Galveston Mayor Lewis Rosen on Thursday appointed Irwin "Buddy" Herz, Anthony Brown and Ann Masel to the Galveston Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. Listen
Rosen said that he has asked Betty Massey, who currently chairs the GHA, for her resignation, which she has previously said she would not do. Rosen said he has asked Teresa Banuelos, the resident member of the GHA board, to stay on and work with the new board.
The city council voted 4-1-1, with Elizabeth Beeton opposed and Terrilyn Tarlton abstaining, to confirm City Manager Michael Kovacs' appointment of Henry Porretto as chief of police. Listen
Tarlton said she thought the appointment should be deferred until Council Member Cornelia Harris Banks is in attendance.
Beeton had serious problems with Porretto and listed them in detail, including his demotion by one former police chief and actual termination by another, an action which was overturned by the Civil Service Commission.
“In my opinion, we need a police chief who doesn’t come with that kind of luggage,” Beeton said.
The city council discussed several appointments to boards and commissions. Listen
The city council voted 5-1, with Beeton opposed, to select Rusty Legg as its ex-officio representative on the Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves. Beeton said that she had wanted to be appointed to the wharves board and accused four council members of having already decided on the appointment, as well as other city council appointments.
“I just feel like Council Member Tarlton, Mayor Pro Tem Legg, Mayor Rosen and Council Member Robb have basically already carved up the major ex-officio board appointments at the city,” Beeton complained. “And because there are four of you, you’ve essentially divied them up among yourselves.”
“No Ma’am,” responded Terrilyn Tarlton.
“I haven’t carved anything with anybody,” Rosen objected.
Tarlton suggested that Beeton may have a personal problem.
“What can I say?” Tarlton asked. “If you don’t have the support to get appointed to a committee, or as mayor pro tem, maybe what you should do is maybe reevaluate and – I really don’t know what to tell you because that’s personal advice and I would rather do that separately. But this is not a personal vendetta. It’s not personal at all.”
The city council discussed an item that had been added to the agenda on Monday, which would have required council members to request one week in advance to include items on the workshop agenda or regular agenda and to limit each council member to 10 minutes discussion per agenda item; but eventually took no action on the item. Listen
The city council voted unanimously to defer action on a request for a variance to city code to allow the sale of alcoholic beverages within 300 feet of a church for property at 5815, 5827 and 5907 Broadway.
Lisa Sunseri, current owner of the property, requested the variance to allow a potential purchaser of the land to build and operate a combination restaurant and convenience store business. The service station would sell beer.
The city council also deferred action on a request for a special use permit to operate a convenience store and gasoline service station at the same location.
The council deferred the requests to work with the developer on any possible design changes to the proposed building to place the convenience store outside of the 300 foot limit.
The city council took no action regarding the canvassing of the results of the June 23 Runoff Election. The city council had approved the canvass during a special meeting held earlier that day.
The city council voted 5-1, with Beeton opposed, to increase the number of authorized officers at the Galveston Police Department by by 10 officers. The change will bring the total personnel strength to 139, with 110 of those being police officers.
The city council voted 5-1, with Beeton opposed, to accept a grant from the United States Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing, to fund hiring eight additional officers.
The city council took no formal action, but directed staff to expedite setting a meeting between an ad hoc committee of the city council, representatives of the Galveston Park Board, and representatives of the Texas General Land Office to discuss paid parking along the Seawall.
All other items were approved by unanimous vote. Cornelia Harris Banks was absent from the meeting. Agenda