Council gets racism update, debates charter election

During its regular Jan. 21, 2020 meeting, the Forney City Council met to hear about racism and corruption, upcoming blood drive, accept public improvements, consider changes to alcohol rules, a day-care, new FISD campuses, city charter modifications, conversion of a residential property to commercial. (watch official video)

  • Public Comment
    • Ms. Rachael Stillwell and Ashley with Red Cross said having a blood drive Feb. 1 at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   Hospitals are cancelling elective surgeries, down to less than 3-day supply.   Blood only lasts 42 days.
    • Ms.Cariann Bradford said she was running for 422nd district judge, grew up in Houston, been in Kaufman county 20 years.   Her office has always been in Forney, involved with scouting and youth sports, DCCCD advisory board.
    • Mr. John Daniels said he was here to address racism, corrupt city council, he has asked for months to meet with the mayor.   City Secretary Ms. Brooks asked him for his address for the record; he declined, stating last time they posted his address on city website, saying they said he said city hall was racist, which it is, without his permission, so every weirdo in Forney come by his house, that's a dirty racist game they are playing.   He's been trying to meet w/ Mayor and Mr. Carson for months, but they refuse to meet with people of color.   He will run for mayor, he would meet with anyone.   In old Forney, streets are falling apart, water flow is expected to flow by the grace of God.   Have no curbs, 75% has no sidewalks.   City Hall allowing community to deteriorate.   Since he has come forward to expose how racist and bad city hall is, posting his address on their little website is part of racist things they do to run black folks out of town, doing since the 80's.   Kaufman County DA said his group is one of the last groups to go there to file a complaint.   Don't trust anyone here, believe anything they say here; if you do you might as well sell your soul to the devil.   He'll be back until they do the work they need them to do.

  • Approved as one consent item, after Mr. Thatcher said item 2 is for wastewater and impact fee study.   If approved, council will appoint a committee at next meeting:
    • a final plat for the Grayhawk Addition Phase Four.
    • a Resolution approving a Professional Services Agreement with Freeman-Millican, INC.
    • a preliminary plat for Lot 1, Block A, Broad Street East Addition II, located southeast of the intersection of East U.S. Highway 80 and F.M. 548.
    • a revised site plan for Breeze-In Gas Station and Car Wash, located north of Don T. Cates Drive and east of North F.M. 548.
    • acceptance of public improvements for the construction of the 12-inch water lines associated with the elevated water tank project.
    • acceptance of public improvements for the Panera Bread project.
    • authorizing the City Attorney's Office to retain the services of outside counsel to assist the City in obtaining the appropriate state licenses for concession sales at the Spellman Amphitheater.

