Mayor to refrain from voting
Mayor Claude Brown, citing what he called a city council indifferent to his efforts, has vowed to serve the rest of his term without bringing any more items to council meeting agendas and to not vote except when it's needed to break a council deadlock.
Brown made the announcement after a budget workshop in the council chamber on Monday, Aug. 4.
"Since the last election, I've devoted a lot of my time and effort to updating the (city) code book from prehistoric status to today's standards," Brown said. "If the council doesn't feel justified in that, I'm wasting my time."
Brown pointed to two of his recent efforts to get city ordinances changed. One would have made it illegal to park on the sides of certain city streets; the other would have made keeping a dog that barks and continually annoys neighbors a criminal offense.
Both were referred by the council to the Planning and Zoning Commission for further research.
"When one person inconveniences a large number of other people for personal convenience, like the parking issue, that's not right," Brown said. "The convenience should be for the larger number of people. … I don't know the intent of sending it to (the Planning and Zoning Commission), but that's a pretty open and shut matter in my book, when the building official and the city manager and the planning staff is happy with a suggestion but the council can't make a decision."
Brown said he'd received several complaints about barking dogs in Port Aransas, and other council members agreed at the time that they had also heard complaints.
"When the code books can address hippopotamuses and giraffes and monkeys and rhinoceroses, but not barking dogs … I introduced a phrase to clarify, and the phrase used to me was, 'What more do you want? We're wasting time.' We're not, we're trying to clean up the code book," Brown said.
Asked for a reaction, Councilman Keith Donley said, "That's an unusual way to lead."
"That's up to the mayor," Councilman Charles Bujan said. "It's strictly his decision."
Councilman Mike Hall and Councilwoman Glenda Balentine were not available for comment. Councilman Rick Pratt declined to comment on Brown's decision.
Councilman Keith McMullin pointed out that street and drainage projects and a proposed bond election for November were deisions of the city council as a whole, including Brown..
"I don't know why the Mayor chose not to participate in the budget and bond discussions and subsequent votes," McMullin said.