Home City Council Meeting Regular Meeting Helotes City Council May 14th, 2020 Recap

Regular Meeting Helotes City Council May 14th, 2020 Recap

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251979002 Recap Regular Meeting Helotes City Council May 14th 2020

This recap is based on the May 14th, 2020 Regular Meeting Helotes City Council. If you find errors, please let us know.

Helotes News abbreviates “Councilmember” as “CM” in our articles.

This recap is based on the May 14th, 2020 Regular Meeting Helotes City Council. If you find errors, please let us know.

Public Hearing

2. Public Hearing on a proposal for the City of Helotes Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) to fund a Small Business Assistance Program that will offer zero (0%) interest loans to businesses in the City of Helotes that have been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). The program qualifies as an economic development “Project,” as defined by Texas Local Govt. Code Chapter 505 Type B Corporations.

  • No one signed up to speak

Recognition

3. Proclamation by Mayor Thomas A. Schoolcraft recognizing the City of Helotes Public Works Department in observance of National Public Works Week occurring May 17 -May 23, 2020.

4. Proclamation by Mayor Thomas A. Schoolcraft recognizing the City of Helotes Fire / EMS Department in observance of National EMS Week occurring May 17 -May 23, 2020.

Open Session

5. Citizens to be heard.

  • No one signed up to speak

Consent Agenda

6.  Approval of the minutes of the Regular Meeting dated April 23, 2020. (Staff)

7.  Approval of the Fiscal Year Ending (FYE) 2020 City of Helotes Revenue and Expense, Balance Sheet, and Encumbrance Reports dated May 7, 2020. (Staff)

8.  Approval of a preliminary and final subdivision plat, pursuant to Municipal Code of Ordinances Chapter 78 Subdivisions, establishing Goat Hill Subdivision, being a 11.249 acre tract of land out of the J.M. Ross Survey No. 224, Abstract 645, County Block 4524, and being a portion of land conveyed to the Polk Family Trust recorded in Volume 12696, Page 347 of the Official Public Records of Bexar County, Texas. (Applicant)

  • Motion by CM Holmes motions to approve items 6, 7 and 8. Second by CM Blue. Motion passes unanimously.

Items for Individual Consideration

9. Discussion of and action on resuming the Spring 2020 brush pick up by C-6 Disposal Systems, Inc. to a rescheduled date, or, omitting the Spring 2020 brush pick up and providing compensation to Helotes residents for the cancelled service. (Council Member Massey and Council Member Holmes)

  • Motion by CM Massey to discuss and take action on the Spring 2020 brush pickup to rescheduled date, second by CM Holmes.
  • CM Massey states that on April 2nd “we” learned that it was cancelled. Believes this should have been a City Council decision. Cited state and county executive orders and how there was not anything that prohibited brush pickup.
  • CM Massey spoke with owner of C-6, states that no one had become sick prior to the cancelling.
  • CM Massey believes there was no compelling reason to cancel the brush pickup.
  • CM Holmes states he was disappointed to find out a letter to the citizen has been issued before council was notified.
  • CM Holmes states he is one of the citizens whose lot generates a lot of brush, and currently his brush is sitting in a pile becoming a fire hazard and area for rodents.
  • CM Holmes states he has been approached over 25 times about the cancellation issue.
  • CM Holmes wants the spring brush pickup reinstated. States we serve the public and citizens of Helotes and would like to continue doing so by reinstating brush pickup.
  • CM Blue states he heard about it [cancel brush pickup] after multiple citizens had and was not clear on how the events transpired.
  • CM Blue states there is multiple issues, such as who has the authority to make the decision, how notifications are made.
  • CM Blue states he is in favor of reinstating brush pickup.
  • CM Blue asks mayor and city administrator is there capacity for C-6 to resume, second question what was the original date, and proposed date for reinstatement.
  • CM Blue asks that moving forward that brush pickup begin earlier in the year prior to buds sprouting.
  • CM Buys curious if C-6 has the ability to resume at a later date.
  • CM Buys states despite the unique times we are in, believes decision on brush pickup could have waited.
  • CM Friedrichs inquiring if C-6 can put us back on the schedule.
  • CM Friedrichs doesn’t want to put C-6 in the middle of a disagreement of our [City Council] making, but also consider their ability to resume brush pickup at a later date
  • Mayor Schoolcraft responds to CM questions:
    • Original pickup from May 4th through June 19th
    • Notice went out about 5 weeks before the first date brush pickup allowed to be put out
    • Several years ago citizens stated it was too hot in June and July to get the brush pickup out, and C-6 had staffing issues safely in the heat and dealing with vacations. Stated January and February were cold months and had complaints from citizens that streets were unsightly because other citizens would place brush out early and make it unsightly during Christmas and even sometimes Thanksgiving holidays.
    • States why May and June were selected because of numerous complaints, holidays and C-6 ability to perform. Provides further history on why decisions made in the past and highlights how January and February pickup was moved to September and October prior to Thanksgiving holiday.
    • States always having conversations with C-6. Helotes City Administrator Marian Mendoza, Scott Moreland Fire Chief & Emergency Management Coordinator, and Mayor Schoolcraft began attending daily conference calls and briefings with county, state and federal agencies mid-March concerning COVID-19.
    • Lists several more conference calls Mayor was in attendance.
    • States we are still in this ongoing learning stage. Cases were on the rise and cites commentary from surgeon general at press conferences when the decision was made to cancel brush pickup.
    • Looked at this issue in the same way as canceling Cornyval, Marketplace, etc.
    • At that time seemed like it a very real issue with people becoming seriously ill.
    • Reminds everyone there is an option that there is have three bundles for every pickup day for regular trash or totter.
  • CM Massey not sure how Mayor can equate social events to brush pickup.
  • CM Massey states spoke with C-6 owner in April and says she didn’t see any compelling reason and call the Mayor to reinstate it. States the C-6 owner didn’t say anything in response, and at that time CM Massey determined this [request to call the Mayor] wasn’t going anywhere.
  • CM Holmes states discussed with the owner of C-6 employee safety was a concern. However, last four or five pickups was a single-person operation.
  • CM Holmes states sees far more possibility for someone to get sick during regular trash and recycle pickup than the one-person operation of brush pickup.
  • CM Blue in favor of rescheduling.
  • CM Blue states it’s a matter of C-6 can reschedule and should trees be trimmed now. Would like City Arborist to weigh in.
  • CM Friedrichs in favor of rescheduling brush pickup if possible but considering C-6 capability to do so in light of an issue the City Council created.
  • Mayor Schoolcraft states not equating brush pickup to social events, but rather the decisions on those items were all made within a short time of one another.
  • Mayor Schoolcraft states brush pickup is a two-man operation and times when you see only one person is when C-6 is short a person.
  • City Attorney Frank Garza states based on Chapter 14 of Government Code under emergency declaration is the ultimate authority, further elaborates that this is local and not state-wide.
  • CM Massey reads Governor Abbott’s executive order concerning essential services, and asked if there was conflict.
  • City Attorney Garza states Mayor had authority and was not in conflict with the governor’s executive order.
  • CM Blue asks about any legal option to put pickup back on C-6.
  • City Attorney Garza states doesn’t see any issue with asking C-6 to reschedule brush pickup for the summer.
  • City Attorney and Mayor discussion summary; same authority Mayor had to cancel is same authority Mayor will need to use to reinstate the brush pickup, not a council vote, and depends on if C-6 will be able to provide services.
  • City Attorney states the Mayor is the Emergency Management Officer during a state of local emergency declaration.
  • Mayor discusses future agenda item about year-round brush collections program, and possibility of C-6 contract changes.
  • CM Massey states would have been nice to know, have been trying to get in contact with the Mayor in the last six weeks, sounding frustrated thanks the Mayor for finally putting this on the agenda.
  • CM Blue follow up questions to City Attorney.
  • City Attorney Garza states while the City has a local declaration of disaster the governing body’s presiding officer, the Mayor, is the Emergency Management Director, so while this is in effect the Mayor is the Emergency Management Director. States not every provision has to be stated in the declaration.
  • CM Buys elaborates on agreement between his neighborhood association and C-6 and would need to be discussed further regarding monthly pickup.  
  • CM Massey amends motion to postpone this item to May 28th. CM Holmes seconds.
  • This item is postponed unanimously until May 28th.

