August 20, 2020 – City Council Meeting Minutes

Sep 22, 2020



AUGUST 20, 2020

A Regular City Council meeting was held on Thursday, August 20, 2020, at the City Hall Auditorium, 301 N. Washington Street, in Seymour, TX  76380.

Roll Call and Pledge of Allegiance by Mayor Jon Hrncirik at 7:00 p.m.

Council present: Mayor Jon Hrncirik, MPT Monty Glass, Lan Winn, Brenda Miller, Mary K. Fair, Brian Broome.

Counsel present: City Attorney Jonathan Whitsitt

City Staff: City Administrator Steve Biedermann, City Secretary Conchita Torrez, Finance Director Mary Griffin, AP/Payroll Specialist Suzanne Shumate, Economic Development Director Lauren Bush, Electric Supervisor Jay Barrington, Police Officer Neal Lott, Water/Sewer Supervisor Robert Torrez.

Guest(s): Misty Weiser, Paul Weiser, Robert Smith, Misty Broome, Bill Townley, Charlie Rose, Emily Ermis, Tiffany Varner, Adis Latham, Sandra Moorhouse, Kelly Goodwin, Kara Loftin, Royce Woods, Jared Taylor, Mark McCord, Randy McCord, Janey McCord, Paula Vaden, Amy Studer, Alex Jordan, Jonathan Witt, Jenny Blankenship, Debra Sizemore, Charles Cherry, Haylee Lemmond, Steele Jackson, Pam Jackson, Kelly Fest and Gina Bass.

Announcements from the Mayor: Mayor Jon Hrncirik thanked the City Employees for the jobs that they do every day. He also mentioned that during the storm, the electric, water/sewer and street department were out taking care of the poles and trying to restore electricity, moving debris off the streets and highways, and restoring power to lift stations. So many times, employees hear only the negative things and not enough positive things. I would just like to say thank you and we appreciate each one of you.

Citizen’s questions/and or Comments:

We had several citizen’s sign up to speak during public comments:

** Please note that only highlights of what each citizen spoke on was written. (Some spoke to soft or too fast for me to understand what was being said)

Blake Laughlin: signed up earlier in the week but did not attend the meeting.

Charlie Rose: Most of you on the City Council know me by now. I moved here about 20 years ago and I am ashamed of our community and all the Facebook complaints regarding the electric rates. When council temporarily lowered the rates that Steve worked hard to achieve, not one of you came to City Hall and thanked them. For the City to provide essential services to you, your wife, child and family, the council has worked hard to provide what is best for everyone. If you think that you can run the City better, I encourage you to run for city council!

Emily M. Ermis- For many years I have been unhappy with what we pay to the city every year on our electricity. My husband works hard and long hours to provide for me and his family. I am a stay at home mom with 4 children.  We both were raised in Seymour. After speaking with others on social media, I found out that others were struggling as well. You chose to raise electric rates during the pandemic, while citizens were already struggling. You were warned and strongly encouraged Council members to hear our voices and bring electric costs down. There is middle ground to be achieved.

Adis Latham- When you cannot pay bills this is ridiculous. My daughter cannot live in her trailer because the bills are too high. Something has got to give. Do you will get discount on your electric bills? We do not get much living on disability.

Misty Broome– Thank you for allowing us to speak to you will tonight. I moved back to Seymour about 4 years ago. I am very concerned about the commercial electrical rates. I got my first electric bill for our place of business and I did not know whether to cry, have an anxiety or panic attack. Some businesses in town have a 2 to 3-thousand-dollar electric bill. I employ 2 part time workers and our electricity was more than our lease payment was in commercial building. Our electric bill was more than our entire payroll. And that seems a bit ridiculous.

Mark McCord– First I would like to start by saying thank you and bragging and praising our electric department, street and all other departments and individuals that helped during the storm. I wish I had attended the meeting in May about 3 months ago.  I did not think it was necessary at the time. All that was reported was the electric rates at the time, but, looking back now and the way things are going now, I had no idea of the negative impact it would have due to the electric rates.  This increase has an adverse effect on poor people here in town, single mothers, elderly and lower- and middle-class citizens. Especially those with kids in band, school in Elementary, Jr High and High School. These kids are involved in all kinds of extracurricular activities and kids are expensive. On top of that raising electrical rates. Not to mention shops, stores, businesses, where their rates have sky rocketed and it’s history that when taxes rise, utilities also rise and the business owners have to raise their prices as well, which is passed to the customer, all while being in a pandemic. Many businesses were just now getting on their feet and as they get their feet on the ground this comes!! I appreciate our Mayor, Council members and Lauren for doing a great job. I ask that you rescind the rates.

Robert Smith– Good evening, I have been a resident of Seymour for about 4 years. People struggling to make ends meet. We elected you to represent us. About 29 % of the population here are either on social security or going to be. We trusted you will to have our backs. With that being said, I would ask that you resign your positions immediately and appoint someone that will!!

