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Council OKs ’Mayor for a Day’ program

Council OKs ’Mayor for a Day’ program
NANNETTE KILBEY-SMITH Dr. Patrice Broderick addresses the La Vernia City Council Nov. 13, inviting everyone to a seminar she’s hosting Dec. 8 in La Vernia on human trafficking. Read more about this on page 4A.

The La Vernia City Council also will now act as the five-member board of the La Vernia Municipal Development District (MDD), following approval by the council during its Nov. 13 meeting.

Councilmen Eloi Cormier, Marie Gerlich, Jennifer Moczygemba, and Harold Schott will comprise the board, along with a yet-to-be-appointed replacement for Randy Leonard, who resigned his council seat and role as the chairman of the MDD board in October. A replacement for Leonard also was on the evening’s agenda, but Mayor Robert W. Gregory said he had no nomination to offer the council yet.

He did, however, nominate Gerlich as the new mayor pro tem, another role previously filled by Leonard. This was approved by Cormier, Schott, and Gerlich; Moczygemba was absent. The city hopes to fill the vacant council seat next month.

Also vacant is the office of municipal judge, filled until recently by Richard “Dickie” Jackson. He was elected Nov. 4 as the next Wilson County judge and relinquished his duties for the city of La Vernia. The city is researching possible candidates for this office. Wilson County Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Jim Burdette has offered to stand in as a backup, should the need arise, Gregory said.

Addressing the agenda in business-like fashion, the council worked through the agenda, approving investing in TexPool as an alternative to certificates of deposit (CDs). City Administrator Yvonne Griffin recommended this, as the interest rates are better, and funds can be easily accessed when needed, without penalty.

A bid of $24,677 for J&K Utility Services to paint the backwash tank, which was moved recently, also received council approval; work will be inside and outside the tank, Gregory said.

Council members also approved moving forward to get pricing and other information on SCADA software to monitor and control the city’s water system. SCADA, or supervisory control and data acquisition software, is used for gathering and analyzing real-time data. Such systems are used to monitor and control a plant or equipment in industries such as telecommunications, water and waste control, and more.

A change order also was approved regarding the water system and well projects.

M&S Engineering will compile a five-year streets-maintenance plan, using data already collected for other projects or entities in La Vernia.

The city also will now have a “Mayor for a Day” or “Youth Council” program, an essay program for La Vernia sixth- through eighth-graders to learn more about city government. The “mayor” in this program will open the December council meeting, Gregory said.

City Hall will change to a new accounting software program at an initial cost of $11,000 for the new fiscal year, following the council’s OK; this will include setup and training. The cost will rise to $17,000 for the next fiscal year. The initial cost will come from the city’s fund balance, Griffin said.

Also discussed was the possibility of researching developers of multi-family properties through IRS-subsidized programs. The city has been approached in the past by such developers, highlighting a need for affordable housing in the area.

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