Heard said he was forced to make a public statement during the items by citizens after his request was ignored.
“At the last council meeting, with every council member present, an agenda item was requested for an inventory to be held,” Heard said. “That night the city attorney actually stated I could not discuss the inventory but an agenda item was in order. The agenda item I requested was killed before the next meeting.”
Heard said he checked throughout the week to ensure the item remained on the agenda; however, as late as last Tuesday afternoon, it was removed, making it impossible for him to discuss the agenda at Tuesday’s meeting.
“The mayor killed it last Wednesday after telling me he was not going to,” Heard said.
The alderman said he is not the only council member who has been kept off the agenda.
“We have an ex-police chief in jail and one former employee who just had a judgment in district court,” Heard said. “Refugio just started a new fiscal year. The time seems to be right (for an inventory).”
“I’m going to tell the council why,” Mayor Ray Jaso said. “It won’t take me but two minutes to kill it... we call the shots.”
“No, you do not, the council does,” Heard said.
Because the council may not respond to items not on the agenda, the mayor agreed to put the inventory request on the next meeting’s agenda.
In other matters, the council agreed to go out for bids again for the Edward Street/Alley Sewer Line Improvement project. The bids came in at $284,190, which is $84,000 over budget. The work was given a high priority after sewers backed up in neighborhoods after the last rain.
“How long will it take to bid it out,” asked Karen Watts, council member.
The representative from LNV Engineering estimated it will be after the new year.
“What pushed it over (the budget),” asked Councilman Lenny Anzaldua.
The representative said the water line was only a foot from the proposed sewer line which posed a problem should a leak develop.
In police department matters, Chief Andy Lopez Jr. announced the promotion of Peter Silvas to sergeant. The selection was made after a rigorous scoring process.
“We picked out the best applicant,” Lopez said.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to give my all to protect the citizens of Refugio,” Silvas said.
In personnel matters, the council agreed to 14 paid holidays for city workers. In addition, during the football playoffs, workers will be excused on a sliding scale of one hour before the public buses leave for the game.