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GALENA PARK Council hires City Attorney; delays choosing Police Chief

ROBERT COLLINS, new City Attorney for Galena Park
ROBERT COLLINS, new City Attorney for Galena Park

GALENA PARK – At its regular meeting this week, City Council considered a number of appointments to fill open positions in the city government.These had occurred due to previous Council action in firing or demoting certain personnel. On the Agenda were appointments of police chief, city attorney, water superintendent, water department billing clerk, and a civil service board person. Each of these items generated discussion, and most were acted on. However, the appointment of Edward Mata as Police Chief generated questions and was finally tabled, because his salary of $68,000 and requirement to live in the city was never discussed with him. The item was referred to committee for further action and later vote.

Appointment of a City Attorney went ahead without much discussion. Robert Collins, a local attorney who is a 1970 graduate of Galena Park High School, was appointed. He is also City Attorney in Port Isabel, he said. In accepting the position, he said he has some goals, including applying for more grant money for the city, updating the A/V equipment that the city uses in the Council Chamber, and keeping the city out of the Courtroom. Other appointments that proceeded were Jarrod Jones for Water Superintendent, Irma Betancourt for Water Dept. billing, and Hector Torres to the Civil Service Board.

The Agenda item that generated the most discussion, was a proposed ordinance that would prohibit the parking of autos, boars, and trailers on grassed front yards of residences. A number of persons in the audience spoke out about this being unreasonable, or that it should be grandfathers for current violators. Although most of the Council seemed in favor of the proposal, to keep the city looking orderly, it was decided to table the item to study the wording, and to try to account for existing paving situtions and handicap needs.

Council approved purchasing a prefabricated park restroom building from Corworth, to be installed at the park next to Baggett Center. If successful, Council said they plan on similar facilities in Galena Manor and Woodland Acres.