Weatherford Democrat

Aledo ExtrA

September 30, 2013

Annetta opens town hall for public use

Mayor's action in question

By JUDY SHERIDAN

Annetta’s city hall is now available for public use according to a 3-2 decision made by the Annetta City Council Tuesday night. The decision comes on the heels of dissention among city leaders regarding the use of city facilities by Annetta South.

A motion requiring the city secretary to produce audio recordings of city council meetings and make them available to the public failed, however, with Councilman Bruce Moore as its sole supporter.

Council members Chuck Sheridan, George Ripley and Kent Stasey voted in favor of a resolution to permit other cities and community groups to use the town hall at the discretion of the mayor and city secretary.

Council members Larry Wood and Bruce Moore voted against the resolution.

Authored by Mayor Bruce Pinkard, the new resolution limits the use of the town hall to groups that are willing to obtain enough insurance coverage to protect the town’s interests and that name the town as a third-party beneficiary in their insurance policy.

The resolution states that the city hall “exists to serve the public good” and also that council decisions are often influenced by the discussions of neighboring cities, community groups and other governmental subdivisions.

“The night Annetta South used this [facility] — which prompted this [resolution] — we got valuable information about a development going on in their ETJ that nearly abuts our city limits,” Pinckard told the council.

“It behooves us to keep our ears to the ground and our eyes to the horizon about what goes on in our neighboring cities,” he said. “It gives us a valuable heads-up.”

Back story

According to Annetta South city secretary Daina Lawler, Pinckard gave the Annetta South Town Council permission to meet at Annetta City Hall as a “one-time deal”to conduct the city’s regular August meeting.

 Giving that permission, however, appears to conflict with the Annetta council’s unanimous directive, as cited in the minutes from the June 20 meeting.

Moore recalled the directive when he offered a resolution opposing Pinckard’s Tuesday night. His resolution would have restricted city hall use to all groups except the Town of Annetta.

“Two meetings ago the council was very adamant in our vote that we wanted this to be for our own activities in the city and not leasing it out or lending it out to any other organizations,” Moore said. “We really don’t have the facilities; it’s not up to standards for any public use.”

A portion of the minutes from the June 20 Annetta meeting follow:

“Councilman Sheridan made the motion to enter into an interlocal agreement with the City of Annetta South for the purposes of allowing the use of Annetta Town Hall for meeting & business purposes. The motion dies due to a lack of a second. Councilman Wood made the motion to amend the agreement to allow just the drop-off portion only with no monetary exchange. Councilman Moore seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.”

In a phone interview Lawler said she knew of the council’s decision, but Pinckard told her the council’s main concern was security, and both Pinckard and city secretary Chad Roberts were in attendance.

Pinckard agreed that it might “appear on the surface” that he was not acting in accordance with the council’s decision, but said Annetta South had business that affected the City of Annetta and there was a conflict with Annetta South’s regular meeting place, Aledo’s Community Center.

“I did not disregard [the Annetta Council’s decision] in any way,” he said. “I continued to allow the previous use prior to that night’s discussion. At no time during the council meeting was the word prohibited used.”

Pinckard said Annetta’s town hall was used by Annetta South for many years, but the city stopped meeting there when Lawler, who also served as Annetta’s city secretary, offered her resignation early in the year.

In Tuesday’s meeting Moore also argued that the original building contract did not permit anything other than city business, and Wood added that the attorney should review the lease, lest the city violate the “couple days a week, a couple hours a day” agreement with the landlord.

Pinckard replied that the landlord was “very amicable” and the arguments irrelevant because of the city’s near-term plans to move to a recently purchased building at a new location.

“The building that we’ve got coming in — half of it’s going to be secured in some way — and I think it just needs to stay for Annetta’s business,” Wood said, “and then we have a policy so that anybody coming to Chad can say either the council says yes or the council says no.”

Wood later went on to move that the mayor’s resolution be amended to direct facility-use requests to the council — instead of the mayor and city secretary — but the motion failed, with he and Moore in favor and Sheridan, Ripley and Stasey opposed.

Pinckard said the resolution’s insurance requirements — which would require effort to meet — would deter most groups.

“It’s not going to be the Boy Scouts,” he said. “The minute they know about the insurance policy they’re going to say thank you very much, we’ll go down the church or somewhere else.

“But from another city’s standpoint sharing facilities is extremely beneficial. We’re closer than we were two years ago, and we need to act like it and we need to be able to get along with each other as much as we possibly can.”

Text Only
Aledo ExtrA
  • 0725 one arson.JPG Suspicious house fire under investigation

    The Weatherford fire marshal says a fire that damaged a house and killed two puppies Wednesday night is being investigated as a suspicious fire and a suspect is in jail on unrelated charges.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • CPS data.jpg Case overload

    Parker County Attorney John Forrest will ask county commissioners for additional funds as county budget discussions begin this year; he hopes to hire another attorney to help with an increase in Child Protective Services cases.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richard Adams Sr. Firefighter arrested on child sex assault charges

    A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period. 

    Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested Monday, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Developer withdraws site plan

    ANNETTA —A controversial 34-home subdivision proposed for a 41-acre tract on Duncan Road will not go forward as planned, according to action taken by both the proposed developer and the Annetta Town Council after a public hearing Thursday night.

    July 22, 2014

  • Aledo City Council to meet July 24

    The Aledo City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 24, in the Aledo Community Center, 104 Robinson Court, Aledo.

    July 22, 2014

  • oak leaf ladder shot.jpg Fires damage business, home

    Two separate fires around 2 p.m. July 15 damaged a Willow Park business and destroyed the home of a Weatherford family.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letter to the Editor

    Dear Editor,
     Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when State Representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.

    July 22, 2014

  • ESD 1, Annetta South close on fire station site

    Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Annetta South officials said Tuesday that the ESD is homing in on a site for a new fire station to serve residents in the Annettas and surrounding areas. Annetta South is expected to consider a zoning change to accommodate a new station next month.

    July 22, 2014

  • Registration has begun for Aledo ISD

    Aledo ISD enrollment for the 2014-15 school year began yesterday, July 21, and students new to the district need to register before school begins, Monday, Aug. 25.

    July 22, 2014

  • County scrambling to fill elections post

    Former Parker County Assistant Elections Administrator Laura Watkins, who sought, but was not appointed to the post of Parker County Elections Administrator after Robert Parten retired, last week began work as assistant elections administrator for Palo Pinto County, Palo Pinto County Elections Administrator Judith Evans has confirmed.

    July 22, 2014