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HomeMy Public PortalAboutCity Council Minutes 11-20-1995 MINUTES OF THE RICHLAND HILLS CITY COUNCIL • SPECIAL MEETING NOVEMBER 20, 1995 1. CALL TO ORDER Mayor Kelley called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. in the Council Chambers of the Richland Hills City Hall, 3200 Diana Drive, Richland Hills, Texas. Councilmembers Present: Pat Watkins, Reta P. Kaastad, Horace Hamilton, Larry Wilson, and LaRue Wall. City Staff Present: City Manager James W. Quin, City Secretary Terri Willis and City Attorney Paul Wieneskie. 2. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION FOR REARRANGEMENT OF CITY OFFICES Mayor Kelley advised that this special meeting was called in order to consider the use of office space in City Hall. The meeting was requested by Councilmembers Reta Kaastad, Larry Wilson and LaRue Wall. • MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Kaastad, and seconded by Councilmember Wall, to relocate office space in City Hall as follows: 1. Move the City Secretary's Office to the former Assistant to the City Manager's Office; 2. Move the Mayor's Office to the former City Engineer's Office; 3. Move the City Manager's Office to the Conference Room; 4. Move the Conference Room to the former City Manager's Office; 5. Move the Office Manager to the City Secretary's Office; and, 6. Move the receptionist to the Office Manager's space. Additionally, the window in the present Office Manager's space will be removed and a counter • constructed to provide for an information assistance center for citizens; and, to approve an expenditure of approximately $968, with the relocations to be completed as soon as practical. MINUTES OF THE RICHLAND HILLS CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL MEETING • NOVEMBER 20, 1995 PAGE 2 2. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION FOR REARRANGEMENT OF CITY OFFICES (cont'd.) Councilmember Kaastad advised if any of the Council wanted a division of the question, she would be willing to amend the motion. Ms. Kaastad stated she believed the office moves would enhance the efficiency of City Hall by having Administration and Legislative together and, hopefully, would give the City Secretary and the Bookkeeper/Office Manager the privacy needed in order to accomplish their duties more efficiently. Councilmember Hamilton expressed his opposition stating that he believed this action was a form of micro-management by the Council in directing the City Manager in an area of his responsibility. Mr. Hamilton explained that he based this statement on information he had read in the Texas Municipal League (TML) Handbook for Mayors and Councilmembers, the City Charter, and information provided at the TML Annual Meeting of Mayors and Councilmembers and at the North Central Texas Council of Governments Annual Workshop. Mr. Hamilton advised • he had requested a legal opinion from the City Attorney in this regard. Mr. Hamilton also pointed out the economy of the situation and stated that he believed it was an unnecessary expense with the physical relocation estimated at a cost of $968, which did not include purchasing file cabinets estimated at a cost of $1,200. Councilmember Watkins also expressed his opposition stating that he did not believe the relocation of offices would enhance the efficiency of the city offices, and pointed out that these moves were not initiated by city staff. Mr. Watkins requested the City Manager's opinion as to whether the move was needed and if there was a problem with the current location of offices. City Manager Quin advised that he had tried to resolve this matter without having to place the issue on an agenda, however, when he notified the Council and staff of the relocations requested by a majority of the Council, he received objections to the move. Mr. Quin advised that he had no objection to his office being moved, however, pointed out that if his office was moved, it would separate the City Secretary's Office from the Pre-Council Conference Room which would be a hinderance during elections and in servicing the Council. Mr. Quin added that city staff was operating fine in • the current locations, however, if the relocations occurred, staff would still operate fine. MINUTES OF THE RICHLAND HILLS CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL MEETING • NOVEMBER 20, 1995 PAGE 3 2. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION FOR REARRANGEMENT OF CITY OFFICES (cont'd.) Councilmember Watkins requested the City Attorney's opinion as to this issue being outside the realm of the City Council's responsibility. City Attorney Wieneskie stated that his opinion was that the City Council was charged with running the City, and unless a particular function was prohibited to the City Council under the City Charter, then the City Council had authority over any aspect of City business. Mr. Wieneskie pointed out that the City Charter contained a prohibition for the Council to interfere in personnel decisions of administrative staff under the City Manager, and his opinion was that the moves did not involve personnel decisions. Mr. Wieneskie also pointed out that, generally, in management theory, it was thought to be the authority of the City Manager to arrange office space in City Hall and provide the working conditions for the employees. Mr. Wieneskie added that if the Council chose to • make changes in that regard, he was not in the position to say that it was beyond the Council's authority to do so. Councilmember Watkins added that he felt the move would be detrimental to the City, and pointed out it would cause several weeks upheaval in the administration of the City's business. Mr. Watkins stated his opinion was that the proposed move was a personal vendetta of some Councilmembers against the City Secretary. Mayor Pro Tem Wilson advised that there was no personal vendetta against the City Secretary. Mr. Wilson asked whether Mr. Watkins had inquired as to whether the Mayor could rescind the meeting. Councilmember Watkins clarified that he had requested Mr. Quin to obtain a legal opinion as to whether the Mayor could cancel a meeting called by three Councilmembers. Mayor Pro Tem Wilson asked the City Attorney whether Council- member Watkins' request was an act to attempt to circumvent the Council's policies and procedures. City Attorney Wieneskie advised that Mr. Watkins' question was simply to determine what was or was not allowed, and was not • an attempt to circumvent the policy. MINUTES OF THE RICHLAND HILLS CITY COUNCIL • SPECIAL MEETING NOVEMBER 20, 1995 PAGE 4 2. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION FOR REARRANGEMENT OF CITY OFFICES (cont'd.j Councilmember Kaastad stated for the record that there was no personality conflict with the City Secretary. Councilmember Wall also stated for the record that there was nothing personal against the City Secretary. VOTE ON MOTION: The motion carried by a vote of 3 to 2, with Councilmembers Hamilton and Watkins casting the negative votes. The Council further discussed issues related to the scheduling of the special meeting, provisions of the Open Meetings Act, and the request for a written response from the City Attorney in response to a memorandum from Councilmember Kaastad regarding various items relating to previous office relocations, remodeling, etc. • 3. ADJOURN Mayor Kelley declared the Special Meeting adjourned at 10:28 a.m. APPROVED: ~~~~%r~~ C. F. KELLEY, MAYOR ATTEST: TE LLIS, CITY SECRETARY •