Council fails again to accept City Manager resignation

During its regular Mar. 02, 2021 meeting, the Forney City Council met to consider food truck rules, received a "clean" audit report, delay bond committee appointments, failed again to approve resignation of City Manager Carson. (watch official video)

  • Approved as a consent item:
    • a Resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a contract with the Kaufman County Election Administrator for the May 1, 2021, General Election.

  • Held Public Hearings -
    • Approved an Ordinance amending the City of Forney Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance by providing a definition and regulations for Food Trucks/Trailers, with reducing CUP fee from 400 to 100, reducing 60-day break to 30 days.
          Mr. Morgan said staff did more research, and to make it easier, this will require just one permit for the year.  Most cities have different regulations, require several or none CUPs.  Council could decide to not require CUP, but they would lose the ability to regulate which locations a food truck could setup in.  Ms. Powers asked about the length of permit - Mr. Morgan said was 60 days with multiple permits, which council didn't like, so now just one CUP, still require restroom access, regulates storage, all other requirements.  This allows P&Z and council to approve an particular location.  Otherwise, they could setup anywhere, staff would have to verify their permits.  Mr. Myers asked if still have a 30 or 60 days break? Mr. Morgan said it does, 60 days with 30 day break, but council can remove that.  Mr. Myers asked about other city's fees - Mr. Morgan said some have one-time fee, but they don't use 3rd party inspectors.  In Rockwall $300, Dallas 471 permit _ 185 / yr.  This would be 400, 300 for inspection 100 fire, then 400 CUP fee.  Mayor Penn said that sounds expensive, Ms. Powers agreed, don't want to make it too hard, but likes the 30 day break.  Mayor Penn asked if could lower fee and raise it later; Mr. Morgan said could look at CUP fee.  Mr. Traylor asked if only one location for CUP - yes, as it relates to property.  Mr. Traylor said he has an issue with that, doesn't want to over-regulate.  Mr. Myers asked about other 2 food truck situations - A) can get mobile permit, not setting up at one spot. B) special event, temporary permit and inspection.  To not require multiple permits, could do away CUP requirement.  Which would allow setting up at any non-residential location. 
          There was no public input.

  • Receive annual audit presentation by Pattillo, Brown & Hill.
        Ms. Woodham said required to have this every year.  Chris Pruit then presented the audit; last year got GFOA award, this year should receive another.  General fund 6.1 million, annual expenditures of 19.2 m, that's healthy.  Utility fund 23.2 mil, expend 16.8, also healthy.  GF fund took in 3.6 mil more, spent 1.8 mil less.  Two opinion letters - unmodified (clean) so free of misstatements.  2nd is compliance, check controls over cash and data, nothing came to their attention.  Mr. Johnson thanked staff for keeping healthy reports.
  • Overview of the Technology, Facilities, GIS, Fleet, and Grounds departments current and future plans.
        Mr. Cardwell said he's been here two years, have come a long way in these groups.  Facilities is custodial and repairs.  Fleet is a new group, to consolidate vehicle costs and maintenance.  Grounds was approved just a few weeks ago, doing what was previously contracted out.  GIS is Jason Brenner, taking all the info about infrastructure, working it into the PD & FD systems to control routing.  Every department is replacing their core software systems, should all be replaced in 18 months.  City is busting at the seams, working on how to solve that problem.
        Mr. Johnson saw the crews working on medians, asked if grounds crew does everything non-park.  Yes, but includes smaller parks for fertilization and mowing.  Mayor Penn asked if anyone licensed for fertilization; Mr. Cardwell said will be in a week, two staff enrolled in courses.
  • Tabled until next meeting making appointments to the Bond Committee.
        Mayor Penn said they have the applications; Mr. Thatcher said the 10 citizens and 2 council members, can proceed by moving to appoint members and voting, could also discuss in executive session.  Several members haven't had time to review information.
  • Public Comment - none.
  • Held a 87-minute executive session re:
    • Section 7.04, City of Forney Personnel Policy Manual - Formal Grievance filed by Chief Lunt on February 21, 2021.
    • City Manager
    • City Attorney
    • City Secretary
    • Municipal Judges
    • Project Victory

  • Mr. Traylor moved to Request immediate resignation of City Manager Tony Carson, second by Mr. Johnson.
    Discussion: Cooper: no comment.  Powers: struggling on what to say.  Myers: no comment.  Moon: no comment.  Powers: none.  Mayor Penn read a prepared statement: "As the city mayor, I'm obligated to our people.  As a leader myself, one of the key attributes to being a great leader is welcoming and tolerating differences of opinion and disagreements. I welcome people who feel comfortable providing constructive criticism and alternative perspectives.  Weak leaders, on the other hand, take disagreement personally, they wave it off as unimportant and, at worst, work to remove those who disagree.  Over the weekend, your poor decision, Mr. Carson, brought more painful awareness of your inept leadership when you created a new position and appointed a person to deputy City Manager; you proved you're not interested in anyone's opinions, nor did you ever think it necessary to explain your funding plan detailing the cost to our tax-payers for this role.  You have put the entire city at risk, by making such hasty, reactive decisions by yourself without following any formal process, vetting or execution plan.  You did not submit a request for qualified applicants with experience in this field to apply.  You did not follow protocol .  Your decisions have not just affected you, they have affected our city, associates, and our government body.  This is quite unfortunate.  I cannot be supportive of such decisions, especially those that have the potential of putting the city's safety and security at risk.  This is very dangerous.  We need to move forward from poor decisions, the negative culture that have been created in the management of our employees through fear and intimidation.  We are here to serve the pleasure of the people, and shouldn't forget or take the charter lightly.  In light of the recent events, it is clear and evident the citizens of Forney are calling for your resignation.  I, Mayor Mary Penn, request for you to make the right decision so our city can start to heal and move forward.  Please respectfully submit your resignation immediately as Forney's City Manager "
    The motion failed 3 - 4: For: Johnson, Traylor, Penn; Against: Cooper, Powers, Myers, Moon.
  • Mr. Traylor moved to approve raises for tabled employees except Mr. Carson, approved 5-2 (Against:Cooper, Myers)
  • Myers said his vote was based on being in a previous review period, zero to do with any thing facing the city at the moment.
  • Adjourned at 2133
Tuesday, 2021, March 2