The initial meeting of Coupland’s first city council was held on Tuesday, June 11 in the meeting room of the Coupland Volunteer Fire Department.
Just prior to the meeting, Judge Judy Schier Hobbs (Justice of the Peace, Williamson County Precinct 4) administered the oath of office to Susan Garry, who had been away on family business at the initial swearing in ceremony.
Judge Hobbs said she was very happy to be able to be present to witness the calling to order of the first city council in Coupland. I asked her when was the last time that a city had incorporated in Williamson County. She said that it had been quite some time and that she believed that it was the City of Wier in the 1980’s.
Attendance by the public was light but this initial meeting was devoted primarily to administrative matters. The meeting was called to order at 7 PM.
The first order of business was a discussion of Open Meeting Rules. According to the Texas Attorney Generals website, “Effective January 1, 2006, elected and appointed public officials are required by a state law to receive training in Texas open government laws. The Office of the Attorney General offers free video training courses, which were developed in compliance with a mandate from the 79th Texas Legislature that the Attorney General establish the formal training necessary to ensure that all elected and appointed government officials have a good command of both open records and open meetings laws.”
Moving on to specific action items, the Aldermen appointed this reporter to serve as City Secretary on a volunteer basis. [Publisher’s Note: Unless explicitly stated to the contrary, all opinions and comments appearing on CouplandTimes.com are those of the publisher, contributors, or Coupland Times readers and should not be construed to represent the views or positions of the City of Coupland or any of its elected officials.]
In other matters, Barbara Piper was elected to serve as Mayor Pro Tem. Karen Marosko and Susan Schmidt drew the long straws, figuratively speaking, and will serve two-year terms. The other Aldermen (Barbara Piper, Susan Garry, and Eldridge Tidwell) will serve one-year terms.
[CORRECTION – JUNE 13, 2013: IT WAS SUSAN GARRY, NOT SUSAN SCHMIDT, WHO WILL SERVE A TWO-YEAR TERM. — PUBLISHER]
The Aldermen decided to abandon the Office of Marshall, currently held by Russell Schmidt. The City will enter into an inter-local agreement with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office to perform those duties.
The City will join the Texas Municipal League (TML), which provides a variety of services to cities in Texas. Membership is free for the first year. Action to purchase liability insurance through TML was tabled pending receipt of a written proposal.
The City will establish a Bank Depository Services Agreement with Citizens National Bank of Coupland. Action related to franchise tax revenue was tabled pending further research.
No citizens signed up for the Citizen Communication portion of the meeting. Future meetings of the City Council will be on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 7 PM at the Coupland Volunteer Fire Department, beginning with the next meeting on July 11. The meetings on the fourth Thursdays will be optional, the necessity of which will be decided upon at the first meeting of each month.
The meeting adjourned at 7:33 PM. No doubt this will go down in Coupland history as its shortest City Council meeting, a testament to good preparation and efficient conduct of the meeting itself.
Eventually, the City will probably have its own website. In the meantime, official notices from the City of Coupland will be posted in prominent public locations within city limits, in the Coupland Times, and in other public forums as appropriate.
Stewart Dale Spencer