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MINUTES
REGULAR MEETING
 February 9, 2021

A Regular Meeting was held by the Schertz City Council of the City of Schertz, Texas, on February 9, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. in the Hal Baldwin Municipal Complex Council Chambers, 1400 Schertz Parkway, Building #4, Schertz, Texas. The following members present to-wit:
 
Present:
Mayor Ralph Gutierrez; Mayor Pro-Tem Jill Whittaker; Councilmember Mark Davis; Councilmember Rosemary Scott; Councilmember Michael Dahle; Councilmember David Scagliola; Councilmember Allison Heyward; Councilmember Tim Brown
City Staff:
City Manager Dr. Mark Browne; Assistant City Manager Brian James; Assistant City Manager Charles Kelm; City Attorney Daniel Santee; City Secretary Brenda Dennis
             
Call to Order

Mayor Gutierrez called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
             
Opening Prayer and Pledges of Allegiance to the Flags of the United States and State of Texas. (Councilmember Dahle)

Mayor Gutierrez provided the opening prayer followed by the pledges of allegiance to the Flags of the United States and State of Texas.

Mayor Gutierrez stated he has a special announcement: Council and guests, while seated it is perfectly fine for you to remove your mask or while speaking at the podium, but as you approach the dais or depart the Chamber we respectfully ask that you place your face mask back on.
             
Presentations
  • Proclamation President George Washington Day (Mayor/Tom Jones)
Mayor Gutierrez read and presented the proclamation to Mr. Will Moravits. Mr. Moravits provided a little background regarding this event and thanked the City for their continued support. Mayor Gutierrez also provided some history on George Washington.
             
City Events and Announcements
  • Announcements of upcoming City Events (B. James/C. Kelm/S. Gonzalez)
Mayor Gutierrez recognized Assistant City Manager Brian James who provided the following information on upcoming events:

Monday, February 15th
President’s Day
City Offices Closed

Wednesday, February 17th
Breakfast with the Blue
Abel’s Diner
17327 IH 35 N, Suite 200, Schertz
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Get to know your neighbors and local police officers over breakfast!
(Subject to change/cancellation)

Tuesday, February 23rd
Next regular scheduled Council meeting

March 4th-May 6th
The Schertz Police Department is hosting the Citizens Police Academy starting March 4, 2021 and ending on May 6, 2021. The classes are every Thursday from 6pm-9pm. At this time, the location of the class is to be determined. Depending on how many applications we receive will depend on having the classes in the PD training room or another location. Applications are available at the Police Department or by visiting the Schertz website at www.Schertz.com/351/Schertz-Citizens-Police-Academy, completing the PDF application, and returning the application to the Schertz Police Department, attention Officer Anna Kraft.
  • Announcements and recognitions by the City Manager (M. Browne)
No announcements at this time.
  • Announcements and recognitions by the Mayor (R. Gutierrez)
None at this time.
             
Hearing of Residents
Mayor Gutierrez read the following: This time is set aside for any person who wishes to address the City Council. Each person is limited to 3 minutes, and we ask before addressing the Council, for the record, please state your name and address. Mayor Gutierrez read the five rules that were on the overhead. For the record please state your name address.

All remarks shall be addressed to the Council as a body, and not to any individual member thereof. Any person making personal, impertinent, or slanderous remarks while addressing the Council may be requested to leave the meeting.

Discussion by the Council of any item not on the agenda shall be limited to statements of specific factual information given in response to any inquiry, a recitation of existing policy in response to an inquiry, and/or a proposal to place the item on a future agenda. The presiding officer, during the Hearing of Residents portion of the agenda, will call on those persons who have signed up to speak in the order they have registered.


