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Galena Park Council meeting returns to calm

ANGERED FORMER COMMISSIONER. At the most recent council meeting of March 7, 2017 Former Commissioner Robert Clowers (hands raised) tells Mayor Moya she had no legal authority to ask Chief Mata neither to resign nor to pay him $12,000 in severance pay if he’d resign without having first bringing the issue before the entire council for a collective decision. He ended by saying the city is being ran like Larry, Curly and Moe (The 3 Stooges). (Photo by Allan Jamail)

Interim Police Chief lays the Law Down to Citizens

Galena Park, TX, March 7, 2017 — In a remarkable difference from the heated council meeting two weeks before Mayor Moya and the Commissioners calmly took care of the city’s business on the agenda without any disruptions largely due to the stricter meeting rules the mayor had Interim Police Chief Reese Martin explain to the citizens prior to calling the meeting to order.

Mayor Moya kept a tight rein on the agenda making sure all business was taken care of in an orderly manner. The mayor even translated in Spanish some of the most important issues on the agenda so those not familiar with English could be well informed.

After the mayor gave an invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag the council gave unanimous approval of the previous meeting’s minutes. Commissioner Oscar Silva Jr. was absent.

The Financial Accounts Payable report through March 7, 2017 was approved with Commissioner Eric Broussard voting no.

A representative of BeltHarris Pechacek LLP presented the audit for fiscal year ending September 30, 2016 with unanimous approval by council.

The new waste collection agreement with Texas Waste Services was unanimously approved with a $13.00 monthly fee charged for the 3,400 residences. City Attorney Robert Collins said this will be a $500,000 annual savings resulting in 2-1/2 million dollars saved over 5 years.

A lease agreement between the city and The Committee For A Better Galena Park for a city building at 1703 3rd street was approved with Commissioner Eric Brossard voting no.

Council unanimously approved Leslie Bodak as a volunteer for the fire department and Santos Pena as part-time in ground maintenance. The meeting was adjourned at 6:39 PM.

KEEPING ORDER: After Interim Police Chief Reese Martin presented some newly created Meeting Rules which state that if a citizen disrupts the lawful meeting of the city they’ll be escorted from the building and arrested for violating Texas Penal Code 42:05.
Former Commissioner Maricela Serna (standing) tells Chief Martin after he presented the new Meeting Rules that in times past when citizens were speaking out of order and she called for Mayor Moya to bring order, the mayor said this is the “people’s meeting” and the mayor then didn’t care if citizens spoke out, Serna seemed confused why now Moya wants to silence the citizens.
Chief Martin said he believes an arrest is the last resort but he feels now it has gotten to this point and he encouraged citizens to speak but to do so after the business of the city has been completed. He said he believes in the First Amendment Right of Freedom of Speech but no person can use this to disrupt a lawful meeting. Furthermore he said from this point forward city council meetings will be done so in an orderly manner. (Photo by Allan Jamail)