  • Approved a revised site plan for a new Forney ISD Middle and Intermediate School, located north of F.M. 740 and west of Ranch Road.
        Mr. Thomas asked Mr. Morgan how far back the schools will be - several hundred feet from homes, about 500 yard from 740.   Mr. Thomas said every school has traffic problems, make sure they understand want to avoid that.   Mr. Morgan said they are set interior to the site, not near the property boundaries.   Mr. Thomas said other districts have designs with good flow.   FISD Architect said they have heard his concerns, and are working to alleviate issues at Criswell.   Mr. Myers asked if both campuses would get out same time - Architect said yes, large amount of students will ride the bus; they spent much time considering parking.   Mayor Penn said kids going to Criswell live nearby, still 20 million cars during pickup.  
  • Vision 2025 -- Goals and Initiatives
        Mr. Carson said workshop Feb. 25.
  • Approved a site plan for King Daycare, located northeast of the intersection of South F.M. 548 and F.M. 741.
        Mr. Morgan said it's 2.36 acres in Fox Hollow PD, as is 7-11, in an area zoned GR.   14,240 sq ft building, request exception to circular drop-off, as others have.   They have a small stacking area of 4, could require 20.   6 ft masonry wall for screening.   P&Z approved w/ exception for circular drop-off.
        Drew Donosky from Claymoore Engineering said circular drive would not be functional for this school.   Mr. Thomas said have approved other exceptions to it.   Mayor Penn asked suggested removing that requirement; it's being worked on.   Mr. Myers asked if Fox Hollow PD requirements for materials are followed; Mr. Morgan said this is brick, but have no enforceability now, but a development agreement could be enforced.   Mr. Thomas asked if the applicant was aware another day care was just approved.   He listed a number of day-care facilities, was concerned about high concentration, and questioned the need for a huge day-care.   Mr. Donosky wasn't aware of what marketing had been done, and they are working with other developers in that area on other uses.   Mayor Penn said have trends for types of businesses, supply and demand.
  • Approved a revised site plan for 105 McGraw Street.
        Mr. Morgan said there are revisions to the packet info; previously residential, converting to GR.   No structure changes planned, except for ADA ramp.   P&Z suggested fence and sidewalk, and for staff to consider way to change driveway and consider sharing access to adjacent business parking.   Staff recommends approval.
        Ms. Powers asked if the garage would be removed; it will remain, enough space to have parking spaces.   P&Z were concerned if using main drive for parking.   They city would need to see a signed agreement for shared parking.   Mr. Thomas asked if the property was sold; Mr. Morgan said it would be put in the deed record.   Mr. Myers asked if needed surveys; Mr. Morgan said not involving building location or drainage, no.   Ms. Powers asked if had to send out notices; Mr. Morgan said zoning changed a long time ago, notices would have been sent then.
  • Approved staff starting ballot language for recommended amendments to the City of Forney Home Rule Charter.
        Mr. Thatcher said charter requires report notice to be published, it was in Messenger.   Will be on special election in May.   Council may deny changes, or add new items.   Do have time frame to get information on ballot.   Mayor Penn asked about cost to have election for this item alone.   Mr. Thatcher said have called for general election in May for council, opportunity to share costs for other entities holding election.   Mr. Thomas asked about primary elections and run-offs, council may only hold elections on specific dates.   Mr. Thomas pointed out in Nov would be at very bottom of ballot; Mr. Thatcher said city can't lobby for it, can publish information.   Mr. Myers asked if would have turnout if only item on ballot.   Mr. Thomas asked if they were just approving the item, or if calling to be on ballot.   Mr. Thatcher said either meeting in Feb. would allow time.   Ms. Brooks said estimated cost is 3200, not including ballots.
  • Approved an Ordinance amending Chapter 8 of the City of Forney Code of Ordinances regarding the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public places for special events purposes.
        Mr. Thatcher said had issues on application of ordinances for events, prohibiting persons bringing their own alcohol to events.   This would clarify what areas are public spaces are, public consumption prohibited except for private clubs or special events.   Restates only allow alcohol sold at the event.   These changes will allows officers to issue citations or make arrests, will help staff maintain order at events.   Mr. Thomas asked about signage alerting the public; Mr. Thatcher said in law, notice is key to enforcement, this ordinance provides notice.   Signage would help the public, but isn't necessary.   Mr. Thomas suggested requiring signage in the ordinance.   Mr. Carson said have done that, and will continue putting up signage prohibiting bringing alcohol.   Mr. Thomas said the no-smoking signs at amphitheater reference an ordinance.  
  • City Manager's report - Chief Lunt updated the efforts to enforce commercial vehicle violations at Knox.   He was told this is a priority - a struggle is multiple state laws require 48 hrs before they may move a vehicle, unless it's a safety issue.   They will issue a citation if someone is with the vehicle who has been warned before.   They are allowed to post signage which would allow immediate removal.   This is a daily issue for officers.   Mr. Carson asked if chief had authority for signs, or council had to approve.   Mr. Thatcher said that is delegated to chief in ordinances, would have to work with TxDOT as on Hwy 80.   Mr. Myers asked if it was mostly diesel trucks.   Mr. Thomas said drivers will park car there, leave in tractor-trailer rig, then return and park the rig. Chief Lunt said law allows contracting w/ towing company for removal.   They discussed who would decide when to tow a vehicle.
  • Council Comments - Mr. Moon thanked Chf Townsend for the dinner for staff.   Mr. Johnson said D.D. McGee passed away in auto accident on Sunday, Betz is in hospital.   Mayor Penn said he was very active in Lions Club, 30 years as parade marshal, and mentioned the two women who were killed in the fiery accident.   She wants to reconsider YMCA during workshop.
  • Held a 61-minute executive session re:

    • Victorian Village
    • Economic Development Project at SE Hwy 80 and FM 548
    • Project Calcite

  • Adjourned at 2037.
Tuesday, 2020, January 21