Mayor Pro-Tem read the following names and Mayor Gutierrez recognized the following:
  • Mr. Leonard Moore, 1653 N. Santa Clara, Santa Clara Texas who was asked recently why he keeps attending the meetings, maybe you can stop going, in answer he stated because it is his privilege. His privilege to not have to walk in their shoes every day, his privilege to not worry when he gets pulled over that maybe that cop's going to shoot him for simply trying to walk away. His privilege to get mad when he gets a speeding ticket, yell at the cop and the cop gives me a ticket, but nothing happens - that's privilege, and it's not equal. We have a system that has systematically lessened the voice of some people over the voice of some people, and until we can change that system and all of us are truly free and equal, none of us are. He stated that if he has to worry about his children growing up in a racist environment, because let's face it, racism is taught. It is not inherent, nobody grows up thinking one person is better than another, they're taught that from their parents, great-grandparents. He has heard lately "well that is how they are raised,” “that's how they were brought up" - you do not see a problem with that? That is our privilege showing. It is his privilege to stand here week after week to talk to you on their behalf. He will be here even if he is the last voice in the room shouting for what's right and will be here until you change things. You have the power to change things, you do not need him to tell you what to change, you know what needs to change. Your privilege is showing by not changing. You know what to do, you should be ashamed, every single one of you.
  • Ms. Mandy Moore, 1653 N. Santa Clara, Santa Clara Texas who shared a personal story, and coincides with the privilege topic that was just covered. It's just been over a year since she received her one and only ticket. She explained that when she was pulled over she went into a little panic, started crying and got shaky and the officer instead of assuming that I was on drugs, asked if she was alright. Her husband was able to speak, and he told the officer that she was fine, she just has anxiety which is true, but then the officer was also shining his light into her eyes. She got angry and upset with that and told the officer that they needed to shine it down or somewhere else. The way she was talking to the officer was probably not right, she does have anxiety, and it escalated the situation, but the officer didn't escalate this any further, even though she was outright upset. The officer took her information, went back to his car, he didn't ask me to step out of the car or anything and my co-workers mentioned that I didn't realize that if I wasn't white, that's not how that would have happened. This didn't happen in Schertz, it happened in Garden Ridge. She spoke regarding she had seen the last meeting and the head of the Police Department said that they are kind of hiring out of desperation. They have to put forth more and take whatever remainder they can get. Don't hire out of desperation first, after all. If you have to, they need training, more ethics training for the officers that are being hired. You have to have accountability for those who show a record here. You can meet with us, the police accountability activists, that would be a great start, and we can discuss this further.
  • Mr. Jack Miller, 4839 Dick Gordon, Kirby Texas, who gave a big shout out to Officer Fennesy, because on the night of the Rayford incident she decided to pull that man over and she did not see a violation. He has taken his film crew out, we have measured, we have put ourselves in the position of her sight-line, and he can't tell if anyone's stopping at that red light or not. It's indisputable that when she made the decision to pull that car over, she had a hunch that he committed a crime. He has looked at each member of Council's background and stated that they are extremely educated and have an impeccable background. He asked if they knew anything about hunches as it pertains to cops? Cops can't take action on hunches, they can't make arrests on hunches. They can detain someone on a hunch, but they cannot arrest someone. Where he comes from, and his law enforcement background, he always taught his trainees don't put so much effort into hunches, ask some questions and let's move on to the next thing, because hunches are going to get you into trouble. This gets officers in trouble all the time. Again a shout out to Officer Fennesy, without her, he wouldn't have made the money he has made so far off his YouTube streams, so far he is around $4,000. He doesn't want her fired, he doesn't want Chavarria fired, he wants him to stay here. I know you don't want him to do it again, but he does, because that is the devil in him. The angel in him doesn't want him to do it again and that's why he keeps coming before the Council to speak. So far he is still fighting the City, he thinks the City is being as transparent as possible and doing the right thing, but he is still fighting the City on the release of the Use of Force Policy, the General Manual Policy. He isn't asking for anything secret, the Use of Force Policy, the Taser Policy and the General Manual Policy (and you are paying your attorney's a lot of money to fight him that). Anytime you want to meet, he can give them an example of how much a city ends up paying to fight him for the release of information that we ultimately end up getting anyway. It cost Leon Valley to the tune of $250,000 over the course of 2 years just in fees fighting him on the release of information. He doesn't understand why the City will not release the information - it's not in the spirit of transparency - it's a simple policy, and he needs it to ask and to answer some questions, that's all.
  • Mr. Dana Eldridge, 2628 Gallant Fox Drive, Schertz Texas who addressed the first part to Dr. Browne as he had the privilege last week of being a volunteer with a tremendous group of people giving out vaccines over at the Civic Center. Summer Hall will be briefing you shortly, Chief Long the whole group. The way they treated citizens going through the line, especially the elderly, top-notch. The other thing is he has the privilege of standing up here giving a correct address (disruption in the room - audience stating the clock was not set - Mayor Gutierrez stated it was a mistake and to please not interrupt). Mr. Eldridge continued stating (the time was adjusted) and that he gave his correct address unlike some people here, and it is hard from him to sit back and continually listen to our city being run down by people who are not from our city and still refuse to give their own correct address, but he does feel privileged that he was able to work as a volunteer in his city helping residents get the vaccine.
  • Marie Fleur, 9415 Hanover Cove who stated it is difficult to see Council celebrating George Washington Day and talking about the founding of this country, saying the pledges and talking about liberty and justice for all and there is literally a family suffering. Like others have said you have tried to be transparent, but we need for you to take more accountability for what is happening.
  • Andrew Perretta, 2920 Mineral Springs, Schertz Texas yielded his time to Pharaoh Clark. Mr. Clark stated what he has to say is very short and is not going to be antagonistic in any way. He is here to say that you have heard before we already know what happened, and we know what needs to be done. He is here to advocate and ask Council is to stop wasting your own time and our time to stop looking at this as an us- against-them situation and take some time to work together with the people that are here to come up with the reasonable solution. We all know that everyone that has seen the video, no matter which side you are on, there were things that were done that could have been done better. We know that there were policy violations that happened in the video that need to be addressed. Instead of sitting here every other week, why not come together and work with the citizens and try to come up with solutions. Come together and release those policies and say what can we do to address these and make these better, so we don't have this situation again. He is here to advocate for them and that instead of looking at this as an us-against- them, work with people that want to work with you. In Schertz they have a very good opportunity right now to set the tone for the rest of the world how they should address this issue. The city is small enough to address this issue in the police department and then to be able to measure the metrics and see how far little changes can actually go in making a difference between community police relationships. Instead of looking at us as enemies, try to look at them as people that want to work with you to get changes that are needed, not only in this police department but across the nation. It's a serious issue, and it is not going away - come together to find a reasonable solution that we all can agree on. If you are open to this he would love to be the person to help advocate with them and help.

