Absence of attorney stalls Council actions

By KATE LUDLOW

The Liberty Hill City Council took no action Monday on two big issues due to the absence of the City Attorney.

In recent weeks, the City has been working toward reaching an agreement with the Liberty Hill Independent School District on sewer service to the new high school. Though representatives from the school district were present for the Council’s regular meeting Monday anticipating an agreement would be approved, the matter was postponed because Attorney Art Rodriguez or a representative from his law firm were not present.

When contacted by The Independent Tuesday, Rodriguez said representatives of his firm were not present because they were notified in the customary process.

Prior to the posting of each council meeting agenda, Rodriguez said his firm receives an email with the proposed agenda along with notification from city staff that their presence is requested for the meeting.

Rodriguez said that although Attorney Brad Bullock, who is representing the City in negotiations with the school district, did receive the agenda in advance, it was not clear that his presence was requested.

Also stalled by the absence of an attorney was possible action on an agreement with Texas First Group to provide an interim city manager while the City searches for a replacement for former City Manager Manuel De La Rosa. De La Rosa resigned effective  April 20 to take a City Administrator position in the City of Jonestown.

According to the Texas First Group website, the company provides interim management services for Texas municipalities.

City Secretary Tammy Kirk said Mayor Pro Tem Mike Crane and Councilman Byron Tippie are on a committee that has been formed to work through the hiring process. The job has been posted on the Texas Municipal League website, and so far no deadline has been set for applications. The salary will be based upon the candidate’s qualifications, she said.

In other matters Monday, the Council voted unanimously to set May 19 as the Spring Clean Up Day. The City-sponsored trash removal day will be open for brush removal as well.

While Clawson Disposal will be unable to remove items such as tires or batteries, Councilman Tippie stated that he could attempt to contact a source for the removal of those items.

“I love those days. It makes our town look so nice,” said Tippie.

More details will come, and the City is working on a notification plan.

The Council also voted unanimously to enter into a billing contract with the Chisholm Trail Special Utility District for billing services to Stonewall Ranch customers in the amount of $500 per month. The five-year contract is able to be terminated at any time, with 10 days notice.

The Council agreed to direct the City Attorney to dissolve a long unused Park Foundation Board, created five years ago to help with the grant application process. It has no board of directors, and no federal tax identification number.

The Council approved two work orders presented by City Engineer Jim Cummins for Wells #6 and #7, and discussed future road repairs. Assessments will be made next week in the Jenks Branch subdivision, and repairs will be planned at that time.

A meeting to canvass votes from  the May 12 city council elections was set for 7 p.m. May 15. The council agreed to keep in place a Memorial Day meeting at 6:30 p.m. May 28.