Council set election for May 12

Sue Fleming, The Freer Press

The Freer City Council approved in a 4-1 vote to begin a search process to hire a full-time Municipal Court Judge after meeting in closed executive session last Monday.

Member Carlos Salinas voted against the motion.

Since retiring from the position on Dec. 31, 2006, Alicia Perez has continued to work on a twice a week basis. Duties of the judge include presiding over Class C Misdemeanors and truancy cases.

Afterward, the council unanimously approved to accept the resignation of back-up dispatcher Rodrigo Villarreal, and upon the recommendation of Sgt. Linda Finney, unanimously approved the hiring of Terri Lynn Silva as back-up dispatcher for the Freer Police Department.

Following a review, the council approved a request from Chief of Police John Spillers to use the OmniBase program to report citations to the state.

"This system will be of no cost to the city - fees will be paid by violators," he said in part.

Upon the recommendation of Chief Spillers, the council also unanimously voted to hire Luis Ozuna and Joseph Kuntscher to serve as peace officers for the Freer Police Department.

After discussion, the council voted to table the purchasing of an internally lit sign to be placed in front next to the sidewalk of the City Hall/Police Department building after reviewing information received from an out-of-state sign company.

"I think we should check into buying a sign from a company near Freer in case there should be something wrong with it because if we get it from out of state it might be hard getting it repaired," explained Mayor Arnoldo Cantu.

In other business, the council approved a resolution pertaining to the re-adoption of a local sales tax rate increase of one-fourth of one percent designated for municipal street maintenance and repair as provided in the tax code.

"I can't express how important this is," said the mayor. "We have many streets that need repairs so it's very important we continue to have funds to pay the costs."

The council also approved an ordinance maintaining "place system" to be used in lieu of "at large" during the election of aldermen in a General Election.

Following, the mayor and council unanimously approved to hold a General Election Saturday, May 12, for the purpose of electing three aldermen and re-adopting a local sales and use tax rate of one-fourth of one percent to provide revenue for maintenance and repair of municipal streets.

Aldermen up for re-election are Rolando Navarro, Andrea Bierstedt and Sylvia Carrillo.

Concluding the meeting, the council voted to provide funds in the amount of $300 to be used to hold a City Wide Easter Egg Hunt at the Duval-Freer Airport.