Petition prompts council to call November election

first_img Pinterest Petition prompts council to call November election Facebook WhatsApp WhatsApp Twitter Local NewsGovernment Twitter Pinterest By admin – February 13, 2018 Facebook In the end, a tally showed at least 2,757 Odessa voters had signed the petition — enough to force an election so voters could decide on a proposal to add a new Odessa City Council member and give the mayor a vote, even if the existing City Council refused to voluntarily give Odessans that chance.Finally, a majority of the City Council voted Tuesday to call an election. Just not the May election proponents of the changes wanted.In a 3-2 vote following a heated debate, a majority of council members refused to call a May election. Instead, splitting along those same lines, they called the election in November in a separate vote.The majority was comprised of District 1 Councilman Malcolm Hamilton, District 3 Councilwoman Barbara Graff and District 5 Councilman Filiberto Gonzales. They were also behind a series of controversies that prompted outrage among Odessa voters, including the firing of the city manager, secret meetings and the scuttling of an incentives deal for an oilfield equipment company that never came, among others.But some of the supporters who attended Tuesday still celebrated a successful effort to force an election — something city officials say is the first of its kind in Odessa.“The people of Odessa spoke with that petition that they wanted to see change in our City Council,” said Dottie Chavez, a school counselor who helped collect signatures during the petition drive, which began in December after the same three City Council members refused to voluntarily call an election. Chavez said she was proud Odessans will get to vote on the changes even after the City Council’s decision to block the vote in May.“The main reason is because we want to get things moving in a different direction immediately,” she said.There were other mixed emotions among petitioners. Kirk Edwards, a former District 2 Councilman, said he wanted the May election like fellow supporters of the changes but was not disappointed. The council is scheduled to cast a second and final vote calling the election later this month.“The good news from tonight is there will be an election this year, which will allow the people, the citizens of Odessa, to decide if they want an at-large position and allow the mayor to vote,” said Edwards, an Odessa oilman. “And that’s what the petition was about.”For a moment, it appeared the council might reject both items calling for an election, as Hamilton hesitated before the final aye vote.“What is this for that we are voting for?” he said, before voting with Graff and Gonzales.A series of back-and-forths, barbs and winding arguments had preceded the vote.Supporters of the May election, District 2 Councilman Dewey Bryant and District 4 Councilman Mike Gardner, made impassioned arguments about following the will of Odessans.“Do the citizens really have anything that they can do or say in this city?” Bryant said.Graff delivered a winding interpretation on the meaning of state law that conflicted at times with what the Texas Secretary of State’s office had outlined. She argued the council gets to choose an election date (the state had said they don’t). She suggested the council could revise the proposed changes before voters get to vote on them. And she said the whole charter amendment that she ultimately voted to advance to voters might be illegal because it involves more than one change.“Do you follow the voice of the people or do you follow the law?” Graff said.But proponents, including the supporters on the City Council, argued there was nothing wrong about calling an election for May in a single vote. The deadline to get on the May ballot is Feb. 16. And the City Council has called November elections for years with a single vote ahead of a ballot deadline.City Attorney Larry Long said they could not use a so-called “emergency measure” that allows an election to be called in one vote in this case. That was disputed.“…In the past it’s been done by this council,” Gardner said, adding later that “if the voters in Odessa say ‘No we don’t want this, then they’ll vote no, we don’t want to do that.’ But they have spoken and said let’s have the election May 5. I don’t know why we would not want to do that.”Graff blamed organizers of the petition drive for not turning in the results earlier. So did Gonzales.“Yes we had some people that signed the petition,” Gonzales said. “Yes they did what they were supposed to do. But they missed the deadlines. They had some inadequate people that didn’t do their homework on when they were supposed to turn in the petition. Why is it the City Council’s fault? It is what it is.”But in many cases, the council members who opposed the May election just argued why they don’t like the proposed changes to the board or the election.Gonzales and Mayor David Turner squared off at one point, Gonzales and Gardner at another. Hamilton chided Bryant, City Attorney Larry Long, the mayor and Gonzales. And he also made broad accusations against supporters of the changes, including that they had committed “crime.” He refused to explain that or name who he was talking about when pressed by Turner. “You’re upset because we did something that you didn’t like, possibly because of self-interest, not because of the greater good of Odessa,” Hamilton said to proponents of the council changes.Tension resurfaced over Odessa’s eastward growth in recent years, as Hamilton, like Gonzales before, focused on development and backed off arguments about racial discrimination.“Stop putting business over people,” Hamilton said, without being specific. “This is not about a Hispanic thing. This is not about a black thing. This is not about a white thing. This is about a dollar thing.”None of that was really about calling an election. And the petition, deemed valid Tuesday, did not give the City Council option to refuse calling one.“You forced the citizens to get a petition,” Bryant said to fellow council members. “We this council, forced the citizens to get a petition. They got a petition.” Previous articleDAILY OIL PRICE: Feb. 13Next articleMCH’s Cerner implementation showing progress adminlast_img read more

