City Council Review

Robin Bradshaw
rbradshaw1@gatehousemedia.com

The Alice City Council held their scheduled routine council meeting on June, 16.

Here are some of the highlights:

The council voted and approved the Resolution for Del Mar College to consider Jim Wells County as a destination for a new college campus in the area. “I would like to see citizen retention and better diversity in Alice,” said Mayor Jolene Vanover. “The campus would offer two-year programs for careers at local refineries and I would keep those students possibly in Alice instead of moving to West Texas or San Antonio.” The Resolution is the first step of the process for the campus, it that will now escalate to the legislature in Austin, during the Fall.

Council members voted and approved action for a new Business Ambassadors Committee for the city. The committee will be volunteer based and serve as a customer service liaison for the what, where, and who to talk to, in regards to starting a new business in Alice. The intention is for the committee to work closely with the city and other community entities to make the new business experience easy and welcoming for new potential business owners. The committee will serve as a voice to council on better implementations to reduce the gaps of information and create better changes for the city to address.

Mayor Vanover asked the Interim Police Chief Ron Davis to address the council on the current protocols for the Use of Force directives for the officers at the police department. “There is no time like right now to address the hard questions on police brutality, and avoid any possible situations here in Alice,” said Vanover. Chief Davis stated the protocols are in line with the safety of detainees and officers, he noted the choke holds as the media portrays is not the normal practice of officers and not in the current APD policies. Davis expressed the upmost importance for all officers to have body cameras on their persons, and will be reporting back to the Mayor on a plan for reoccurring scheduled training’s for the officers on better ’use of force’ safety guidelines and procedures.

Council members voted not to change the city charter on council members elected terms to a four year staggering term from a two year term. The change would have been placed on the next ballot for citizens to vote on. An attorney from Austin that specializes in city charters presented to council earlier this year, and stated 90 percent of city’s with similar population comparison are all on a council four year staggered term. The mayor was in favor for the change and stated, “It makes more sense for continuity and real change,” she was the only member in support for the four year staggered term the other members voted against.