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Hope City Board Meeting on August 22

By Staff, 08/24/17 9:43 AM
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A special called meeting of the Hope City Board was held Tuesday August 22nd.  The meeting had been scheduled to consider the city manager’s job performance review.  The meeting began with the City Manager’s report. Catherine Cook talked about the High Street project and also noted they are looking at Wastewater projects for the upcoming year. She also said the contractor for the landfill has promised the landfill will be finished September 15th.
Cook noted one of the houses condemned this summer by the city one has been demolished and building permits have been issued for two others. The building permits were issued for 1019 West 4th and 1221 Midland.
The board went into executive session at 7:05 pm to conduct the city manager’s performance review. The board reconvened at 8pm. The board voted to extend the city manager’s contact another year. The vote was 6 to 1 to extend it Director Mark Ross voted aganst extending the city manager’s contract.
Under Citizens Requests Teresa Gulley asked about her electric bill. She said it was over $500. She also talked about a problem with a tree and manhole near her property. Gulley also complained about the condition of her street. She lives on West Avenue E. Vice-Mayor Don Still and Mayor Steve Montgomery also noted Water and Light needs to be contacted to check her meter.
Mary Overturf Ferguson spoke complaining about her water and light bill. She complained about the service charges. She also complained about certified letters from code enforcement about her rental property. She also asked about the landfill hours. Ferguson complained about the landfill hours. It was explained after the landfill closes at 2 pm because by law the employees have to cover up what has been placed in the landfill. Ferguson asked that the city not send her any more registered letters. She also complained about a car parked near Fair Park that hasn’t been moved for 20 years. 
Kathy Akin asked why citizens have to report code enforcement violations and asked why code enforcement doesn’t spot these. It was noted there is only one code enforcement officer. Akin said they have called repeatedly on code enforcement issues and not all the properties appear to have been corrected. Dr. Trevor Coffee said this is going to require everyone working on this issue. Don Still asked how long it takes for action on an overgrown yard to be mowed by the city. Catherine Cook noted by law they have to send a registered letter. If no one will sign for the letter and the city is notified then the city arranges for the yard to be mowed. Sometimes this can take 4 weeks. Cherry Stewart called for a city beautification committee. She said the town needs to be cleaned up and property owners need to know what the rules are. 
Scott Gunter asked if it can be communicated when committees meet. Gunter said sunlight and transparency are good. He also cited a feature in the Dallas Morning News which highlighted dilapidated property. Gunter asked if the properties that are being demolished or fixed could be highlighted publicity.
Paula Gunter asked about a tree limb that fell at Rose Hill Cemetery and then asked that the city maintain the trees there. Mayor Montgomery noted the cemetery is a private cemetery and the limb has been removed. Gunter noted she wants to be put on the Rose Hill Cemetery board but Dennis Ramsey will not call her back. 
Blake Montgomery cited a Hope Star article which questioned the lack of opportunity for the public to comment on Catherine Cook’s job performance. Mayor Montgomery noted the board has had comments from citizens concerning the matter. The meeting then adjourned.
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