The Brenham City Council gave its thoughts on several propositions in work session at its meeting today (Thursday).
The council met to discuss changing the city’s policies and procedures for boards and commissions, as well as potentially amending city ordinance pertaining to subdivisions. While no action was taken at this meeting, councilmembers provided feedback to be used by staff in potentially presenting updated city ordinances and policies to the council at a later date.
City Manager James Fisher presented councilmembers with a series of proposals for city boards and commissions, seeking their feedback on, among other topics, whether term limits for board members should be adjusted or done away with. He said roughly 50 of the 90 or so city board members are up for reappointment this year and that changing all of those boards would be a “monumental task”, but he still wants to allow prospective board members the chance to serve.
After hearing suggestions, the council agreed on having three three-year terms as the limit for board members, and allowing all the board members up for reappointment this year to stay on their board through 2021 if they wish to do so.
The council also vocalized approval for requiring members of the Planning and Zoning Commission and Brenham Community Development Corporation (BCDC) board to attend specialized training that comes along with those boards once in their three-year term. In addition, councilmembers said they would be in favor of bringing up the number of BCDC board members that can serve on the board while living outside of city limits from two to three.
Councilmembers also indicated they would be in favor of making Brenham Airport Advisory Board member Brent Nedbalek an ex-officio board member, as he currently operates the Aviators Plus FBO at the airport. The city is also looking to do away with the practice of allowing councilmembers to be appointed to boards and commissions
Fisher said he plans to bring the list of reappointments back before council in early November, while the full slate of policy changes would come before council for official approval in January.
The council also heard from Development Services Director Stephanie Doland, who presented a pair of possible revisions to the subdivision ordinance. Due to the rise in both commercial and residential development, staff are proposing the city consider requiring all development, both commercial and residential, to place all utilities within the development underground. Currently, the ordinance only requires utilities within residential developments to be underground.
Doland also proposed a rewrite of the fiscal security provisions section of the ordinance, which details the required processes for a private developer to build public infrastructure within a subdivision. City officials wish to amend the section to eliminate confusion about the required processes, as well as clarify the fiscal security options available.
While councilmembers were in favor of clarifying the required public infrastructure processes, they advised that Doland get input from stakeholders and the Planning and Zoning Commission before moving forward with the subdivision ordinance revisions.
The council also extended and approved an amendment to the mayoral declaration of a local disaster due to a public health emergency related to COVID-19. The amendment suspends city issuance of solicitor’s permits as long as the declaration is in place. The suspension does not pertain to political or religious solicitors, nor does it apply to census takers.
Also at Thursday's meeting, the council:
- Gave second reading of an ordinance adopting the 2020-21 Fiscal Year budget, along with the second reading of an ordinance levying 2020 property taxes for the city at 50.4 cents per $100 valuation.
- Approved a contract between the city and DBT Transportation Services, LLC related to the support and maintenance of the Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) at the Brenham Municipal Airport.
- Issued a proclamation in recognition of Brenham Police K-9 Robbie.
- Issued a proclamation declaring September 17-23 as Constitution Week.