CORRECTION (JULY 20, 2013) – With regard to the decision to establish a committee to work on a budget and make recommendations to the City Council (the 7th paragraph below), the Open Meetings Act does not apply in this case because the committee is less than a quorum of the council and is advisory in nature. Their work will be presented to the City Council in a future meeting. City Council meeting notices are posted at least 72 hours in advance. At this time, notices are posted at Citizen’s National Bank, the Post Office, the Fire Station, and in this publication.
The Coupland City Council held its second meeting on Thursday evening at the Coupland Fire Department meeting room. Present were Mayor Jack Piper and Aldermen Susan Garry, Barbara Piper, Karen Marosko, and Eldridge Tidwell. Susan Schmidt was away on family business. Here are the highlights:
After the Call to Order, the minutes of the first regular meeting, held on June 11, were approved.
A resolution to establish the fiscal year for the City was approved. The fiscal year will begin on October 1 and end on September 30 of the following year.
Linda Orrick, Senior Field Servies Representative of the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool, presented information and answered questions regarding a proposal to purchase coverage to protect the City from loss related to worker’s compensation claims (which includes elected and appointed officials), general liability, law enforcement liability, errors & omissions liability, auto liability, auto medical payments, public employee dishonesty, forgery or alteration, theft, disappearance & destruction, and computer fraud. The proposal was specifically designed to protect newly incorporated, small cities. After questions from the Aldermen and further discussion, a resolution to purchase the coverage was passed. There was a short recess to take care of some paperwork related to the transaction.
When the meeting resumed, Karen Marosko presented information related to a city franchise tax. Mayor Piper also shared some information. No action was taken at this time as research is ongoing.
The City Secretary (yours truly) presented information regarding the establishment of a city website and related components such as official email addresses and online folders for the purpose of sharing documents. The Aldermen passed a resolution authorizing the City Secretary to proceed.
There was a discussion regarding the development of an initial city budget and potential sources of revenue. A city sales tax proposal would be on the November election ballot. Al valorem tax rates must be set by mid-September. The Aldermen decided to form a committee to work on the budget and report back to the Council with their recommendations. Mayor Pro-tem Barbara Piper will convene the first meeting. The meetings will be open to the public and will be announced in advance.
The Aldermen approved a resolution authorizing the Mayor to purchase supplies and equipment for city business, not to exceed $300.
There was a discussion with regard to a resolution authorizing the City to reimburse elected and appointed officials for reasonable costs associated with attending the Texas Municipal League’s 2013 Newly Elected Officials’ Orientation later this summer. Barbara Piper summarized the City’s current assets and liabilities and pointed out that the City is not allowed to engage in deficit spending. In short, the City could not afford to approve the resolution. The resolution was not approved. Individuals are free to attend at their own expense.
No one signed up to speak to the Council. The next meeting will be on Thursday, July 25 at the Coupland Fire Station at 7:00 PM. The meeting may be canceled if the agenda items can wait until the first meeting date in August.