By Larry Briscoe
The West Tawakoni City Council unanimously voted at a special meeting to appoint Brandon Kilpatrick chief of police.
The appointment follows Kilpatrick’s serving as officer in charge for several months.
City Administrator Susan Roberts said the contract was for a period of three years at an annual salary of $40,000.
A beaming Kilpatrick accepted congratulatory handshakes around the room when the vote was taken at the end of a closed lengthy executive session.
His appointment as chief was to be effective with the signing of the contract, expected to have been completed the following day after changes made by the council were included in a final copy.
Provisions added after the executive session included Kilpatrick’s completion of management training, disclosure of city information clause and repayment to the city of any training fees incurred in case Kilpatrick left the position before the end of a year.
When Mayor Pete Yoho started to retire the council to the closed executive session, Councilman Chuck Calkins said an issue had come up on a possible conflict of interest on the proposed new chief of police contract.
“All I did was take the old contract and take out the old names and put new names in,” Calkins said. “Further, if I had been more involved, there would not have been a conflict of interest. There has to be money involved.”
Calkins said he had checked state law and found no conflict of interest.
Councilman Alan Shoemake asked if he did the work on the contract as city attorney or as personal attorney.
Shoemake said he had an attorney general’s opinion that showed it was a conflict.
The meeting was halted while City Administrator Susan Roberts printed a copy of the opinion from the computer.
Calkins then read the opinion and said it did not reference the matter in question.
Shoemake said he would still like for Calkins to check.
“I think you are working a capacity you should not,” Shoemake said.
“What am I doing?” Calkins asked.
Shoemake said he was working on the chief’s contract.
Calkins asked if that meant if Shoemake was working on the contract as a member of the council, would it be a conflict of interest?
Shoemake answered it would not since he would be acting as a member of the group.
Calkins said again he did not believe it was a conflict of interest.
Mayor Yoho asked Calkins if he had been paid for any of the work.
“No, I was not paid for anything,” Calkins said. “I did not take on any duties that would be considered of a city attorney.”
The second of two public hearings on the proposed West Tawakoni tax increase was held before the council meeting.
Citizens Lois Hudack and Joan Hulsey spoke out against a tax hike.
“It seems like every year, everything goes up,” Hudack said. “There are a lot of people at the lake on Social Security and are having a hard time making it.”
Hulsey said she too objected to the tax rate. “I feel like my property value has gone down because of the condition of the neighborhood,” she said. “There was no followup on what was told me. I feel like people should be made to clean up their property.”
The council will vote Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. at another special meeting on the proposed tax rate.
The regular monthly meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept 11, at 7 p.m.
West Tawakoni Names Kilpatrick Chief
By Larry Briscoe