             
Consent Agenda Items

The Consent Agenda is considered self-explanatory and will be enacted by the Council with one motion. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless they are removed from the Consent Agenda upon the request of the Mayor or a Councilmember.

Mayor Gutierrez read the following items into record:
             
1. Minutes – Consideration and/or action regarding the approval of the minutes of the regular meeting of February 2, 2021. (B. Dennis)
             
2. Resolution No. 21-R-11- Consideration and/or action approving a Resolution by the City Council of the City of Schertz, Texas authorizing the City Manager to sign and execute Development Agreement Extensions in relation to Development Agreements entered into November of 2010, April of 2011, and August of 2011. (B. James/L. Wood/E. Delgado)
             
3. Boards, Commissions and Committee Member Resignations - Consideration and/or action approving the resignations of Mr. Will Soto and Ms. Debbie Krause from the Historical Preservation Committee. (M. Browne/B. Dennis)
             
4. Resolution No. 21-R-02 - Consideration and/or action approving a Resolution by the City Council of the City of Schertz, Texas, authorizing the City Manager to enter into an agreement with Affinity Family Care Clinic for Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) services. (C. Kelm/J. Mabbitt)  

Mayor Gutierrez asked Council if there were any items they wished to be removed for separate action.  Mayor Gutierrez recognized Councilmember Scott who requested that agenda item 4 be removed.
  Moved by Councilmember Allison Heyward, seconded by Councilmember Rosemary Scott to approve consent agenda items 1 through 3.
 
AYE: Mayor Pro-Tem Jill Whittaker, Councilmember Mark Davis, Councilmember Rosemary Scott, Councilmember Michael Dahle, Councilmember David Scagliola, Councilmember Allison Heyward, Councilmember Tim Brown
Passed
             
4. Resolution No. 21-R-02 - Consideration and/or action approving a Resolution by the City Council of the City of Schertz, Texas, authorizing the City Manager to enter into an agreement with Affinity Family Care Clinic for Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) services. (C. Kelm/J. Mabbitt)

Mayor Gutierrez recognized EMS Director Jason Mabbitt who addressed Councilmember Scott's question. Mr. Mabbitt recapped this item by providing background as to how they came up with this service due to those doing telemedicine visits. The problems with telemedicine visits are they are not doing hands-on blood pressure, pulse assessments and things like this. He thought this would be a great idea, and he reached out to Affinity to see if this was something they would be interested in doing - thus having our MIH Paramedics actually making house calls. They will provide this information to the doctor and when they do their Telemedicine visits they will have this information with them.

