Posted: Oct 2, 2012 6:04 PM by Andrew Ellison - email@example.com
Updated: Oct 2, 2012 6:53 PM
ODEM - City council members in Odem could start getting fined when they miss council meetings. Tonight, the city council will discuss possibly imposing a $3 fee every time a council member misses a meeting.
There are five council members total in Odem. In order to hold a regular meeting, three council members need to show up. For a special called meeting where major decisions are made, four council members need to show up. That means that if just two council members aren't there, the meeting gets cancelled.
And even though council members get paid $150 for each regular meeting, they don't get paid for the special meetings or public hearings, and that's where attendance has been an issue.
So, we went to city hall to look through the council attendance records for the last year.
According to the records, there have been 10 total absences in the last year. Eight of those have been during special meetings and hearings, when council members don't get paid.
Most of the absences have come from two council members: Armando Ortiz and Isaac Dominguez. Each have missed three meetings.
Mayor Billy Huerta says he will suggest that the council raise the fee from $3 to $20 or $25 at tonight's council meeting. We asked him if council members not getting paid for special meetings had something to do with them not showing up.
"Yes, I think it does," Huerta replied.
Then we asked if that's why a fee is necessary to get them to the meetings.
"Correct, and maybe we'll get more participation from them now," Huerta answered.
Now, the council will vote tonight on whether or not to approve this proposed fee.
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