnel Matters –
A. Action, if any, concerning Grievance Appeal Hearing for ViCindy Barnett.
(E. Zimmer, CM) – Motion was made by Councilor Bermudez and
seconded by Councilor Fitzgerald to take no action since Ms. Barnett did
not appear. Motion unanimously carried.
B. Action, if any, concerning the hiring of a new City Attorney for the City of
Alpine. (E. Zimmer, CM) – Motion was made by Councilor Fitzgerald, by
Resolution 2014-01-10, to hire the McKamie law firm for our City Attorney
for the City of Alpine. Motion was seconded by Councilor Gonzales.
Motion unanimously carried.
C. Action, if any, concerning the hiring of a finance director upon
recommendation of City Manager. (E. Zimmer, CM) – Motion was made by
Councilor Bermudez to give the City Manager full authority and
confidence to hire the finance director, by Resolution 2014-01-11. Motion
was seconded by Councilor Fitzgerald. Motion unanimously carried.

20. Adjournment. – There being no further business or action, meeting was

I certify that this notice was posted at 3:15 P.M. on January 3rd, 2014, pursuant to Texas
Open Meetings Act. (Texas Vernon’s Annotated Civil statutes, section 551.043 Texas Government
Code.) This facility is wheelchair accessible and accessible parking space is available. Requests for
accommodations or interpretive services must be made 48 hours prior to this meeting. Please
Contact the city secretary’s office at (432) 837-3301 or fax (432) 837-2044 for further information.
Dr. Avinash Rangra, Mayor
Margaret “Molly” Taylor, City Secretary
I, Margaret “Molly’ Taylor, City Secretary, do certify that this notice was posted at 3:15 P.M. on January
3rd, 2014, and remained so posted continuously for at least 72 hours preceding the scheduled time of
said meeting.
Margaret “Molly” Taylor, City Secretary

Comment is closed.

Menu Title