City Council Wastes $215,108.71 Tax Dollars

DUNCANVILLE, TX – The extreme waste of tax payer’s dollars takes many forms in the City of Duncanville. The “Special Meeting Extravaganza” held in the Duncanville Recreation Center this past November 22 has to be one of the most absurd demonstrations of irresponsibility by City Officials ever exhibited. In times when every tax dollar is precious and there are so many infrastructure projects that need to be addressed, the citizens must ask why the money was spent on this useless, politically motivated meeting? What is the significance to the 6 men on the City Council to prove that they are in charge and anyone who questions their authority will be crushed in an expensive public display of machismo?
The cost to the tax payers for this unnecessary charade starts with the $49,900.00 that was spent by the council members to film this meeting and authorized by the Charter violating, non-resident, Interim City Manager Corporation, Lynda Humble. This same Duncanville City Council previously voted to change the rules in order to adopt the state law maximum amount of $50,000 allowed a City Manager to spend without any oversight and without a public vote by the council. The $50,000 might not be much to a Dallas city budget, however to a city of 38,000 people, it can be. It is also questionable how close the amount spent on the filming of this disgraceful spectacle is to the maximum amount allowed by law without a public vote. No public vote was taken on this expenditure.
This mean spirited attack was without merit. The lawyers hired by the city as well as the City Attorney were paid to sit and watch. The tax payers paid the law firm of Locke Lord, LLP, Federal Attorney Paul Coggins, a total of $39,130.78 to conduct an investigation that he concluded was a lot of rumors and gossip by third and fourth party sources and would not hold up in court. End of story … not quite!
Not achieving the brutal satisfaction that they sought, the team of Patrick Harvey, Cliff Boyd, Stan Smith, David Green, and Steve Rutherford hired another law firm to “creatively” handle the case. With no other new interviews the firm of Lynn, Tillotson, Pinker, and Cox ran up a bill totaling $107,141.90 led by Jeremy Fielding as the lead attorney. This brings the total for the day to $196,172.68 and still counting.
The time spent by our City Attorney, Bob Hager, from November 10 to November 22, as evidenced by the heavily blacked out copy of his bill was $4,165.00. It is hard to discern what Hager did for that money other than the $1,700.00 he charged to attend the meeting. The tax payers were charged $1,700 for Hager to sit in the meeting and eat some of the $270.62 spent on food for the group! The City Manager, Lynda Humble, ordered 50 sandwiches to feed whom it is unclear with the exception of the City Council and perhaps the highly paid attorneys for the Council.
Then there is the fee charged by the “impartial” Corbet Bryant who officiated over this “Public Hearing” which totaled $10,640. Impartial is questionable because Bryant is related by marriage to one of the previous partners of Lynn, of Lynn, Tillotson, Pinker, and Cox. “Public Hearing” is in quotes because no one from the public was allowed to participate. This is not the total taxpayer expense because City Attorney Bob Hager charged the city repeatedly over a year for meetings, telephone calls etc., in reference to planning this meeting. The court reporter billing has not yet been received on the Open Records request. The police officers were paid $3,097.41 for working the meeting.
The amount charged for renting the tables and chairs was $763.00. This brings the grand total to $215108.71 and counting!
All of the information was presented in a power point starring the Charter violating, non-resident, Interim City Manager Corporation, Lynda Humble who is paid $120 an hour for attending any meeting and billing the City of Duncanville. Why Lynda Humble was allowed to participate at all is beyond reason. Humble had no previous history with the city of Duncanville. Humble worked with Patrick Harvey in Desoto, Tx. The moderator allowed no public input, no rebuttal witnesses, no first hand testimony, no due process, and no respect for a 5 time elected official who just happened to disagree with this Council on some issues, including the I-20 Service Roads. There were no witnesses from the other side allowed to rebut the ridiculous third party renditions of mainly Greg Contreras when he served as the Interim City Manager.
This current regime in City Hall seems to have excessive closed door executive sessions, spends millions in unbudgeted money, and votes lock step 6 to 0 on every single issue. It appears that the taxpayer money was spent to make sure that no one disagreed. Many questions still remain about the appropriateness of this Council’s action and the wasting of hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to accomplish absolutely nothing. You cannot remove someone who has already resigned. Duncanville is a Home Rule Charter city which allows the majority on the Council a lot of latitude with citizens being the only ones to have any jurisdiction if they choose to exercise it. Many citizens contacting the Suburban believe that the Duncanville City Charter needs to be changed or the “majority” on the Council can continue to disallow any real debate or the questioning of issues. Mayor David Green said in his State of the City address, “We now have a 6-0 Council and can get things done”. This statement reflects the attitude of this Duncanville City Council to vote lock step without question, operating behind closed doors, and displaying uncontrollable spending of taxpayer’s money.
The next election is May 9th for Districts 1, 3, & 5 as well as the At Large position. If you vote you can elicit change, so please vote.