During Monday night’s meeting of the Dublin City Council, the council tackled a lengthy agenda. Key issues included renovations to the city’s animal shelter, addressing issues with codes and ordinances and repairs to historic brick streets.
Council member Jeff Weaver addressed the board on issues recently addressed by the council’s Public Safety Committee. Following a presentation of recommended changes by the Texas Department of Health, Zoonosis Control Program, regarding improvements to the city’s animal shelter, the council voted unanimously to approve the upgrades and improvements. Included in the approved changes are the addition of cat cages and changing the current system of euthanasia from carbon monoxide to a safer, more humane lethal injection.
In addition, Weaver reported that issues in dealing with city codes and ordinances needed to be addressed. Weaver explained that Code Enforcement Officer Mike Weems is having problems enforcing the city’s codes and ordinances and the problem is due in part to the vagueness of the laws. In addition, Weaver explained that in may cases the ticketing process made no impact since the local court was throwing many of the citations out.
Police Chief Lannie Lee explained that the city’s existing ordinances do not have the teeth they need to achieve the desired results. “All we can do is write a ticket, we can not grab someone by their neck and make them do what the ordinance states. “ Lee further explained for the system to work, there needed to be fines and punishments set in the wording of the ordinances so that once the infraction was taken before the local court the fine would have to be issued and the citation could not be thrown out.
The council agreed that a workshop session should be held in the future to rework city codes and ordinances so that Weems will be able to more efficiently perform his duties.
Next, Cory James, director of public works, received approval to paint the designated parking areas on the 100 blocks of North and South Patrick Street, the 100 block of Elm and the 100 block of South Grafton. James explained in his presentation that the improvements are necessary since parking along those streets currently creates safety hazards as motorists park too close to the stop signs and intersections and often block the roadways.
The council also approved the designation of the 100 block of West Elm, the 100 & 200 blocks of East Elm, the 100 block of North Grafton and the 100block of South Grafton as historical brick streets. James explained that the selection was made by the historical society. The remaining brick streets throughout the city will be resurfaced and any reusable bricks will be used to improve the dedicated brick streets.
Meanwhile, the council approved the sale of a property that has remained delinquent on taxes since 1999. The property, located at 422 South Park will be sold to Jimmy Huckabee for a sum of $2,000. City Manager Jerry Guillory said that the sale itself would not bring money to the city but selling the property will mean future tax dollars and the demolition of an eye sore.
In the city’s annual racial profiling report, Chief Lee showed a fair distribution of citations and warnings. A racial breakdown obtained from www.citydata.com, showed that Dublin is 68.8 percent Caucasian, 29.6 percent Hispanic with remaining 16.2 percent of other ethnic back grounds. The profiling report presented by Lee for the 2007 calendar year, showed 2,224 cases involving Caucasians, 188 involving Hispanics, and 45 involving individuals of African descent.
“It is my opinion that based on numbers alone, it should be obvious that the Dublin Police Department is not engaging in racial profiling,” Lee said.
Finally, the council convened into an Executive Session to deliberate on the performance and duties of City Manager Jerry Guillory. Upon reconvening the open meeting, the council approved a pay increase for Guillory; bringing his salary to $50,000. In addition, the council agreed to pay his Rotary and Lions Club dues.
The next meeting of the Dublin City Council will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 14, at the council chambers at Dublin City Hall on 213 E. Blackjack.