The mood at city hall was heavy and somber Monday evening as the Palestine City Council met for the first time following the untimely passing of District 3 Councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem Vickey Chivers.
"I'd like to thank everyone who has chosen to be here with us today," said Mayor Justin Florence. "Today is a little bit different type of council meeting. It's a very somber meeting."
Following an emotional prayer and pledge Florence read a proclamation in honor of Chivers which was presented to her family at its conclusion.
The proclamation read as follows:
Whereas it is with deep sadness that the City Council of the City of Palestine, Texas formally acknowledges the passing of Mayor Pro Tem Vickey L. Chivers.
And whereas Ms. Chivers was elected to City Council in 2002, where she faithfully served for 21 years as an advocate for the residents of District 3 until her untimely passing.
And whereas she was known for her integrity, infinite wisdom and dedication to fairness and equality for all residents of the City of Palestine.
And whereas her passion for serving others was evident as she actively served in many civic organizations, including the National Association for Advancement of Colored People, National League of Cities, National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, Texas Municipal League, Texas Association of Black City Council Members, Sisters United, Friends of the Library, Champions for Children, The Birthing Foundation, Family Outreach, Inc., Anderson County Chapter of the American Red Cross, CrimeStoppers, Anderson County Concerned Citizens, Inc. and the Anderson County Appraisal Board.
And whereas as we mourn the loss of a pillar of our community whose resilience and determination are unmatched, we remember the intricate ways she touched each of our lives.
Now therefore I, Justin Florence, Mayor of Palestine, Texas and on behalf of our City Council extend Mayor Pro Tem Vickey L. Chivers' family this proclamation to honor a life well-lived.
"If you never got to know her, and I've only known her for two years, and I was really taken in by how great of a woman she is," Florence said. "We didn't agree on every little thing, but we always could find some common ground to come to a good resolution for things."
The council followed with a nomination and vote to appoint District 5 Councilwoman Krissy Clark to fill the vacancy as Mayor Pro Tem.
In other business a public hearing regarding a request for a specific use permit for the placement of a manufactured home at 1101 S. Jackson Street by CMH Homes, Inc. saw comments both for and against the proposed addition. A lengthy discussion followed resulting in a vote to table the issue pending further review by the city attorney.
The council also approved a resolution ordering a special election to be held on Nov. 7, to fill the unexpired term of office for Council District 3. The city is only allowed one appointment per fiscal year, which was used for Councilman Kenneth Davidson to fill the vacant District 4 seat last July. As per state law, city elections are allowed in May and November only, with a May date being too soon to prepare for an election.
During the meeting, the council approved the following consent agenda items:
• minutes of the work session and regular meeting held March 13,
• authorization of the city manager to seek sealed bids for the sale of city-owned property located on W. Maffitt Street between N. Queen St. and Coffee St.,
• expenditures over $25,000,
• authorization of the city manager to enter into a five-year agreement with Pitney Bowes to provide metered postage services for city hall,
• additional funding for Burgess Construction Consulting to provide commercial plan review services in the amount of $40,000,
• authorization of the city manager to seek sealed bids for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition replacement for the Water Treatment Plant,
• authorization of the city manager to seek sealed bids for grit removal in the oxidation ditch at Wastewater Treatment Plant,
• authorization of the city manager to seek sealed bids for a new sewer line on Henry Crawford Road,
• and awarding an RFP 2023-007 Banner Program to Britten, Inc./Banner Saver for the banner portion of the Wayfinding Signage Package in the amount of $51,666.
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