Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the emancipation of African Americans following the Civil War, was made a city holiday at the Gonzales City Council meeting held Oct. 8.
The council also voted to direct staff to move forward in soliciting request for qualification regarding the position of Municipal Judge. The position is usually appointed, with current judge Deidra Voight having been originally appointed in 2011 to fill an “unexpired term” for a previous judge which ended on Dec. 8, 2012. Voight’s last reappointment was in Nov. of 2018, with a term expiration of Dec. 8, 2020.
Mayor Connie Kacir commended both the Sons and Daughters of the Republic of Texas for their ceremonies honoring the ‘Old 18,’ a group of early colonists who defended the Gonzales cannon and effectively began the Texas Revolution. She also commended the Edwards Association as well as the Gonzales Historical Commission for their work regarding the preservation and celebration of African American history in Gonzales through the current project to place historical panels in the downtown square and Juneteenth celebration planning for the coming year.
Gonzales Historical Commission Chair Glenda Gordon gave an update on the plans for specific information to be included on the markers and announced that the commission is in the beginning stages of planning a bicentennial celebration for the Green DeWitt Colony, of which the City of Gonzales was capitol, for 2025.
The Mayor also issued a proclamation making October Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the city.
In other business:
- The consent agenda, which included minutes for the Sept. 3 special meeting, Sept. 10 regular meeting, Sept. 21 special meeting and Oct. 1 special meeting, council absences for the fourth quarter, of which there were none, authorization of the downtown square for Winterfest usage, and the purchase of a 2021 Ford F750 Diesel regular cab and chassis with a Knapheide brush bed were approved. The truck purchase is a line item in the current budget under the Capital Improvement Plan and replaces a truck which needed extensive engine repair.
- City Manager Tim Patek was authorized by the council to submit and accept if awarded an application to the General Land Office for a grant intended to fund infrastructural improvements that would mitigate further flood damage, as was seen during Hurricane Harvey.
- The contract for cleaning and repainting of an 850,000 gallon steel ground storage water tank was discussed and awarded.
- A performance agreement between the Gonzales Economic Development Corporation and Gonzales Main Street, which changes the finer point of some grants to be awarded within the community but not the nature of the program, was approved.
- The city holiday schedule was approved.
- The City Manager was authorized to solicit requests for proposals for new electric meters, software and installation.
- An ordinance to reduce the number of Main Street Advisory Board members from 12 to nine was approved.
- Appointments to city boards and committees were made by the council.
- A work order in the amount of $123,100 with Doucet & Associates for surveying, engineering and project management of Ridgemont, Oakland, Church and Seydler Streets improvement projects was approved.
- Separate resolutions authorizing the City Manager to execute addendum three to an agreement with GVEC for power cost adjustment consulting services and electric line loss services and solicit requests for proposals for the J.B. Wells Park Concession Stand were approved.
- Amendments to the city’s code of ethics were discussed with the city attorney.
- The City Manager provided updates on the following:
- update on revenue shortfalls due to COVID-19.
- List of grants currently being sought by grant writer or staff.
- Report on new operational changes.
- Benny Boyd property update.
- District 2 cleanup update
- In closed session:
- In Re Estate of J. B. Wells litigation
- Patricia Bennett and Gloria Knight v. City of Gonzales, Texas Cause No. 27,500
- Issues with Electric Utility Billing Audit
- Appointments to the Gonzales Economic Development Corporation, the Planning and Zoning • Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustments