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Behind closed doors; Newark City Council considers half of agenda in closed session

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, September 26, 2018
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Following a nearly two-hour closed session last Thursday, the Newark City Council took action on a number of items.

What that action was, was not clear.

The 11 items listed for discussion in “executive session” included water operator Jaret Holmes (two items), director of public works, assistant city secretary, court clerk, library director, library assistant, Republic Services Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase, gym grant, Pixler litigation and a permit request from the Zayo Group, LLC.

Once the council returned to open session, they voted on nine items, excluding the permit request from the Zayo Group, which was not listed as an action item on the agenda. For seven of those items the council voted to either authorize or proceed “as discussed in executive session” without further elaboration.

No action was taken on two items: the CPI increase and the Pixler litigation.

A number of citizens who attended and waited for the council to return to open session seemed interested in the possible action on the Pixler litigation. During the public forum portion of the meeting, resident Michael Murray said the city had not acted properly when issuing code violations for junk cars and exceeding parking capacity at Pixler’s business, Tim’s Auto Tech. His comments drew applause from many in the audience.

Court records on file in the Wise County District Clerk’s Office in Decatur indicate that the city filed a lawsuit on Philip T. Pixler for violation of city ordinances related to junk vehicles and parking issues in October 2017 after Pixler failed to pay $8,000 in fines. That lawsuit is still pending.

The council did take action on a number of items prior to the closed session. Those actions included:

  • agreeing to a resolution regarding an individual’s water bill;
  • approving sponsorship and street closures for the annual Cruisin’ Days event Oct. 11-13.
  • approving a negotiation settlement between Atmos Cities Steering Committee and Atmos Energy, Mid-Tex Division regarding the company’s 2018 rate review mechanism filings;
  • designating an administrative management service provider for application and project implementation of the 2019-2020 Community Development Funds administered by TDA; and
  • approving a contract with Brian Hall for animal control services in the city.

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