David Oren Hammond

first_imgDavid Oren Hammond, age 78 of Batesville passed away Friday, April 3, 2020 at Decatur County Memorial Hospital.Born on August 19, 1941 in Cambridge City, Indiana he was the son of Wiley G. and Effie M. Hammond.As a graduate of Lincoln High School in Muncie he went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps. He worked for many years as a bartender in town before he retired.David enjoyed his retirement by spending time with his kids and grandkids.  Whether they were fishing or playing the lottery, the time together made his day.He will be dearly missed by his daughters, Candace Hammond of Sunman, Kelli Hammond Lacy of Muncie and Abby Powell of West Palm Beach, FL; step-daughters, Teresa Amburgey of Sunman, Karen Adams of Batesville and Diane Fugate of Morris; 7 grandchildren, Isiah Fugate, Hannah Fugate, Erica Adams, Colton Adams, Jonathan McFall, Cory McFall and Elizabeth McFall; 2 great-grandchildren, Izabella John and Josiah McFall; along with his brother Philip Hammond.In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings, Gene, Ronnie, Betty & Doris and granddaughter, Cierra Adams.His wishes were to be cremated.  There are no services at this time. You are also encouraged leave a message at on David’s obituary page for the family in the online guestbook.last_img read more

Live: DOJ Inspector General testifies on FBI’s conduct in Russia probe

first_imgInspector General Michael Horowitz is set to be grilled by the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee after his report cleared the FBI officials who began the Russia probe of biased conduct, but did indicate improper FISA filings in the surveillance of ex-Trump campaign aide Carter Page.last_img

House Could Vote to Impeach Trump Today

first_imgThe House Judiciary Committee will reconvene at 9 am Eastern and is expected to send the articles of impeachment to the full House of Representatives.The committee will vote separately on the two articles, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.Trump is accused of abusing his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival and then obstructing lawmakers by directing his administration to defy subpoenas. Before the final votes, the committee will consider potential amendments. Republicans are expected to flood the proceedings with numerous amendments. The impeachment articles on President Trump could come to a vote today as the House Judiciary Committee resumes their marathon mark-up session on the impeachment charges against the President this morning. Republicans are calling the impeachment “hot garbage.”last_img read more

Florida’s ‘2020 Python Bowl’ Kicks off Friday

first_imgThe Super Bowl will kick off in South Florida in February, but Governor Ron DeSantis has just announced the return of the “Python Bowl” which will begin this weekend and last for 10 days.The contest, which is open to hunters of all skill levels, is a partnership between the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee and a number of public and private agencies.The Florida 2020 Python Bowl kicks off Friday, Jan. 10, with competitors being tasked to remove Burmese pythons from specific areas of the Everglades. Those who catch the most and longest pythons in each skill category will be awarded what’s promised to be some impressive prizes.“We need to get this snake under control so we can have a healthy environment in the Everglades,” says “Alligator Ron” Bergeron, a champion for Florida’s vast ecosystem.Bergeron says the only way the billion-dollar Everglades restoration project can be successful is if pythons are eradicated. The non-native snakes can can grow to be 20 feet long and weigh 200 pounds.“There’s a lot of invasive animals in the Everglades, but this one is extremely dangerous to the environment because it becomes top of the food chain.” said Bergeron.For those who still don’t understand what’s so dangerous about the Everglades python invasion, Bergeron puts it simply.“In Florida, especially South Florida, the Everglades is our drinking water.”Entry rules and hunting tools for the Florida Python Challenge can be FOUND HERE.An awards ceremony for the winners of the competition will be held Jan. 25 at Bayfront Park.View the video two watch a tutorial on how to capture a python.South Florida Water Management District governing board member Chauncey Goss says the Florida python challenge ‘2020 Python Bowl’ welcomes pros and rookies to hunt the snakes.He said the governor was very adamant that we bring it back, “As part of Everglades restoration, we want to make sure we get rid of the invasive species. The Burmese python is an invasive species and it’s just decimating everglades. It’s been wiping out all of the small animals that are native to the Everglades.”Now, Floridians can take environmental protection into their own hands.Click HERE for more information on the Python Elimination Program.More information on removing pythons and what to do if you see one can be found here from the FWC.last_img read more

