COFFEE CITY, Texas (KETK) — Two months ago, three city council members and the city secretary all resigned from their positions with Coffee City. Monday evening, city officials were to meet in a quorum with the hopes of finally filling those vacant positions.
“They did not notify me that they were going to be absent. They have been a no-call, no-show. So, the meeting is adjourned at 6:01 p.m. Meeting adjourned,” said Frank Serrato, Mayor of Coffee City.
Monday evening’s meeting was held at Coffee City’s city hall to address council members who have resigned from their positions, but only two members out of the six needed were in attendance.
“Please hang in there and be patient. I wish citizens would call out their council members, but that hasn’t happened. If it has, they still haven’t come back,” said Mayor Serrato.
According to the Coffee City police chief, some of the reasons behind city council members leaving include dissatisfaction with operations, the use of city property without proper approval and racial remarks between employees.
“I picked up the phone and I called the mayor and said, ‘Look… you’re Latino and I’m Latino. We have minorities here and in our community. I’m not going to have this.’ Whether they’re on city time or not, where we conduct ourselves still reflects on the city,” said Chief Portillo.
He stresses the importance of why the city needs to resolve these issues so as to not run risks for the public.
“What really upset me was the fact that city council members would just say ‘you know what, I don’t care what happens to the citizens and their public safety but we’re just not gonna show up and approve the budget.’ That really struck a chord with me and led to why I posted a video and reassured the citizens online. The political stuff, they can keep doing what they’re doing, but when it comes to public safety as long as I’m chief, we will be here,” said Portillo.
The council members who did not make an appearance Monday evening could be fined anywhere between $300 to $1,200, while including fines for previous missed meetings.
“I feel bad for the citizens. I’m not too worried about myself. I’ll be fine and continue to do my part. But it worries me because they play the blame game and this is not all on me. I have yet to vote for anything. I recommend they vote and I’m still hoping that we can vote on something,” said Serrato.
Mayor Serrato shared that they will have to wait on the city attorney regarding what their next steps will be and how to go about filling those vacancies. Coffee City hopes to move forward in a positive direction in the near future.