Council casts all its appraisal district votes for Atkinson

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

The Alice City Council meeting was delayed for about 10 minutes to make a quorum and proceed with city business.

The meeting did start after councilwoman Dorella Elizondo, who was diagnosed with walking pneumonia, showed up to the meeting at 6:38 p.m. in an effort to keep business flowing.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Rudy Gutierrez told the council of a concern he had with his neighbor Mayor Grace Saenz-Lopez, who was not present at Monday's meeting.

He said the city had several dump trucks and a backhoe working on her property when it takes at least three to four months to even get brush picked up at anyone else's residence.

"I think it's wrong…and I'm upset," Gutierrez told the council.

He also brought up that some council members who were supposed to attend a conference in Dallas didn't, and asked who was going to reimburse the taxpayers for them not attending.

"It is my understanding that it cost about $1,400 per person," Gutierrez said. "The citizens are having to pay for that? I just want the citizens to know."

Some in attendance showed their support for Gutierrez's concerns by an overwhelming applause.

In regular business, City Manager Albert Uresti gave his manager's report and the Alice Convention and Visitor's Bureau officials gave their quarterly report.

The council approved the following:

Authorizing publication for public hearing relating to proposed adoption of an ordinance providing for the taxation of goods-in-transit; the council cast all of its 445 votes for Newell Atkinson as candidate for the Jim Wells County Appraisal District board of directors; authorized the filing of an application for solid waste grants; submission of a FEMA grant; and approved submission of 2007 Homeland Security grant program.

The council also authorized city staff to assist Tejano R.O.O.T.S. with security, electrical and financial assistance and authorized to enter into an engineering contract with Coym, Rehmet and Gutierrez Engineering.

In addition, the council appointed Antonio Garcia to the Civil Service Commission to replace Fidel Rul and approved lighting for the Recycling Center as a safety measures.

The city also tabled the site location for the metal artwork that was donated to the city to review the site possibilities.

The meeting adjourned at 8:02 p.m.