Councilmember Scott thanked Mr. Mabbitt for going over this and stated it could not be better spoken and broke it all down for her.
  Moved by Councilmember Rosemary Scott, seconded by Councilmember Michael Dahle to approve Resolution No. 21-R-02.
 
AYE: Mayor Pro-Tem Jill Whittaker, Councilmember Mark Davis, Councilmember Rosemary Scott, Councilmember Michael Dahle, Councilmember David Scagliola, Councilmember Allison Heyward, Councilmember Tim Brown
Passed
             
Discussion and Action Items
             
5. Resolution 21-R-05 - Consideration and/or action approving a Resolution by the City Council of the City of Schertz, Texas, approving the review and recommendations addressing Staff compression concerns. (M. Browne/C. Kelm/J. Kurz)

Mayor Gutierrez recognized Human Resource & Purchasing Director Jessica Kurz who provided a PowerPoint presentation explaining how they came up with the recommendation.

She stated Council directed staff during the August 2020 pre-budget retreat to review the compensation compression that exists within the City. Due to wide and overlapping pay ranges; in conjunction with the City’s current merit program and a commitment in the recent Class & Comp study to maintain employee depth penetration in their respective pay range, the City continues to have compression issues between and within the Public Safety ranks. This is evidenced when employees (generally, long-term or high-performing) are making more than their supervisors. Problematic morale issues, employee dissatisfaction, low levels of engagement, and a lack of desire to promote are concerns created by compression issues. 

A cross departmental team was assembled with representatives from Police, Fire, EMS, and non-Public Safety employees to review the issue, causes of the issue, and to determine potential courses of action to resolve or mitigate compression issues. Following problem definition, the committee delved deeper into framing the issue appropriately with compensation policy and practice while identifying contributing factors to the compression issues (e.g. tenure of employee; pay band width; overlap of pay bands; depth of penetration; etc.) by individual employee. 

In a workshop item on November 10, 2020, Staff shared preliminary findings, including a potential solution to effectively address the compression issue. Staff reviewed key decision points with Council such as creating a separate pay plan for Public Safety (and more specifically, for each department). Police, Fire and EMS all have different pay practices, scheduled hours of operations, and rank structures, which significantly drives viability of options to effectively address the issue. Additionally, in accordance with industry standards, Staff recommended narrowing pay bands to mitigate the negative impact of large overlap between ranks. With these basic tenets decided, the team considered several different types of pay models, and ultimately settled upon a time-in-rank system. Staff has finalized pay plan models by department, and thoroughly reviewed individual impacts to each Public Safety employee. Management and HR met with representatives from each department to review the proposed models and discuss specific employee impacts. Department support for the proposed models is outlined below.

Schertz Police Association & Schertz Police Non-Association
•    Do not support the model as proposed
•    Outstanding reservations: Reduced earning potential, employees maxing out
_________________________________________________________________

Schertz Fire Association / Schertz Fire Non-Association / EMS
•    Agrees it is a step in the right direction and supports the model as proposed, with the understanding there is still a need for further evaluation and discussion on this issue
•    Outstanding reservations: ECI keeping pace with the cost of living; Revisiting Class & Comp in the next 2-3 years; Reduced earning potential, employees maxing out. 

Mayor Gutierrez opened it up for Council questions. Ms. Kurz addressed several questions and concerns from Councilmembers. Dr. Browne also addressed concerns raised. Council continued to discuss this at great length as to what was tasked of staff six months ago to try to fix the compression issues. They provided their thoughts and concerns.
  Moved by Councilmember Allison Heyward, seconded by Councilmember David Scagliola to approve Resolution No. 21-R-05.
 