Kelly Fest– I was not going to come because I have a migraine. I was at home listening to this meeting and something that you people do not know is that a while back I did an open records request to see the contract between the City of Seymour and the electric provider.  I was denied that request because I was told it was a non-discloser. So, I do not believe that contract exists.  With that being said, I said my peace!  Peace Out!!!

Alex Jordan- I do not have anything against tonight’s meeting. I came to see how the meetings are run. I do own a business here on Main Street. As a business owner and currently a single mom who owns a residential house, we have had the largest bill this month. I am aware that this is the hottest month of the year. The electric rates are very concerning, especially this month. But, it has been mostly alarming to learn how other cities and towns make their money and how they function without having their own electricity. To be honest, I was not informed of this. As business owner here, it will be very difficult as most of my income goes to the electricity. I run a business primarily out of passion for the community. It is not something I make a ton of money from. To stay open, I need to be able to pay out of my single mother pocket for my business and home. We contribute to the community as much as we possibly can and we are in the school system, we utilize the hospital as well.  We want to make it as fair as we can and live in this community if we can. We love the people and community, so we want to stay for the long term.

Paula Vaden– My name is Paula Vaden, Citizen of Seymour, and a former Council member. You will know how I felt when I spoke at an earlier council meeting. I do not think you will take into account that we were going to have our children home for 51/2 months and having to buy extra food to feed all the children while keeping them at home.  Day Cares were shutting down and paying someone $20 daily to watch our kids. I am asking for you will please put back on the agenda to lower back the electricity. I see the council members and you hardly have small children at home and did not take that into account on how much extra people were going must spend during this time and out of work. I am asking that the people who elected you will, to consider this request.  I know this is good for the city, but, we need to start thinking about our community. The extra they are having to shell out to be able to support their children.  Start considering the welfare of our community as well.  Thank You!!

CONSENT AGENDA: (Items listed under the Consent Agenda are considered routine and are generally enacted in one motion. The exception to this rule is that a Council Member may request one or more items to be removed from the Consent Agenda for separate discussion and action.)

a.) Approve July 21, 2020 Budget Workshop and July 16, 2020 meeting minutes, August 4, 2020.        

b.) Accept REPORTS:

1. Monthly Investment Report

2. First Bank & Trust Accounts Summary Report

3. Employee/Contract List and Salt Fork Recreational Golf Totals  
4. Administration and Supervisors Written Reports

    End of Consent Agenda

    Motion made by MPT Monty Glass, seconded by Councilmember Lan Winn, to

    approve the consent agenda as presented by City Secretary.

  Regular meeting closes and Public Hearings will begin.

2.  The City of Seymour will conduct a Public hearing to discuss changing the City of Seymour Transfer Station hours and omitting the Summer and Winter months.

Mayor Jon Hrncirik and City Council were presented with the new proposed hours that fall under Ordinance No. 2020-08, Transfer Station Hours.  The new ordinance would also omit the summer and winter hours and would only operate under one specific time.  After City Council reviewed the ordinance and the public did not have any questions, Mayor Hrncirik closed the public hearing and continued with the meeting.

First PH closes and Second PH will begin

3.  The City of Seymour will conduct a Public hearing regarding an application for Zoning Specific Use permit request concerning Subdivision of Lot 12, Block G, of the Reiman 2nd Addition comprised of .161 acres, located at 600 S. East Street in Seymour, Texas, and requested by Tiffany Varner.

Lauren Bush, Economic Development Director, shared with Mayor Hrncirik and City Council that she had received an application for Zoning Specific Use Permit from Tiffany Varner, regarding 600 S. East Street in Seymour, Texas. This was the first of two public hearings that were required by law, and the final decision would be made at the September 17, 2020, Regular City Council meeting.

Ms. Verner spoke and stated that she is trying hard to work on this project by cleaning up the lot and making it livable. She would appreciate it if the Mayor and City Council would consider this request.

Public Hearings close and Regular meeting resumes

4.  Discuss, consider, and approve Ordinance No. 2020-08, changing the City of Seymour Transfer Station hours and omitting the Summer and Winter months. This will repeal Ordinance No. 2013-03 and 2016-06, in its entirety and combine and transfer all information to said Ordinance No. 2020-08.  

Motion made by Mary K. Fair, to change the Transfer Station hours to Tuesday -Friday, from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.

Motion died for lack of second, therefore another motion was entertained. Motion made by Councilmember Lan Winn, seconded by MPT Monty Glass, to approve Ordinance No. 2020-08, as presented. Motion carried 4 Yeas and 1 Nay by Councilmember Mary K. Fair.

5. Discuss, consider, and give direction to CA Steve Biedermann, regarding comments and information received from Kelly Goodwin on Feral Cats.