10. First reading on a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Helotes, Texas, approving a project of the Helotes Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to establish a Small Business Assistance Program that will offer zero (0%) interest loans to businesses within the corporate limits of Helotes that have been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19); and authorizing the HEDC Executive Director to take all necessary steps to implement the provisions of this Resolution. (Staff)

  • City Administrator presents first reading which is a process item.

11. Second and final reading, discussion and action on a Resolution of the City Council of the City of Helotes, Texas, approving a project of the Helotes Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) to establish a Small Business Assistance Program that will offer zero (0%) interest loans to businesses within the corporate limits of Helotes that have been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19); and authorizing the HEDC Executive Director to take all necessary steps to implement the provisions of this Resolution. (Staff)

  • City Administrator presents history information on what county and SBA programs provided.
  • City Administrator presents information about the HEDC small business assistance loan program.
  • Mayor calls motion and second. CM Buys motions and seconds by CM Holmes.
  • CM Buys asks if 20 or fewer employees is appropriate, citing how El Chaparral may not qualify.
  • CM Holmes askes about recovery rate and are we prepared for a loss rate around what is marketed.
  • City Administrator states in reply to CM Holmes is that city will review applications.
  • CM Blue asks about availability of funds via BCL of Texas at $200k now or later with another vendor.
  • CM Massey inquires on who is paid and what are the costs.
  • Mayor calls question, all in favor Aye is approved unanimously.

12. Discussion of and action on a Declaration of the City of Helotes, Texas extending a declaration order of local disaster and public health emergency for the City of Helotes as a result of the COVID-19 virus. (Staff)

  • CM Massey motions to discuss and take action on this item as written. Second from CM Buys.
  • CM Massey reads a prepared speech. 1:25:15 in video. Advocates continued disaster declarations is unacceptable due to data and civil liberty restrictions based on actual to-date pandemic impact on Helotes.
  • CM Massey appeals to fellow council members to repeal the state of local disaster.
  • CM Buys concern is what is the cost if we [City of Helotes] didn’t apply for funding, FEMA.
  • CM Blue asks if what expenditures have we already had above and beyond are.
  • City Administrator explains what expenditures have occurred.
  • Council members follow up with questions about time to renew declaration.
  • Mayor Schoolcraft elaborates on what Helotes is qualified to apply for in term of relief funds. States has to provide receipts to recoup funds from Bexar County and the State of Texas.
  • CM Massey asks about what funds are being spent on COVID.
  • City Administrator states part time employees are not available.
  • CM Buys stats has to play the game to get the funds from [Bexar County]
  • Mayor states we [City] is subordinate to county judge and state governor.
  • CM Massey proposes amendment from 60 to 30 days.
  • Mayor calls question. Ayes 4, Nay 1, Massey opposes.

Meeting adjourns. 9pm.