Galveston City Council on Thursday made appointments to the Galveston Planning Commission, the Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves, the Building Board of Adjustment and the Houston-Galveston Area Council Board of Directors. Listen
The city council voted 4-3, with Elizabeth Beeton, Cornelia Harris Banks and Norman Pappous opposed, to replace Beeton as the ex-officio representative on the Planning Commission with Terrilyn Tarlton.
“I am interested in continuing on that commission,” Beeton complained.
The city council voted 4-3, with Beeton, Pappous and and Banks opposed, to select Marie Robb as its representative on the Houston-Galveston Area Council Board of Directors. Beeton, who wanted the appointment, was eventually named as the alternate member with Banks abstaining, but not until Beeton accused the four in the majority of violating the Texas Open Meetings Act.
“Usually, the mayor takes this position,” said Mayor Lewis Rosen, asking Robb to take the appointment. “I am so tied up with the housing authority right now.”
“Is this strictly an information channel purpose?” Pappous asked. “Are there votes involved?”
“Yes there are votes,” Rosen said. “We have not been getting the representation there that we need to have.”
“Well, you know, I would take this,” Beeton said. “Since you guys have not given me the wharves board - I am senior council member here – you didn’t make me mayor pro tem, Council Member Robb is now on the park board, you’ve taken me off of the planning commission, which is irregular, and so, yeah I would like to serve on the Houston-Galveston Area Council.”
Terrilyn Tarlton complained that Beeton had never previously expressed an interest in the H-GAC appointment.
“It would be very, very nice if everyone on this council would pretty much have stated what they wanted in the very beginning,” Tarlton said.
That was when Beeton accused the others of the criminal violation of state law.
“It looks like to me what happened is that four council members got together and decided ‘We’ll give the wharves board to one…’,” Beeton began.
“Absolutely not!” Tarlton exclaimed.
“We’ll give the planning commission to another," Beeton continued. "We’ll give the park board to a third, and that’s fine and dandy, because we’ll all three support each other and all we need is the fourth vote and the mayor signed off.”
Mayor Rosen abruptly ended the public discussion.
“I’m going to call for an executive session,” Rosen said.
Then six of the council members moved to the workshop room where they discussed the issue. Beeton did not participate in the closed door meeting.
Following the executive session, the public meeting resumed and the remainder of the appointments were completed. Listen
The city council voted 6-1, with Beeton opposed, to appoint John Dreiss to the Galveston Planning Commission.
The city council voted 4-0-3, with Robb, Legg and Rosen abstaining, to reappoint Terry Conrad to the planning commission.
The city council voted unanimously to appoint John Paul Hershey to the planning commission to replace Willie Gonzalez who currently chairs the commission and who has resigned, with his resignation effective following next meeting of the commission. That's when Hershey will take his place.
The city council voted unanimously to appoint Johnny Smecca to the Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves and to reappoint Robert Hoskins to the board.
The city council voted unanimously to appoint Ray Caballero to the Building Board of Adjustments.
The city council voted unanimously to send a letter to Galveston County Commissioners Court recommending Eric Wilson for reappointment to the Gulf Coast Water Authority Board of Directors.
The city council voted 6-0-1, with Pappous abstaining, to authorize City Manager Michael Kovacs to move forward with a $100,000 Virtual Modeling Project to determine optimum shoreline protection structures, using 4B sales tax funds through the Galveston Industrial Development Corporation. Listen
“Somebody tell me what this is?” Rosen asked.
“This is basically a modeling software system that the park board will build," Kovacs said, explaining that the system will be used to provide information to planners concerning dune restoration projects. “It will save us money in the long run.”
Although Pappous abstained on that item, he voted with the others to authorize a dune reconstruction project in front of Dellanera Park and the Seascape Condos with 4B sales tax proceeds. But Pappous commented, “It seems like we are putting the cart before the horse here.”
The city council voted unanimously to deny a request for a specific use permit for the construction of a wireless communications tower at 1505 Clouser Lane. City staff, the planning commission and neighbors of the proposed facility had expressed opposition to it.
The city council voted unanimously to defer action on a proposed $25,000 contract with Robert Gibbs for consultation relating to Broadway Strategies.
A proposed additional expenditure of $15,000 to Null-Lairson, P.C. for auditing services which would be funded by the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Housing and CDBG Non-Housing Grant accounts, was removed from the agenda and was not considered for action by the city council.
All other agenda items were approved unanimously, except that some council members abstained on approval of minutes. Agenda