AYE: Mayor Pro-Tem Jill Whittaker, Councilmember Mark Davis, Councilmember Rosemary Scott, Councilmember Michael Dahle, Councilmember David Scagliola, Councilmember Allison Heyward, Councilmember Tim Brown
Passed
             
Roll Call Vote Confirmation
             
Workshop
             
6.
Workshop Discussion and Update (Ordinance 20-H-18) - Discussion and update regarding the COVID-19 virus and our current Ordinance No. 20-H-18 Declaration of Local Disaster. (M. Browne/K. Long/S. Hall)

Mayor Gutierrez recognized Emergency Management Coordinator Summer Hall who provided a PowerPoint presentation regarding Vaccination update:
Vaccination Clinic this Week (February 11th & 12th)
•Received 2nd Dose of Pfizer (975 Doses)
–1st Dose Give January 21st & 22nd
•Received additional 1st Dose Allocations of Moderna
EOC Activities:
Current Numbers
•Guadalupe: 11,763 with 10,932 recovered  ---  712 Active                             
–Schertz 1,955 with 1,824 recovered  --- 109 Active
•Bexar: 183,436 with 155,698 recovered --- 25,181 Active
•Comal: 8,571 with 7,714 recovered        --- 588 Active
Active case count information in various counties
SCUCISD Active case count information
Testing Positivity Rates State of Texas - 11.18% Molecular 5.28% Antigen
February 4, 2021 Governor has extended the State Disaster Declaration for additional 30 days
State Daily new cases
State Hospitalization Rates - San Antonio 14.99%
Hospitalizations - Bexar County

Ms. Hall addressed questions from members of Council. Members of Council thanked Fire Chief Kade Long and Emergency Management Coordinator Summer Hall for the great work done on executing the vaccination clinic. Ms. Hall mentioned and thanked the many volunteers that assisted with the vaccination clinics. Dr. Browne also thanked the Mayor, his wife Raquel, Councilmembers Whittaker and Heyward and many other volunteers who assisted.



 
             
Requests and Announcements
  • Announcements by the City Manager.
Dr. Browne thanked Assistant City Manager Charles Kelm and his staff on the work they did on the compression issue.
  • Requests by Mayor and Councilmembers for updates or information from staff.
Mayor Gutierrez recognized Councilmember Scott who requested an update from Parks. Mayor Gutierrez and City Manager Dr. Browne indicated that Council will be scheduling a joint meeting with them.

Councilmember Dahle also asked if Council would be having a joint meeting with the Planning and Zoning Commission. In answer, Dr. Browne indicated yes.

Mayor Gutierrez stated that the joint meeting with Parks is planned for March and the joint meeting with Planning & Zoning will be in April.
  • Requests by Mayor and Councilmembers that items or presentations be placed on a future City Council agenda.
No items requested.
  • Announcements by Mayor and Councilmembers
    • City and community events attended and to be attended
    • City Council Committee and Liaison Assignments (see assignments below)
    • Continuing education events attended and to be attended
    • Recognition of actions by City employees
    • Recognition of actions by community volunteers
Mayor Gutierrez recognized the following:

Mayor Pro-Tem Whittaker, who attended the COIVD 19 clinic, attended a ribbon cutting event at Authentic Cuts on Main Street, thanked the Chamber for assisting with providing a curtain over the window that had been broken earlier in the morning.

Councilmember Scott attended the Animal Advisory Board meeting, she indicted that staff and the facility are fantastic.

Councilmember Dahle who attended the Council Workshop meeting, great discussions and conversations.

Councilmember Scagliola also attended the Council Workshop retreat, discussions on the budget, planning, policies, revision to policies. He indicated that he would leave it up to staff to advise the community of policy changes - it is a story to be told.

Councilmember Heyward who also participated in the COVID 19 vaccination clinic, attended the ribbon cutting event at Authentic Cuts on Main street as well as attended the Guadalupe County Coalition Zoom meeting. Discussions regarding the THC concentrate that is now in marihuana and in the gummies that kids are eating is very dangerous. They also discussed policies and how these may be affected by Legislative bills that are being filed, she will keep everyone updated.

Councilmember Brown who thanked Dr. Browne and staff for the Council Workshop retreat, great conversations and knows we will have a lot of positive outcomes over the next year or two to come.

Mayor Gutierrez who also thanked Dr. Browne and staff for the information provided at the Workshop Retreat.
             
Adjournment

Mayor Gutierrez adjourned the meeting at 7:38 p.m.
_______________________________
Ralph Gutierrez, Mayor
ATTEST:


____________________________________
Brenda Dennis, City Secretary

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