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The Community News • P.O. Box 1031 • 203 Pecan Dr. • Aledo, TX 76008 • 817-441-7661 • FAX: 817-441-5419

 

* CORRECTED * Willow Park City Council meeting: Nov. 15

November 15, 2010 by Dominic Genetti

Willow ParkWillow ParkThe newest information will be at the top of the page

Meeting adjourned.

Executive Session
No Action.

New Business

*Alderman announces that he will be resigning. It will be official next Monday at a special meeting.*

M. The official city newspaper of the City of Willow Park.
-"It's not a question of winning and losing," Hawkins said.
-"We (the council) work collectively," Hawkins. "This is obviously a charged topic."
-A switch to the Weatherford Democrat is in the "best interests" of the city.
- Hawkins says it is the right move and commends Erin Cooper and Lori Cope, former reporters.
- Barry Brown says he "misses" Erin Cooper and that he is "fed up" with the reports that have been
published.
-Hickerson says The Community News operating on a slant is the mayor's opinion and putting letters
out in the water bill was not a "wise way to express opinion."
-City Councilman Hale Alderman notes that the Weatherford Democrat reporter left early and that The
Community News has a reporter throughout each meeting. He also noted the intense coverage of the
Aledo school district.
-Gene Martin refers to Community News Publisher Randy Keck as arrogant by assuming how the
council would vote in a Web article published over the weekend.
-Martin also says that using The Community News would give more notice to more people for
information.

CORRECTION: Councilman Martin was quoting Community News publisher Randy Keck, not stating his own opinion.

-Martin suggests a survey to see how many citizens read The Community News over the Weatherford
Democrat. He suggests sending them in electric bills.

CORRECTION: Martin actually said "utility bills." Willow Park does not bill for electrical service. In addition, his suggestion was to solicit identification of news sources used by Willow Park citizens.

-Martin says he has a drafted questionnaire to send out to citizens before a formal vote is made.
-Hawkins calls the questionnaire a possible idea.
-"Everybody has a right to his or her own opinions," Councilman Barry Tatum.
-Tatum says he has heard several opinions from citizens not approving of Hawkins' letter in water
bills.
-43 responses positive, 1 negative Hawkins said he heard from citizens in regard to his letter.
Additional responses also lean toward positive he says.
-Hawkins says there would not be issues with the press if reporting was balanced in council meetings
and workshops. He also calls the press the only institution in the country that doesn't have checks
and balances.
-Alderman moves to retain The Community News as the official city newspaper. Hawkins says there is
no need for that type of motion and that no action would keep the Community News as the city's
paper. Martin is moving to send out his questionnaire.
-Motions to send out the questionnaire fails.
-No action taken.

L. Review year-end close out of 2009-2010 Budget (Discussion Item Only)

J&K. Chapters Four and Five of the Code of Ordinances.
-No action.
-Tabled.

I. Legal counsel at P&Z meetings.
-Hawkins is asking council for considerations.
-"If council asks me to be there, I'll be there," Rider Scott said.
-Hickerson motions to provide legal counsel at P&Z meetings on an "as needed basis" determined by
the P&Z Chair (Neverdousky)

H. Recommendations to Chapter 12 of the Code of Ordinances "R-3 Zoning."
-Richard Neverdousky, Chairman of the P&Z, is addressing the council.
-No action taken by council. Will decide Dec. 7.

G. Request of funding from the tourism fund for Ride For Heroes.
-Willow Park has been an annual sponsor.
- Donna Smith is speaking on behalf of the benefit.
-The event will be April 16. The city has donated $5,000 in the past.
-Hickerson moves to donate $5,000. It is seconded.
-Motion passes.

F. Request of funding for Aledo ISD's Bearcat Stadium.
-Remaining events at the stadium include playoff football.
-No other athletic events are scheduled until soccer and track season.
-City Councilman Mark Hickerson suggests a donation of $2,500. Martin seconds.
-City Councilman Barry Brown asks Hickerson, "Why are we low-balling?"
-"I don't follow your logic," Brown to Hickerson. Hickerson wants to conserve money. Brown says,
"We're doing a disservice to the community."
- Motion passes, $2,500 to Bearcat Stadium.

