By RUSSELL HUFFMAN
STEPHENVILLE (July 8, 2016) – The Stephenville City Council dealt with a variety of items during its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday including new policies and documentation for the Stephenville Economic Development Authority (SEDA).
SEDA’s newly hired executive director John Hubbard brought three items for approval to the council. Hubbard was seeking to get approval for a conflict of interest policy and verification, a confidentiality policy and an operating policy. Councilman Rhett Harrison pointed to the word “excess” in the conflict of interest policy as it relates to “benefit transactions” and asked was considered an “excess.”
The document had been read by City Attorney Randy Thomas, but he said he had not legally reviewed the document. Thomas stated he was unsure as to what his role was when it comes to SEDA’s business and he would follow the council’s instructions if they felt a review was needed. Mayor Kenny Weldon said he felt Thomas should indeed review the document prior to the council’s approval if there was not a “time element” involved.
SEDA President Matt Harpole explained the wording was meant to say “no benefits.” Because the wording may have legal ramifications the general feeling appeared to be Thomas’ expertise would be needed. Hubbard assured the council it was not a matter that needed to be rushed. Harrison motioned to table the matter pending a review by Thomas and the motion passed in a unanimous vote. The second and third items did deal with “time elements” as Hubbard explained SEDA was already working on projects that will require confidentiality. Hubbard further explained the operating policy was essentially a living document that will see changes as time goes on. The council gave its nod of approval for both items.
Director of Building and Planning Services Noah Cullis presented the council with a rezoning request from Stephenville resident Greg Jackson to rezone a property located at Denman Street and Barker Avenue from retail and commercial B2 to multi-family residential R3. Jackson is seeking to build a duplex and Mayor Pro Tem Alan Nix questioned why he was not seeking R2 versus R3 zoning. Cullis explained an across the street property was already R3 and going with R2 would be spot zoning. The council approved the request in another unanimous vote.
Stephenville resident Donna Wesson used her time during citizen’s general discussion to praise the efforts of Community Services Director Jeremy Allen praise for his cooperation in her donations of memorials trees she hoped to plant in the city park. Allen visited with Wesson and heard her explanation of a gift of a tree in memoriam versus flowers and took the matter to heart in getting one tree planted and Wesson has plans to donate more.
The hard work and dedication displayed by everyone involved with the Fourth of July celebration in Stephenville was addressed by Councilman Mark McClinton and the echoed by all council members present. City Administrator Pat Bridges reminded the council that its budget workshop dates are changing to August 1-5, before adjournment.