Mock drug bust lights Council meeting, but ‘fireworks’ come later

Normally, one wouldn’t consider attending a City Council meeting to witness a drug bust; however, that wasn’t the case for those in attendance at Monday’s Brady City Council meeting. It was a mock drug bust that introduced members of the Council and audience to a thorough “sniff-out” from Donni, the Brady Police Department’s K-9 officer. Assisted by trainer and sidekick, officer Don Enix, Donni worked his way around the room in search of illegal substances which consequently were planted earlier. The police department’s mock bust was the first phase of a new series of events aimed at educating the community about various duties and services provided by city-operated departments. Two ordinances appeared on the agenda for their first readings, but both received different outcomes. The Council approved the first reading of the ordinance setting speed limits for school zones and one-way streets within the Brady city limits. Councilman Donald Barley requested that the item be amended before the second and third readings to include the required 20 mph posted speed limit which was inadvertently omitted from the first draft of the ordinance. The second ordinance up for a first reading surfaced around designating rules and regulations for water service outside the city limits. The ordinance was tabled until the next meeting. The Council approved the ordinance amending the 1999-2000 fiscal year budget for the third and final reading in Monday’s meeting. Two resolutions that would authorize a use permit agreement at the G. Rollie White Complex for both the McCulloch County Junior Rodeo Association and the Brady Youth Sports Foundation were tabled in the meeting. Both resolutions were tabled because the use permits were not completed by the city attorney Terry Norman at the time of the meeting. Both items will appear on the next agenda. In other business, the Council agreed to purchase a new food steamer for the Senior Citizens Center. Because the item is not calculated into the budget, the item will be paid for out of money raised in the past city auction which brought in an estimated $17,000. The Council approved an amount of up to $4,500 for a replacement steamer and agreed to let the item out for bids. The Council did get to act on one resolution supporting the Great Brady Trash-off and Recycling Event scheduled for Aug. 11-13. The group of volunteers, who make up the new nonprofit organization, have targeted the Old Mason Road as their first line of defense against a growing trash problem in Brady. Councilman Jack Browning added his own personal comedic flair stating that the group could get the ball rolling by starting in his back yard. The atmosphere in Council Chambers shifted drastically following a heated discussion between Councilmen Larry Sharp and Matt Mills. The subject stemmed from allegations that Councilman Mills made opposing comments in public centered around a proposed new fire truck for the Brady Fire Department and the future employment of Fire Chief Jonathan Weidemann. Councilman Sharp inquired as to whether there was any truth to the concerns that were pointed out to him by several concerned citizens. “I’m interested in knowing whether you made the comment that we were not going to buy a fire truck and also that we may fire the fire chief,” said Sharp. “I’m interested in knowing who ‘we’ are who made this decision, where ‘we’ met and what the rationale was,” said Sharp. “Since I am an elected official I believe I have a right to know.” “What is it that you want to know'” asked Mills. “Do you deny making these statements,” Sharp said. “I may have said that we were not going to buy the fire truck until we had a cash flow to pay for the fire truck and I think that’s what we agreed to,” said Mills “and I don’t know if I said that we would fire the fire chief or not.” According to the minutes of discussion of this particular item in a budget meeting last month, the City Council agreed to allocate $165,000 toward the outright purchase of a fire truck. There was no contingency based on cash flow. “I think loose lips sink ships,” Sharp said. “This could be damaging to the City of Brady. I do believe this is very poor behavior on behalf of an elected official and I think you should reconsider this type of behavior.” Mayor Clarence Friar stopped the discussion stating that he believed the issue at hand should be handled in executive session. Sharp stated that he believed it was appropriate to address it in open session because it pertained to the public and the public had the right to know what was going on. “I don’t care who thinks what but I am presiding over this meeting and it is going to stop right here and right now,” said Friar. “We are not going to have any personal attacks on anyone up here or out there. We are going to have to do it different than that.” When questioned later by the Brady Standard, Councilman Mills refused to clarify whether the statements were made or not. “I don’t remember saying all that. I’d just as soon not get involved.” A brief discussion was made at the end of the meeting concerning the request of funds by the McCulloch County Conservation Association to aid in predator control. It was determined that a second legal opinion was needed to decide if the city could legally fund county-sponsored programs. The council will reconvene on Tuesday, July 18 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers.

Leave a Comment