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RECESS
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E. Authorization to move forward with the completion of the comprehensive plan
-Jeff Ground of LAN Engineering is addressing council.
-Representatives of the developing company, Center Point, are also in attendance. Center Point is the
developer who wants to develop an apartment complex in the city.
-"We're going to encourage development to come into the city as fast as we can," Hawkins said.
-Hawkins says an area behind Rail Head BBQ Restaurant is also a possibility for development.
-Council takes no action on the item.

*Mayor announces there will be a workshop followed by a special city council meeting next week, Monday Nov. 22 to discuss the land area behind Brookshire's in regard to apartments and commercial development.*

D. Engineers for the relocation of the Interstate-20 exit to Ranch House Road.
-Martin asks the audience to address any confusion about the published language used to write
agenda item.
-An interested engineer is addressing the council.
-Hawkins says relocating the ramp could be the "most significant thing we do for the city."
-A second engineer from Fort Worth is addressing council.
-Council takes no action.
-Council authorizes LAN Engineering to provide a review of both engineering firms.

C. An ordinance allowing the WP Fire and Rescue to charge for emergencies to non-residents.
-The charges would benefit funding for the fire department.
-Council takes no action citing further review by city officials. This will be on the December agenda.

B. Council considering Brent Sauble as City Fire Marshall. Witherow is addressing the council.
-Sauble would be getting a raise, possible through a grant the WPFD recently received.
-A motion is made and seconded. City Attorney Rider Scott clarifies to the council to take other steps
before making the decision official.
-Sauble is the new Fire Marshall.

A. The resignation of WP Fire Chief John Justice and appointing Jim Witherow to the position.
-Justice has resigned from the position, but is not leaving the department.
-Council members say that they have acted on this situation before.
-Council accepts the resignation letter and appoint Witherow to the position officially.

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Old Business
A. Chapter One of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Willow Park.
-The condition of our codification has gotten 'messy'," Councilman Gene Martin says.
-Martin wants to revise the codifications of the city. City Attorney Rider Scott suggests a re-
codification commission.
-Martin says he has tried that in the past.
-Martin moves for a re-codification commission for chapters 1-3 of city codes. He said remaining
chapters can be addressed as those revisions approach.
-The other items of old business are withheld.

CORRECTION: Old Business Items B and C were addressed in the same action taken for Old Business Item A.

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Mayor's Update
-Hawkins says he has met with engineers and other officials from Fort Worth discussing a surface water agreement. "Fort Worth is acting favorably towards us," the mayor said.
-Hawkins says "it's in our interests as a city" to have an open workshop with the P&Z, the council and developer of an area of the city that is expected to include apartments.
-The mayor also said he will talk about his relationship with the local press when the subject comes up in a later agenda item.

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Citizen Presentations
- Citizen David Fritz asks the council to "continue to use" The Community News for legal notices and notifications. The full-house crowd applauds. Mayor Hawkins asks the audience to not do so.

CLARIFICATION: The applause was not unanimous

-Citizen Esta Austin says she does not want to subscribe to another newspaper to get legal notices.
-Citizen Leigh Miller asks the council if they were aware of the letter Hawkins sent in the recent water bill.
-Home Owners Association President of the Stagecoach Estates addresses zoning and the city's comprehensive plan.
-Citizen Judy Ratzlaff reads commentary written by Randy Keck, Publisher of The Community News, on this Web site Saturday. Hawkins cuts her off after three minutes.

CLARIFICATION: The three-minute rule was established before public comments began.

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For tonight's regular meeting of the Willow Park City Council, city officials have 16 agenda items to discuss and/or take action on. In addition to executive session. Three of the subjects are old business items.

Some of the agenda items include; chapters of the city's code of ordinances, a possible charge for emergency responses to non-residents, a new Ranch House Road Exit, donations from the tourism fund to Aledo ISD's Bearcat Stadium and the annual Ride for Heroes event.

Council will also consider an ordinance that would change the official city newspaper from The Community News to the Weatherford Democrat.

For his mayor's update, Willow Park Mayor Ken Hawkins is expected to address an update on the surface water agreement with the City of Fort Worth, proponents for retail development, improved communications with the citizens and the city's working relationship with the local press.

Sports Calendar

Thursday, April 17

  • Aledo Girls Golf will compete in the Region I Tournament at Diamondback GC in Abilene

  • Ladycat Softball vs Arlington Heights; V-7 JV-5:30

Friday, April 18

Tuesday, April 22

Friday, April 25

Tuesday, April 29

  • Aledo Girls Golf will compete in the State Tournament at Onion Creek GC in Austin.

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