Some elected city officials think you don’t need to know this!

A Brady City Council meeting was held April 4, 2000. The following morning, Wednesday, April 5, the meeting was discussed on radio station KNEL’s TTO show. As had been the case on a number of earlier editions of that show, the mayor pro tem, Grant Evridge, represented the city with an overview of that council meeting. Around Brady, its no secret we have a divided City Council. Four to one. (5-1, if you count the mayor). As the minority member, I have continuously fought, often unsuccessfully, for the application of sound business practices consistent with our City Charter and other prevailing laws in the conduct of your business. I believe being trusted with your money is your ultimate vote of confidence; one which cannot be taken lightly. Finally, I believe you must be given full, honest information about how the public money is spent. The mayor pro tem has demonstrated a tendency to inaccurately communicate facts. The past two years have given us many examples of that habit. On the April 5 TTO show, he gave you undocumented, unconfirmed, incomplete information regarding a proposed city project. This tactic, used to enlist your support for a project, is highly offensive. I also am concerned that Grant Evridge, as a candidate, is using his position as mayor pro tem, to get free ‘radio time’ not available to other candidates in pursuit of his bid for reelection. I met with Mayor Clarence Friar, following the April 5 TTO show, and expressed my concerns on these two matters. The mayor stated that he agreed with my concerns. He promised that he, as the individual most instrumental in scheduling the city representative for the TTO show, would, in the future, schedule Gary Broz, the City Manager for the program. That is fair to all concerned. Gary should be, by definition of his position, without political bias, honest, and objective in his presentation. The next City Council meeting was April 18. What a surprise to listen to the TTO show on April 19 and find Grant Evridge again speaking to you about the previous night’s meeting. What happened to the mayor’s promise’ As usual, the presentation had a substantial slant’once again corrupting the integrity of our public information program. Since the Council ‘majority’ has had a continuing media exposure, with attendant slanted, or outright false information, please permit me to submit a ‘minority report’. The following is offered for your consideration: The G. Rollie White Complex improvements did not cost approximately $163,000, as you were told. Labor costs for city employees were charged to other city department accounts for the first eleven months of the project. A lot more of your money was spent on the project than you were told’how much, no one knows. Possibly, near $300,000′ Does it concern you when you are given false information about where your money is spent, while in the next breath, your elected officials are telling you we don’t have the money to pave streets’ The infrastructure improvements, including paving, on 6th street from the mayor’s driveway to Parkview, cost $35,000, according to the city manager. Again, labor charges were not identified to the project; therefore, we don’t know the total cost – possibly twice the $35,000 reported cost’ That took care of their special interest infrastructure projects. Now, the mayor and mayor pro tem have stated they believe each of us should be given the opportunity to pay for paving in front of our homes. Let’s all take a deep breath and get serious! No legal opinion, as is required by law, is on file for the rodeo contract. You were told there is a legal opinion. That is not true. Yes, it is a minor administrative issue, but one that has much larger implications, as many of you are now realizing. The city is spending your tax money to subsidize the rodeo, contrary to what you have been told. Whether it happens in our nation’s capitol or our own city hall, I’m troubled when our governments lie to us. I have concern with fairness in ticketing our seniors with resultant steep fines, without first issuing warning tickets for ‘seat belt violations’. As this is being done, a city councilman parks on the sidewalk, blocking a handicap access ramp on South Bridge Street. Funny how, when half the folks in town are buzzing about this gross disregard for the law, our police can’t find the violator! That’s not a problem with our cops – it’s a problem with your elected officials they work for! You should demand equal enforcement of the law for all citizens, not selective enforcement, with oversight for the few. You have a right to expect your elected officials to respect and obey the same laws you must obey! On the TTO show April 26, the mayor pro tem, Grant Evridge stated that he and Mayor Friar have been working on getting our streets paved, and that their views were somewhat at variance with Councilmen Barley, Browning, and Mills. Funny’the name of Councilman Sharp was omitted from that list. The reason Councilman Sharp’s name was not mentioned is that the matter had not been discussed in City Council Chambers, as required by law. Please, you must insist that your elected officials get the business of our city out of the cab of the mayor’s pickup and back into council chambers where the laws of our city and state require it be conducted. Contrary to what you have been led to believe, I appreciate, respect, and support our city manager, Gary Broz. Gary, and our city staff are dedicated, hard working employees for whom we all should be grateful. They are to be complimented for many good things they have done the past year. My only concern with Gary Broz is the fact that several of your elected officials will not leave him alone long enough to do his job. Neither the mayor, nor any individual city council member have the authority, according to our city charter, to exert influence on the decision process of the city manager. Requirements of the law aside, it happens every day! Let’s insist that the mayor and city council members practice government the only place it’s legal to practice it’in council chambers; not in the city manager’s office! I hope you agree that you have the right to both sides of the issues which come before your city council. I told the mayor, in our meeting following the April 5 TTO show, that if our agreement to have the city manager provide radio reports on council meetings was not honored, I would be left with no alternative other than to write a minority report for publication in the newspaper. With the same ‘spit in your eye’ arrogance shown by continually parking on a handicap access ramp, the agreement between the mayor and me, made less than one month ago, was ignored. Several months ago, after receiving numerous complaints of our city failing to honor commitments, I recommended a city motto’Promise what you will deliver’Deliver what you promise’. I deliver this minority report to you, the people of Brady, as I promised Mayor Friar I would. Respectfully, Larry L. Sharp Councilman, Place 1 City of Brady, Texas

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