Crockett Council Works on New Charter

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – Crockett City Council held a meeting Monday, Jan. 22 to discuss the ongoing work to update the city charter. As previously reported in The Messenger, the city’s charter has had many bandaids and stopgaps applied over the years, leading to conflicting policies, policies out of line with current practices and even out of line with current Texas laws. 

Crockett City Administrator John Angerstein told the council the city’s consultants had recommend they leave out of the charter, altogether. For example, the current charter mentions several city boards and committees, while not mentioning others. If the city includes the current boards in the charter, any changes in city policy or state law will make the charter again out of step, with a need to be redone, sometime in the future. 

While some committees would seem to be eternal for a city, (such as planning and zoning) some committees listed in the charter have changed over the last 50-60 years. Angerstein said while new updates were made to the charter over the years, none seemed to have ever been deleted, with years of previous administrations able to choose which one of the murky and conflicting policies to adhere to. 

The current charter lists a total of five different ways the city can hire or fire a new employee. Some of the director positions, such as Fire or Police Chief, can be hired by the mayor and fired by the council. Even some of those working in the various departments could be removed by the council, even over the department head’s objection. 

Council agreed that in order to make the process clear and keep all politics out of city jobs, only certain department heads would be hired or removed by council, with other levels depending on their department chiefs.

The work on the updated charter will continue, before coming up for a vote later this year. 

In other business, Crockett Police Department (CPD) Chief Clayton Smith reported the statistics for the month of December, with manpower of 16, working a total of 2,627 man-hours, 480 calls, 25 arrests, 11 accident, with 472 traffic stops. Nine of the arrests were for assaults, with three for burglary. 

Crockett Fire Department (CFD) Chief Jason Frizzell presented the number from his department for December, somewhat higher than the previous months, with 42 calls for service in the city, but with no structure fires and another 16 assists in the county. 

The council also renewed engineering, legal advisor and financial advisor service bids for both the wastewater treatment plant and sanitary sewer improvements, along with water well, transmission main and treatment facilities. 

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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