Glen Rose City Council members on Monday night voted to offer a one-year contract to City Administrator Chester Nolen, who had been working on a monthly at-will basis since November. Nolen was originally hired for the position in November 2015, filling the position that was held at that time by then-interim City Administrator Terri Johnson.
Mayor Sam Moody told the Glen Rose Reporter that terms of Nolen’s contract have not yet been announced, but the council members and Nolen “agreed, in essence, verbally” during the executive session following the regular council meeting at Town Hall.
When the city attorney draws up the contract terms, the five members of the City Council — Robert Marquez, Mike Jones, Sandra Ramsey, Dennis Moore and Doug Mitchell — will give either an up or down vote. Moody estimated that will happen in the next couple of weeks.
The finished contract will be emailed to the council members, and Nolen will also have a look at it before he finalizes the deal with his signature.
“Once it has gotten the affirmative from a majority, then it will get signed,” Moody said.
Dennis Moore was the lone council member who did not vote to offer the contract. He said Tuesday that he would have preferred to keep the current at-will status in place.
“I abstained,” Moore said. “I wasn’t for that, but the majority prevails. I’m skittish about that these days — skittish about contracts.”
Action was also taken on several other issues on the agenda Monday.
Moody noted “many people will be happy to hear the council accepted an amendment to the zoning regulations for carports and accessory buildings.”
They mayor added that the revision means “more latitude” will be given for placement of minor structures at residential sites, and commented that the old zoning regulation was outdated and too restrictive because it was written mostly with carports in mind.
The council discussed the ending of the city’s interlocal agreement for its Glen Rose Animal Control officers to handle issues involving stray and problem animals within the county. The agreement officially ended on Sept. 30. No action was taken Monday.
Last month the city notified Somervell County Commissioners that residents living outside the city will have to pay a fee if they bring stray animals to the facility. Animal Control also no longer will respond to calls to pick up animals in Somervell County that are not within the city limits.
Moody said that “the city is receptive to further discussion, but as it stands now the county has made it clear it does not intend to take any action.”
The Commissioners Court had expressed the idea of increasing the amount it would contribute to its part in the Animal Control budget, if maintenance of three parks in Glen Rose were to be taken over by the city. But, Moody noted, the council insists that those two matters be discussed separately — not as a package deal.
“So, the matter is back with the county,” Moody stated.
In other matters, the council approved changing the name of the Paluxy Bluegrass Festival, which is held twice a year at Oakdale Park in Glen Rose, back to its original name — the Glen Rose Bluegrass Jamboree. The spring bluegrass event will retain the name Paluxy Bluegrass Festival, but only for 2017 because promotional materials have already been printed.
The name change to Glen Rose Bluegrass Jamboree will happen starting with the fall event, which is also now officially sponsored by the city of Glen Rose.
Also at Monday’s meeting, Mayor Moody announced the names of six people she appointed to serve on a committee to “work on a two-year and a five-year plan for Oakdale Park from all angles.”
Moody said that will involve highlighting and enhancing the historic value of the park,” along with making it more attractive for tourists and residents.
The appointees Moody named from local government bodies were city council member Doug Mitchell, recently-named Oakdale Park manager Michael Leamons and City Administrator Chester Nolen. The three residents named to the committee are Randy Hurtado, Julia Douglas and Danielle Elliott.