Pearland City Council Meeting for May 4, 2020

6:30 p.m. Special Meeting - Agenda

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NEW - SPEAKER REQUEST REGISTRATION FORM - Must be submitted by 12 P.M. on the meeting day

Citizen Comments:

Jimmy Davis - City has a flawed plan and no citizen approve 32/30 plan, shortage is due to the change directive in 2018 from the city manager's office. 2019 collected $55m in review, per month only 28 days, 360 days $4 mi extra, more than what they expect to see. I ask council to think of the citizens We're paying more for their mistake. Let us have the choice to pay it off, but they don't listen. How much have we paid extra due to errors. There should be no rate increase for 2021. Tell staff to allow citizens to pay off or stay on the 32/30 plan. Have Town Halls to allow citizens to ask questions. AIM read meters and pay bill each month the same time. We keep getting ignored with our suggestions.

Denise Hewitt - She is sorry council feels unappreciated, and asking to get through this. Don't misinterpret our intentions. Report was not an investigation, not voted on by council. Not all interview had specific quotes. Why did we have this cover up this whole time? Lost respect and trust credibility. How are the calculations being done? Bill versus read. How 18 months without a recognition of balance funds. Calls for a new report, and an appeal on the water rate increase. Ask city council to host a workshop of community involvement. AWA communication should be a 2 way dialogue. 3 minutes and not getting any answers back.

Maria Dechico - 2019 water usage is down and and we are charged a higher rate. Exec sessions should be done for the residence and changed the tier rate. Give citizens the credit. Need a independent investigation not done by people that do work with the city. City needs to become frugal with spending money. At the rate we paid for back then.

Jeff Hunkele - My comments tonight are in regards to the Olson & Olson report and the conflicting messages I've heard comparing statements made during council meetings and those contained in the report.

It has been stated over and over again that an independent investigation needs to be done in order to learned what really went on. Then we find out the city hired Olson & Olson who has done work for the city in the past. This, to me excludes them from being able to offer an impartial investigation.

In the report says statements like "It is unclear to what extent the City's senior administration and Finance Director, were aware of exactly what changes were being made to the meter-reading cycle." as well as a statement saying several meetings were held between the Utilities Billing Dept and the Pubic Works Dept when the new meter-reading scheduled was discussed and Jon Branson & Cynthia Pearson may or may not have attended these meetings.

So in the council meetings it seemed like we were led to believe city staff was working hard on the water problem, but from these statements it seems like senior members weren't heavily involved even though everyone knew this was a huge deal and yet they were unaware of what was being done to fix it?

During a council meeting Councilmen Perez said the city fired the Assistant Manager of the Utility Billing department, yet other councilmen were not aware of this fact. In a later council meeting, this same lady came to clear her name and stated she actually resigned. My question is what was the purpose of saying she was fired. Does council think we as citizens were going to believe she was the lone scapegoat and say oh ok this problem is resolved and not ask further questions? To me, this statement made me questions things further.

The report seems to point some blame but then says directive weren't given directly to people but through another party

Some questions, I have:

1. We have been dealing with this water issue for many months. The City Manager, Clay Pearson's letter discusses many mistakes that were made and we now have lessons learned. Then the document states the Deputy City Manager, Jon Branson & Director of Finance, Cynthia Pearson all of a sudden decide to "retire" after this report was made public? As a citizen outside of City Hall, that strikes me as very coincidental and makes me question what types of golden parachutes and/or continued benefits do they get if they retire as opposed to being fired?

2. Why are these the only 2 affected by this issue if the report states all of city senior admin were involved?

3. The report says the original issue was brought to their attention by "various citizen complaints", but if this were true, then why when these public records are requested by citizens, we were told there were none. Did they want to withhold this information or are emails/information being deleted?

My final thoughts are the city paid a lot of money for a report by a company they do business with to soften the blame and not get to the bottom of the real problem. And frankly, if it takes the city this long to explain the facts and we still have conflicts of statements, I feel that we aren't being given the entire truth.

Consent Agenda

 

A. Traffic Parts, Inc. - $120,000, a Unit Supply Contract for traffic signal heads and components from May 1, 2020 - Apr 30, 2021

Passed 7-0


B. International Paint and Body of Pearland - $29,434.33 for vehicle collision and repair services, increasing the contract total to $118,902

Orlando - Y

Carbone - Y

Little - Y

Moore - Y

Hernandez - Y

Perez - Y

Owens - N

Passed 6-1

 

 

New Business

 

1. City of Pearland, Texas, water and sewer system revenue bonds, series 2020A; making other regarding such bonds and matters incident thereto

Passed 7-0


2. MAR-CON Services - $967,777.80 - Rice Drier Road Reconstruction Project, for construction services contract

Passed 7-0


3. W. W. Payton Corp - $1,690,000 - for the Southdown Ground Storage Water Tank Replacement Project

Amended project to remove logo to not spend $18K on a Pearland logo

Passed 7-0

4. R  &  B  Group,  Inc. - $768,600 - for a construction  services  contract  for  the  Cullen  Regional  Lift  Station  Odor Control  and  Rehabilitation  Project

Passed 7-0

Executive Session

1. Consultation with Attorney- Regarding confidential legal matters associated with potential amendments to Chapter 2 of the City Code