City of Stafford discussing a reduced council schedule

By Karen Daniels

There is a saying: work smarter, not harder. This comment has become part of today’s language since living in a fast paced world requires us to do more in less time. At last week’s City Council meeting, a motion to discuss the reduction of the number of Council meetings per month was on the agenda. After Mayor Leonard Scarcella read the item, he announced that three meetings per month (first 3 Wednesdays) have been the norm for the City of Stafford for the past 40 years and that he is comfortable with this. “I am concerned for the need for (our citizens to have) quick action.”

Felecia Evans-Smith is the council member who placed this item on the agenda, and she was the first to speak. According to her, the effectiveness of Council will not be compromised by the decrease of the second Wednesday meeting. “I feel that having the two regularly scheduled City Council meetings allows Councilmembers to have time to meet with citizens and participate in civic events” and this will provide a “more efficient use of tax dollars.” Currently, meetings can be viewed on-line or on television as well as in person.

Councilman Robert Sorbet stated his support of this reduction. Mayor Scarcella requested a two week delay, giving City Attorney, Art Pertile, an opportunity to amend the original ordinance and give Council a chance to think it over. The item will be placed back on the agenda March 20 when a vote will be taken. Also in the motion will be a time change from 7:30pm to 7:00pm. “As you are aware,” Councilwoman Evans-Smith said, “this City Council is not afraid to work well into the night to address items that effect our citizens.” This reporter has stayed as late as 11:30pm, but meetings have gone as late as 2:00am. Mayor Scarcella has the authority to sign ratifications of up to $10,000 without Council approval, should something come up in between meetings.

In other city news, Stafford’s Mayor and Council elections have been cancelled. None of the candidates’ positions were challenged by an opponent. Stafford MSD will have an election. Five candidates are running for three spots. Running for re-election are Greg Holsapple and Ed Castillo. Also on the ballot are Aurtura Jackson, Rosemary Garcia, and Christopher Caldwell. A candidate forum will be held on April 24 at the Stafford Civic Center at 7:00pm.

Fort Bend ISD, Lamar CISD incumbents face challengers

In addition to Stafford MSD, Fort Bend ISD and Lamar CISD will also hold board elections on May 11.

In Fort Bend ISD, Vanesia R. Johnson is running against incumbent Jim Rice for Position 3.  Rice is board president.

In Position 7, incumbent Dave Rosenthal will face off against Cynthia Gary, Rodrigo Carreon and Enaohwo Keciana.  Rosenthal is currently serving a the one-year expired term of trustee Jim Babb, who resigned a year ago.

Trustees in Fort Bend ISD are elected to three-year terms on a rotating basis.  Two are elected each year, one from each side of the district.  The Position 3 candidates must live on the west side and the Position 7 candidates must live on the east side.

In Lamar Consolidated ISD, the Board of Trustees have four district seats up for election.  Two board members have decided not to run for re-election.

In District 6, Michael Richard, the current board president, is not running for re-election.  Anna Gonzales and Norma Cavazos will be vying for the District 6 seat.

Karen Mendoza, the board’s vice president, will run for re-election in District 1 against Michelle Suzanne Pineda and Kathryn Kaminski.

Gennaro A. D’onofrio Jr. will run for District 3 against incumbent Frank W. Torres.

In District 2, Trustee Sam Hopkins, is not seeking another term.  Mary Beth Horstman and Kay T. Danziger are running for the District 2 spot.

Lamar CISD trustees are elected to four-year terms.

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