Kelly Goodwin addressed Mayor Hrncirik and City Council regarding problems she has had with feral cats in her neighborhood. The cats are a big issue and have ruined and scratched her car, messed in her flower bed and have been a very big nuisance.  Kelly stated she is trying to find a solution to this problem and wondering why these cats cannot be captured in a cage and taken away. She has also noticed where several neighbors attract the cats by placing water and food bowls on their porches.

Mr. Biedermann, City Administrator, stated that he had asked Mr. Charles Cherry, to come and give some information from Cat man do. 

There are several options regarding the removal of cats. If the owner gives you permission to remove cats from their property, they will take them and get them spayed and neutered, for a very minimal fee. The cats are them brought back to the owner.  If no one is living at the property where the cats have been, they may be removed and taken to PETS for adoption. The cost is minimal as well.  Debra Sizemore and Charles Cherry are working together to find the best solution for this problem.  

6. Discuss and give direction to CA Steve Biedermann regarding Front Desk Security measures.

Regarding security measures for the front utility offices and City Secretary office, Mr. Biedermann was given direction to seek at least 3 quotes and proceed with this project.  Mr. Biedermann understood. 

7.  Discuss and review the Salt Fork Recreational Complex Membership Rates.

Lauren Bush stated on this agenda item, that due to the golf memberships being recently renewed in July, that is would be more convenient to wait until closer to time and have all membership dues be due at one time.  Council agreed and will re-discuss at the next City Council meeting.  No action was taken.

At this Mayor Hrncirik called for a recess at 8:41 p.m.

Recess closed at 8:53 p.m. and Regular City Council meeting resumes

Mayor Hrncirik advised the public that City Council would be entering into an Executive Session to allow Mr. Steve Moffit to present his information and head back home. 

Regular meeting closed and Executive Session begins at 8:54 p.m.

15.  An Executive Session (closed to the public) and pursuant to Chapter 551.002, Texas Local Government Code § 551.071; Consultation with City Attorney regarding Schneider Engineering Rate Study.

Executive Session closes at 9:28 p.m. and Regular meeting resumes

16.  Discuss, consider, and take action from deliberations during Executive Session.

Council gave City Administrator Steve Biedermann, direction to proceed with  Rate Study and allow Steve Moffitt to compile information for the City of Seymour. Mr. Moffitt will present his information at the October meeting. 

8.  Discuss, consider, and take action to approve an $18,000.00 expenditure to purchase Tyler Cloud Hosting as presented by Finance Director Mary Griffin.  

Motion made by Councilmember Brian Broome, seconded by Councilmember Mary K. Fair, to allow Finance Director Mary Griffin, to purchase Tyler Cloud Hosting in the amount of $18,000.00.  Motion carried 5/0

9.  Discuss, consider, and take action to review figures from FundView and Incode Tyler Technologies.

City Council felt they needed to be presented with more accurate information before a decision was made.  Therefore, no action was taken at this time.

10. Discuss and give direction to CA Steve Biedermann regarding the City Park Mitigation Project.

In order for the City of Seymour to dig and clean out the park creek, an Excavator is needed for this job. Council would like for City Administrator to place ad in the BANNER for City Park Project.  He was given direction to do so.

11. Discuss, consider, and take action to approve City of Seymour Accounts Payable bills the Month of July 2020.  

Motion made by Councilmember Mary K. Fair, seconded by Councilmember Lan Winn, to accept the Account Payable Bills totaling $584,642.70 for the month of July 2020.  Motion carried 4/0 with MPT Glass signing a Conflict of Interest form earlier in the week. 

12. Discuss and review the Personnel Policy Manual regarding Section: Vacation Time.   

Several employees had inquired regarding the wording in section: Vacation Time. Some would like to take a few days here and there, but, not necessarily five consecutive days. Also, some employees had not taken their vacation days and would like to be able to carry more than our policy states, which is 80 days by December 31, 2020.  Council reviewed the policy and chose to give employees 120 vacation days allowed to roll over to the next fiscal year.

No action was taken at this meeting as it was for review only. It will be passed at the September 17, 2020, Regular City Council meeting.

13.  Discuss, consider, and take action regarding property bid received from Bryan Baldwin for $500.00. Property described as 505 N. Stratton Street.

Motion made by Councilmember Mary K. Fair, seconded by MPT Monty Glass, to accept bid from Bryan Baldwin, in the amount of $500.00, for property described as 505 N. Stratton Street.  Motion carried 5/0

14.   Discuss, consider, and take action regarding pickup bid received from Kyle

Ward for $500.00.  

Motion made by MPT Monty Glass, seconded by Councilmember Brenda Miller, to accept bid from Kyle Ward, in the amount of $500.00, for a 1988 Chevrolet pickup.  Motion carried 5/0

17.  Adjournment at 10:10 p.m. by MPT Monty Glass, seconded by Councilmember Bryan Broome.  Motion passed unanimously.


Mayor Jon Hrncirik


City Secretary, Conchita Torrez, TRMC