Council to discuss restructuring proposal

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Home Local News Government Council to discuss restructuring proposal The Odessa City Council is scheduled on Tuesday to discuss “pros and cons of single-member district representation, at-large representation, and strong mayor representation” as a petition drive seeks to force a May special election so Odessa voters can decide on a proposal to restructure the board.The City Council is not scheduled to take any action on Tuesday, after a heated 3-2 vote last month to shoot down a request to call a special election.The proposed changes would create a seven-member board with a mayor who can vote on council business and a new seat for a council member elected at large. Today, the mayor, who is already elected at large, only votes in cases of a tie among the five other council members representing single-member districts. Odessa voters would have to approve the change if the petition forces an election.During the council meeting last month, District 1 Councilman Malcolm Hamilton called the proposed changes “racist” and an attempt to “circumvent democracy.” District 3 Councilwoman Barbara Graff had also described the changes as discriminatory, while District 5 Councilman Filiberto Gonzales said he needed more time to make up his mind.The three have faced public backlash this year after a string of contentious decisions.Since then, Gonzales has opposed the restructuring proposal. On Thursday he appeared at a press conference by a group formed to oppose the special election, Odessa Together, which threatened to sue individual organizers of the petition drive and to try to block the council changes in court, if voters approve them.“This is about power and about a certain group of people: The good ol’ boys that are afraid of losing control,” Gonzales said.Gonzales also argued the election is unnecessary and would cost about $50,000.District 2 Councilman Dewey Bryant and District 4 Councilman Mike Gardner had supported calling the special election and the proposed changes.State law requires local governmental bodies to call an election if five percent of voters sign a petition demanding one. A successful petition would require about 2,500 voters in the Odessa and organizers say they are more than half way there.IN OTHER BUSINESS, THE COUNCIL WILL:Consider board appointments, including two on the Odessa Development Corporation board.Consider approving a resolution that would waive adoption fees at Odessa Animal Control for veterans and active military personnel.Consider approving the $101,505 purchase of a new fire safety house for Odessa Fire/Rescue.Consider accepting a donation of more than $7,126 from Randi Spenser, a girl who raised the money by selling hot chocolate in her neighborhood and wants to donate it to the Odessa Police Department K-9 unit.Consider approving the more than $1 million purchase of 15 outfitted police vehicles for scheduled replacements.Consider approving the emergency roof replacement for the Central Fire Station, awarding a $195,000 contract to Merge Roofing and Solar of Dallas.Discuss agenda items and Keep Odessa Beautiful in a pre-meeting briefing session.Consider approving minutes of the Dec. 12 City Council meeting and the Jan. 2 finance committee meeting.Consider authorizing the OPD to apply for a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration grant of up to $40,800 of overtime costs for officers on traffic enforcement assignments, which would require a cash match of up to $10,200.Consider approving the reimbursement of $303,195 for over-width paving of Yukon Road.Consider approving the renewal of a three-year contract with Barron Service Parts Co. for onsite fleet parts management and supply, with an estimated expenditure of $3 million.Consider approving the purchase of six pieces of John Deere motorized equipment for Ratliff Ranch totaling about $125,603. Replaced items will be auctioned.Consider approving the purchase of three garbage trucks at a total cost of $798,585. Replaced items will be auctioned.Open a public hearing and consider approving for the first time a request by Verna Schulte Headlee for Retail zoning of a 2 acre tract of land southwest of the intersection of Loop 338 and East 56th Street.Open a public hearing and consider approving for the first time a request by Russell D. Subia to rezone from Single Family-Three to Retail near the intersection of Linda Avenue and West 22nd Street.Open a public hearing and consider approving for the first time a request by 2012 Cross B, LLC to rezone three drill sites totaling more than 6 acres from Future Development-Drill Reservation to Special Dwelling District and a request from PBar Parks Bell Ranch LTD to rezone one existing drill site to Future Development-Drill Reservation to Special Dwelling, totaling more than 8 acres north and east of the Cross B Road and Kate Reed Drive intersection.Consider approving a $20,000 façade grant to Grant Street Bar and Grill, 512 N. Grant Ave.Consider approving a $20,000 façade grant for the The Grant Building, 307 N. Grant Ave.Consider a resolution approving food and beverage operation at Ratliff Ranch Golf Links. The Citizen’s Golf Advisory Committee chose Linx Food and Beverage, LLC as the recommended food and beverage operator. 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