Council honors business, Fire Dept, considers Youth Council

During its regular Nov. 21, 2017 meeting, the Forney City Council met and in summary:

  • Mayor Wilson proclaimed Nov. 25 as Small Business Saturday due to locally-owned businesses being vital to the city's economic health, and as they return 68% of their income to the community.
  • Chief Townsend presented the Fire Fighter Combat Challenge Team – Brian Leathers (missing), Randall Morris, David Lawson, Russell Bannister and Josh Mosley who is on military assignment for a few days. Chief Townsend said the event is called “the toughest two minutes in sports.” He said at the 2017 World Finals in Louisville, Kentucky with over 300 competitors from 50 teams and 12 countries, Forney finished in top 15 fastest relay teams, with Bannister finishing at 21st in the world. Leathers won a Lion’s Den award for a sub-two-minute run. Chief Townsend showed a short video of the competition, said it was a good showing for little ol’ Forney and the team needs sponsors to help with costs.
  • Chief Sherwin gave a presentation regarding Police Department Employee Recruiting and Retention. He said there is a nation-wide problem with recruiting due to perception of increased danger, policing image problems due to social media, a strong economy which makes dangerous jobs less desirable and a large number of vacancies in agencies. They are budgeted for 30 officers, 11 dispatchers and 5 other positions – currently have 26 officers, 8 dispatchers. He showed the requirements to become an officer or dispatcher – 90% of applicants fail at one step. The PD now allows hiring cadets, but it takes 20 weeks for them to complete training. He said they have implemented a Lateral Entry Program to recruit experienced officers, and thanked council for the recent pay increases which have helped a great deal. He introduced new Lieutenants John Abernathy and Todd Eudy, and new Sergeants Shane Ball and Curtis Billings.
  • Public Comment - none.
  • Approved in one motion, as consent items:
    • Acceptance of the Public Improvements for Vintage Meadows Phases 2 & 3.
    • Acceptance of the Public Improvements for Gateway Parks, Phases 2A and 2B.
    • Preliminary plat for the Prescott 741 Addition, Lot 1, Block 1, located north of Interstate Highway 20 and east of F.M. 741.
    • A preliminary plat for Overland Grove, a residential subdivision located west of Walnut Lane (F.M. 548) and east of S. Bois D’Arc Street (F.M. 740).
    • A final plat for Lakewood Trails Phase 1, a residential subdivision located south of F.M. 741 and west of High Country Lane.

  • Mayor Wilson recused himself and left the chamber.
  • Approved in one motion:
    • Acceptance of the Public Improvements for Christian Brothers Automotive.
    • An elevation plan (revised site plan) for Bright Excavation, located at 501 E. U.S. Highway 80.

  • Mayor Wilson regained the chair
  • Approved as one motion with one abstention:
    • A preliminary plat for the Parc at Windmill Farms Addition, Lot 1, Block A, located north of U.S. Highway 80 and west of Windmill Farms Boulevard.
    • A final plat for the Parc at Windmill Farms Addition, Lot 1, Block A, located north of U.S. Highway 80 and west of Windmill Farms Boulevard.

  • Held a public hearing regarding:
    • a voluntary annexation of an approximately 309.103 acres tract of land situated in the James S. Ramsey Survey, Abstract No. 414 generally located between FM 740 and FM 548 south of Pecan Lane.
      Mr. Thatcher said this is the required 2nd hearing for Wynne-Jackson.
      There was no public input.

