On Thursday night a large crowd of Forney residents watched as their City Council simply imploded with the impact of Mayor Rick Wilson explaining that council members Mary Penn and Kevin Moon had initiated and conducted an illegal Executive Session in violation of the Open Meetings Act.
A standing room only crowd gathered for a third time to discuss the recent termination of the Markout Water Supply Maintenance Agreement, and remarkably Council Member’s Mary Penn, Robbie Powers, Kevin Moon and Shaun Myers literally remained mute and refused to speak.
Mayor Wilson moved the action item on the Markout contract forward on the agenda, and then allowed the citizens to speak first.
Several citizens including former Mayor Pro-tem Ray Stephens addressed the council, and although these citizens were directly speaking to council members Penn, Moon, Powers and Myers, they received absolutely no response from these council members.
Beyond rude and unprofessional, these elected officials literally refused to speak to the citizens who elected them, or to their fellow council members.
An embarrassment to observe, the Grooms Quartet simply stared straight-faced at the audience and never uttered a word in response to the multiple times they were asked why they terminated the Markout maintenance contract without discussion.
A discussion is defined as the action or process of talking about something, typically in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas. However, for the third consecutive time four of the seven officials elected by the voters of Forney has outright disrespected the citizens.
Council Member’s Cory McGee and David Johnson both spoke at length about their concerns and disappointment in council member’s Penn, Moon, Powers and Myers, prior to Mayor Rick Wilson explaining the illegal actions of these council members.
As numerous video tapes will confirm, Mayor Rick Wilson gave council member’s Penn, Moon, Powers and Myers considerable time to respond to the citizens and to the council.
Repeatedly and very arrogantly these council members refused to speak about their cancellation of the Markout agreement, about their convening of an illegal executive session or about their convening a special meeting when all council members could not be present.
When it was clear no response would be forthcoming from these council member’s, Mayor Wilson said “Okay, well if we are going to go down this road I will start off."
Wilson said "First of all I was a little bit set back by the actions of this council, and it may led us down a road that may be detrimental to some but not all of us. There are things that need to be said and discussed openly in this chamber and that's what we are about. The citizens and community are supposed to be part of an open and free society, so I am appalled at the actions of these council members”.
Mayor Wilson said “We had an executive session. There was no deliberation or discussion as far as the purpose that the council adjourned into executive session for according to the government code, which actually included the first motion for the exit from this agreement with Markout. That being said, I did discuss it not only with the city attorney but also, as myself, elaborated on what happened to the Chief of Police.”
Mayor Wilson said “I am fully convinced we had an illegal executive session based on those findings. So before we could bring it back before the council, a special meeting was set by these council members knowing that members of the council would be out, including me. They circulated that they wanted to have a special meeting, Ms. Penn and Mr. Moon, and was told that members would not be here including the city attorney."
Concluding he said "They did not appropriately allow the citizens, just like you did today, to address, which violated the rules and procedures that we set in place a year and a half earlier, so we have several instances where we’re not conducting ourselves according to the Open Meetings Act.”
Written by: Denise Bell