Mr. Keck, I am providing corrections to the article, "City to Absorb EPC Library," written by Ryan Wade about the City of Aledo council meeting held on July 27th. First of all, the title of the article is curious to me, because there was no discussion at all about the City absorbing the East Parker County Library. Mr. Wade must have been confused, but I'm sure the public appreciates finally being made aware of the private discussions that have taken place until now. If all of those details were known by the reporter, why weren't they included in the article about the June 22nd council meeting?
The portrayal in the article of my desire to speak was completely incorrect and when a reporter chooses to reference a member of the public in a negative light, at least get the scenario right and maybe attempt to provide details from the resident's perspective. Had the reporter inquired, I would have told him that I signed up to speak during public comments, as well as on agenda item 7H, a resolution that the council was to consider approving reimbursement of expenses with "future debt." The posted agenda item referenced expenses related to the Clear Fork Interceptor and Lift Station Project, but no amount was listed on the public notice. I requested and received a council packet that included a copy of the resolution and an amount of $3.5mm was included as the maximum principal for "future debt." There was no staff memo to explain the item further, nor any other financial details about the item. Mayor Stanley and the City's attorney disregarded HB 2840 passed in 2019 when they refused to allow me to speak and rather than allow me at least one minute, our exchange only made the City look bad, especially when other members of the public spoke on issues for far longer than their allotted 3 minutes.
Every debt issuance the City of Aledo approves matters a great deal to the taxpayers, especially when their utilities have increased. It wasn't enough that the City issued $18.5mm in debt last year for a new City Hall absent a vote at the ballot box and then less than one year later the City needs another $2mm in order to absorb the EPC Library? What happened to the future Police Department and how is that planning coming along? When is the City of Aledo going to offer their residents access to the council packets in order to truly support public engagement at council meetings?
I urge the newspaper staff to do a better job of reporting the full story and not just the story pleasing to City officials. East Parker County desperately needs an investigative reporter!
- Marcy Galle
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