by Michael G. Maness
At the beginning of the Colmesneil City Council meeting Tuesday evening, Nov. 12, Mayor Don Baird opened with a request for citizen comments, and regular visitor Catherine Deason was quick to say, "The roads are looking good!" She was very thankful for the city's rebuilding of the road by her home.
Like so many other municipalities, Colmesneil adopted the Tyler County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Action Plan, empowering the county's Emergency Management Coordinator, Dale Freeman, to officially coordinate aid with the city in the event of an emergency or disaster.
The council voted to allow the mayor and council members to be in a small way compensated for their service. After looking at the incorporated cities in Tyler County and beyond, and reflecting on how several of the members and the mayor have spent their own funds quite freely, they voted to be compensated for every council meeting $25 for each member and $50 for the mayor. By law, affecting no current member, the compensation will begin for each member and the mayor after the next election for each seat.
One member jokingly and tongue-in-cheek said, "Dad-gum, and I just got re-elected!" The first proposal for $50 and $100, respectively, was discussed with some hesitancy. They had also investigated how some municipalities offered free water and sewer for every meeting, but that would have been a slight bookkeeping nightmare when a member missed. The council was very conscientious of their service being out of loyalty more than for any compensation, and it appeared they were feeling a bit self-conscious for even talking about it. No one was there for the money, the compensation was truly small, and the rationale behind it would hardly pay for gas to and from the meetings, to say nothing of the cost in "time" for the members themselves.
City Secretary Carrie Edwards gave an overview of the 2013 finances and the 2014 budget, pointing how several increases and modifications, including a near doubling of the water and sewer account. With several adjustments for 2014, the city was in good shape, and the council passed her office report along with the financial and investment reports.
After plans for their annual Christmas dinner had been set, Mayor Baird took the motion to adjourn, and several visitors lingered for coffee in good spirits for the holidays to come.