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Mayor, councilmen sworn-in at Monday meeting

The Friona city council met in regular session Monday May 20. Council members Jim Atwell and Mark Osborn participated to open the meeting with Atwell presiding as mayor pro-tem. Both voted on canvassing the May 11 election results as their final official duties, then relinquished their council seats as outgoing councilmen.

City manager Patricia Phipps then administered the oath of office to newly elected Mayor Rick White, returning councilman Charlie Pope, and new council members Alan Monroe and Bruce Fleming. In the first order of business councilman Greg Lewellen was elected to serve as mayor pro-tem for the 2013-2014 year.

Mayor White won the special election for a one-year term assuming the office after the resignation of J.B. Douglas. He will have to seek re-election in 2014.

The council passed an ordinance making the sale of synthetic drugs illegal in the city and approved a rate increase proposal from Xcel Energy. The increase was opposed by many Texas cities that formed an association to save legal fees. The company was granted a rate increase but not as much as originally asked for. A variance for a trailer home at 805 Woodland requested by Filiberto Juarez was discussed and approved.

City manager Phipps went over the April accounts payable and financial statement for the benefit of the new council members. There were several questions about accounts and procedures and budget information which she explained in detail. Some major expenditures were discussed for the city-owned Prairie Acres facility’s new heating and air unit. On a humorous note, she explained that a $7,000 expenditure on a mosquito spraying machine was a bargain off of the asking price of $10,500 because there has been a lack of mosquitoes due of the drought.

Police Chief Mooney gave a report. He is still working on a grant to provide a School Resource Officer, which would be an additional officer. The council then went into executive session and heard from Municipal Judge Deborah Campbell. They returned to open session and the meeting was adjourned at 7:37 p.m. with no further action taken.

The next meeting of the city council will be Monday, June 10 at 6:30 p.m. All council meetings are open to the public.