Green appointed as Brookshire mayor pro tem, council ensures consistency at May 20 meeting

By R. Hans Miller | News Editor
Posted 5/21/21

Brookshire has a new mayor pro tem after Thursday evening’s regular council meeting. Alderperson Eric Green was confirmed in the position after a 4-1 vote with Alderperson Lee Nelson Jones …

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Green appointed as Brookshire mayor pro tem, council ensures consistency at May 20 meeting

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Brookshire has a new mayor pro tem after Thursday evening’s regular council meeting. Alderperson Eric Green was confirmed in the position after a 4-1 vote with Alderperson Lee Nelson Jones being the only dissenting vote. Council also took multiple actions to reaffirm the city’s code of ordinances related to construction processes.

The selection of a new mayor pro tem was necessary after Monique Taylor defeated Marilyn Vaughn for the first alderperson seat on council on May 1. This was Taylor’s first full meeting after her swearing-in earlier this month.

Council also took action on several items to ensure consistency in use of the city’s code of ordinances. These actions included denial of a variance to change the right of way for a townhouse development on Stella Avenue; denial of an exception to allow a food truck at the Exxon station at 213 FM 359; voting to require proper documents be filed in advance of construction projects breaking ground; and adopting the fifth edition of the Texas State Records Retention Schedule as a standard for city records.

City Secretary Claudia Harrison said the adoption of the retention schedule was a necessity as the city continues to grow and needs to manage its records in accordance with appropriate guidelines.

“We’re running out of space for filing all the reports and things that we print when we do various things,” Harrison said. “And, we should have a retention schedule on file anyway and this is something that we have to do – we have to have a retention schedule adopted.”

The Texas State Records Retention Schedule is a set of guidelines issued by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission that identifies the length of time various official records must be kept by government entities.

The request for the variance at the Stella Avenue townhome development would have reduced the required right-of-way width for the development from 60 feet to 20 feet. Crispin Reyna who said he works with the developer of the project explained his client was asking for the variance primarily due to financial concerns.

“The main thing is that (council) has to approve a hardship, and just so you know, a hardship can’t be just financial,” City Attorney Justin Pruitt said.

Council discussed the issue and Green said that, while he is fine with the project overall, he was not in favor of granting the variance due to safety concerns, noting that a 20-foot right-of-way would not easily allow emergency vehicles such as fire trucks to easily move through the development if needed.

 “Now if you look at the townhomes that were just recently by LGI (Homes) on Solomon Street – those townhomes are maybe 20 feet apart, and only one car can get through there eat a time, and once this project is done, if anything happens, that burden lies on the city,” Green said. “And we’re required to make sure our citizens are safe; and we’re required to make sure emergency vehicles have good access to make sure all of our citizens are safe.”

Council also voted to move forward with restoration of the city-maintained ditch between Fourth and First streets north of the railroad track. Green said he had asked for the item to be put on the agenda because it had already been approved by council, but city staff had not moved forward with it and he wanted the maintenance taken care of before hurricane season starting in June.

During the meeting, council also:

  • Authorized Mayor Darrell Branch to request bids for a consultant to help manage any funds received under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
  • Authorized the investment of $50,000 into an account Texstar to improve the interest rate the city is getting on some of its funds while maintaining easy accessibility
  • Heard an update from Waller Harris Emergency Services District 200 representatives and Brookshire volunteer firefighting organizations regarding upcoming changes to fire services for the city. Details were not yet fully established, but a new fire department building is anticipated in the coming months and a program to certify volunteers was mentioned.

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