FL Supreme Court Upholds Amendment 4 “Fines and Fees” Restriction for Ex-felons

first_imgThe Florida Supreme Court on Thursday confirmed the voting status for ex-felons, ruling that they must pay all fines, fees and restitution before having their right to vote restored under Amendment 4.In an advisory opinion that came after a request from Governor Ron DeSantis, the court ruled that Amendment 4’s language stating that “all terms of sentence” needed to be completed before voting rights would be restored “can only reasonably be understood to similarly encompass ‘the ultimate sanctions imposed,’ including ‘costs.’ … [Or] the phrase encompasses ‘all obligations’ or ‘all matters.’”The amendment was passed by 65 percent of voters in the 2018 election, while its implementing bill was passed last year by the Republican-controlled Legislature.DeSantis tweeted following Thursday’s decision: During the 2018 campaign, proponents for the amendment had acknowledged that fines and restitution could be considered as part of “all terms” that needed to be completed before a former felon’s rights were restored.As the 2019 legislative session began, language in some drafts of an implementing bill mentioned additional civil and private fees.That additional language was ultimately not included in the final version, although the situation led some Amendment 4 proponents to argue more strongly that fines or fees should not be considered part of “all terms.”Several Democrats also referred to the requirement as a “poll tax” that is banned by the Constitution.Lawsuits by groups such as the Florida League of Women Voters and the ACLU against the fines and fees requirement are still pending.Florida Supreme Court Justice Jorge Labarga dissented partially from his colleagues, writing that although he agrees that the “all terms” language included fines and fees, he does not believe that the language was “unambiguous” and had an “ordinary meaning that would have been understood by voters.”last_img read more

Fiona the hippo attempts to make Super Bowl LIV pick

first_imgWho do you have your money on in Sunday’s Super Bowl? Kansas City or San Francisco?Bettors may want to consider the selection thrown up by Fiona, the hippopotamus at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.On Thursday, Fiona made her pick by throwing up on the Kansas City Chiefs toy.Fiona was born prematurely three years ago which drew international attention. This is her third year picking a team for the Super Bowl. In 2018 she correctly picked the Philadelphia Eagles to beat the New England Patriots. In 2019 she missed by picking the Los Angeles Rams over the Patriots.The Chiefs are favored by one point to win the Super Bowl.last_img

Only three trafficking arrests on Super Bowl week, FBI says

first_imgIt could be possible the number of arrests will change. One anti-trafficking advocate said it was quote, “disappointing” that only three arrests were made. According to the F.B.I, only three people were charged with sex trafficking in the week leading up to the Super Bowl in Miami.Officials say they arrested a man and a woman from Miami, and a Connecticut man on charges of trafficking women.The FBI also says law enforcement located four missing young women who were trafficking victims.Last year, reports state that there were 6o arrests for Super Bowl week in Atlanta.Leading up to Super Bowl week there was a lot of attention brought to trafficking, but the agency won’t confirm if that is why the numbers are so low.Florida Lt. Governor Fighting Against Human Trafficking During the Super Bowllast_img read more

Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi laid to rest during private funeral

first_imgOn February 7th the family held a private funeral at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar.A public memorial has been scheduled for Bryant and Gigi at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles on Feb. 24. Kobe’s wife shared a Instagram post expressing the significant meaning to the date of their public memorial: “ #2 , #24 , #20 years as a Laker and the amount of years Kob and I were together,”Gigi wore the number two on her team at the time of her death, Kobe wore the number 24 in his final years as a Los Angeles Lakers star. Basketball legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna “Gigi” Bryant were laid to rest near their Orange County home last week, according to multiple reports.Bryant, 41, his daughter, 13, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash on January 26th.UPDATED: Former NBA Star Kobe Bryant Dies in CA Helicopter Crashlast_img read more

QPR fans on Twitter fearing Smithies exit after Huddersfield play-off triumph

first_imgSome QPR fans on Twitter are concerned Huddersfield’s promotion to the Premier League could lead to them re-signing Alex Smithies.The goalkeeper has been outstanding since being signed from the Terriers, who beat Reading in the Championship play-off final to clinch a place in the top flight.They have recently been tipped to move for Smithies if they went up, so the outcome at Wembley has worried some Rangers supporters.Hopefully Huddersfield don’t try to re-sign #Smithies from us now they’ve got promoted! Can’t see us hanging on to him if they come in #QPR— Scott Crowley (@Scotty17Crowley) May 29, 2017Now I am worried Huddersfield might snatch Alex Smithies. #htfc #QPR— Yousef Marafi® (@Yousef_QPR) May 29, 2017Oh well, bye bye Smithies #QPR #Hudds— Lager Lout (@lagerlout1966) May 29, 2017Congratulations to @htafcdotcom for showing us all what’s possible on a modest budget. If you want Smithies back, get yer wonga out! #qpr— Steve S (@RuislipR) May 29, 2017And a recent poll on Twitter suggested Huddersfield fans are hoping Smithies will return.#HuddersfieldTown fans, would you like to see #QPR GK Alex Smithies re-signed this summer? #HTAFC #Terriers #Huddersfield #QPRFC #EFL— Football Polls (@FootballPolls30) May 24, 2017   Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch) x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more