  • Approved additional signers for American National Bank account.
    Ms. Woodham said only she & Dorothy Brooks are signers, suggested adding assistant and maybe interim city manager. Ms. Powers asked if there was any cost -no, and council may remove signers at will. Mayor Wilson would prefer waiting until the city manager is hire. Mr. McGee moves to allow assistant and interim. Mayor Wilson asks if this item can wait. Ms. Powers asks if any legal problem with wording of the motion. Mr. Thatcher said it's ok, and during exec session will discuss it further. Mr. McGee said they would be assigning by title, not name. Mr. Thatcher said the motion has conditions on it, staff can make sure those conditions are in place.
  • Approved authorizing Interim City Manager to execute an agreement with Langford Community Management Services for Texas Capital Fund grant administration services.
    Mr. Ketteman said he recent spoke to them about the grant program, on Oct 3 assigned members to the committee, they met, have run ads in Dallas and Forney Messenger. Received 3 submittals, after the scoring procedure, Langford had highest score of 98. Ms. Sanchez spoke to the council about company history, they look forward to working with EDC and council. Mr. Johnson said he knows Mr. Langford years ago, he was well respected.
  • Approved implementing a program to sell the Texas shaped pavers in front of City Hall for the purpose of engraving names and/or special messages.
    Ms. McCuiston said staff recommends $200 each, suggest proceeds go towards beautification. Mr. Moon was pleased with the plan. Ms. Powers asked how many lines on the brick - 2, 3 with small print. Mr. McGee asked if they would match in color and font - yes, will be using the same engraver.
  • Discussed permitting of food vendors.
    Mr. Morgan said there was some desire to modify applications to allow multiple events for one permit. It is an admin change they can make. Mr. Moon asked for clarification; Mr. Morgan said currently every event requires a permit, new way will be a permit for listed events. City will pass-through the Bureau Veritas fees. Mr. Moon said this will help a ton. Mr. Morgan said staff is ready to start tomorrow. Mr. Myers verified only charging what BV does. Mr. Thatcher said this is a discussion item only.
  • Discussed authorizing staff to investigate and prepare documentation to be brought back to the Council for discussion regarding the formation of a Forney Youth Advisory Council.
    Mr. Medford has heard council wanting to get youth involved in community - he has met w/ FISD, they have a similar program, would plan to merge the two plans together. He suggested 7 members to meet monthly. Mr. Myers said they could also work on community service events. Mr. Moon asked if council family members could apply - Mr. Thatcher said up to council. Mr. Moon said this is important for kids applying to college. Mayor Wilson vfy working with FISD - yes. Mayor Wilson said 7 members might not be enough to include all groups. Mr. Myers said TML has a program for thse groups, would be good if we could send our people.
  • Re: appointments to various boards and commissions to fill vacancies.
    Dorothy Brooks said she was instructed to advertise for vacancies, got a few applications, but also had resignations for members who have moved out of the city. She said it is not imperative to make decisions tonight. Mr. Myers said he would like to make nominations. Mr. Johnson said for water board, they need to interview persons. No nominees for BOA - Mr. Johnson asked if enough members to hold a meeting - Mr. Thatcher said currently have 4. Mr. Johnson pointed out this is one board whose decisions are final. Ms. Brooks said there are alternate members. Mayor Wilson asked if this could be treated like the HOZ was - Mr. Thatcher said no.
    For ARB selected Kendall Milton, which would require removal from BOA and she expressed a desire for that.
    For TIF board: Emily Owens and Janice Wood (with Mr. Myers & Ms. Powers nay)
    Mr. Medford suggested starting an orientation program.
    For Animal Shelter - Lacy Janca.
    For Park Board - Jody Eastep.
    For Library Board - Ms. Miller.
  • City Manager’s report -
    downtown cres moving swiflty, Elm to complete mid-Dec.; Trinity in final stages, majority punch list completed, some cracks in the street; college ave fence schedule for approval Dec 5; Aimee St bids for Dec. 5 meeting; regarding previous requests - working for stoplight at _____, Ms. Penn had asked about msg board on 80; animal ctl code policy has been distributed for review, will come befroe council. ice rink grand open sat at 12, Christmas in Park 12-8, Fri Dec 1 6-8 tree lighting, council board staff retreat. Mr. McGee wants a policy for metal posts for fences. Ms. Powers asks about Pine St with a new steel tower, used to be a light there. Mr. Medford said will take a look at all lighting in the city. Mayor Wilson mentioned lighting at RR, Mr. Medford said working with UP. Regal and Broad needs lighting.
  • Council Comments - Mr. McGee grat to nominees, Mr. Myers thanks staff for animal policies, parks for decorations; Ms. Powers thanks chief for work recruiting PD, excited about YAC; Mr. Moon thanks staff, FD, PD; Mr. Johnson grats promoted PD and combat challenge team, gratifying that a team from a small town can prevail, talked about social media comments from people who !have all the facts; Mayor Wilson thanks PD - can see morale improvement, he encouraged everyone to be part of holiday festivities.
  • Held a 2-hour-10-minute executive session re:
    • LCG Highway 80 LLC
    • Mesquite Annexation
    • Wholesale Water Contracts
    • City Secretary, Interim City Manager, Fire Department Administrative Employee, Fire Department Lieutenant
    • Performance Agreement with Forney Marketplace

  • Authorized interim City Manager to execute an Economic Development Agreement with Forney Marketplace, LLC.
  • Adjourned at about 2210
Thursday, 2017, December 21