Duncanville City Council Drama: Change In How Council Formats Its Agenda Leads to Ethics Complaint

Categories: City Hall

johnettejameson.jpeg
Duncanville City Councilwoman Johnette Jameson got hit with an ethics complaint after she emailed the city manager: "Stay out of elected officials' duties."
Duncanville has a new interim city manager, and barely into her new job, Lynda Humble is already trying to shake up the way City Council formats its meeting agenda packet, a proposal that has proved to be surprisingly controversial.

"A new agenda format has been created to establish a more formal process for the council meeting agendas," Humble announced to the City Council in a lengthy email on January 2.

Why change to a more formal agenda packet-making process? In so many words, Humble makes it clear that she thinks the current City Council meetings have sucked big-time. She blames poor planning. "Several long-standing problems have been identified by both Council and Staff that can be resolved with a more detailed approach to the agenda, staff reports and adopting resolutions or ordinances in lieu of relying on minute order."

City Council members are allowed to put whatever they want in the agenda, but Humble explains that it would "helpful" if they warned her about it first and just got the whole agenda packet ready sooner. "By removing the agenda process from a 'crisis' mode to a more 'planning' mode, the quality of information provided by staff will significantly improve, which will aid Council in having more productive policy discussions." Ouch.

Duncanville City Councilwoman Johnette Jameson returned from a trip in Houston to find Humble's email in her inbox. Her response was essentially: Get off my back.

In a long email back, Jameson defended the council's work, instead arguing that other city agencies like police and fire need to clue the council in more on what's happening in town. She added: "Stay out of Elected Officials' duties."

This meant war. Another long email followed. Humble made the case that while the City Council may get to set the policy, she still has authority to demand how that policy should be formatted. "The format of the Council agenda is a formatting issue, thus an operational issue, not a policy issue," Humble wrote. "The preparation, production and publication of the agenda, packet and all subsequent documentation are also operational functions performed by staff, who report to the City Manager."

Not long after, another City Councilman, Patrick Harvey, came to the new manager's defense. He filed not one, not two, but three separate ethics complaints against Jameson, the councilwoman who email-sassed the manager out.

This also happened via written correspondence. In a letter to the city attorney, Harvey says that Jameson's email had some rude and derogatory remarks. He particularly took issue with her demand that the manager "Stay out of Elected Officials' duties" sentence.

"I view this as a threat!" he wrote in his complaint.

Harvey also argues Jameson had unfairly intruded on Humble's work by sending that email. "Additionally, I am of the opinion that Councilmember Jameson's tone can be perceived as creating a hostile work environment." Or at the very least, a hostile email inbox environment.

In an interview with Unfair Park, Harvey stressed that he thought the tone of the email was rude. "That language is to me extremely strong. The interim city manager that we have is a person that has worked in city government I know for at least 20 years," he says. "You don't address an experienced person like they're in kindergarten."

The council will discuss the ethics complaints at a meeting this Tuesday, which we expect to be awesome.

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8 comments
Paideia
Paideia

Actually, it would be very useful for the Observer staff to attend this February 4, 2014 City Council Meeting.


You could then Observe, document, and report, how nearly everything asserted by "facts for five" below, is untrue, and masking what is really happening in this City; 

namely,  a group of Council members who are trying to usurp total control over the spending of tax dollars, to the detriment of the Citizenry.

factsforfive
factsforfive

It gets better...


Councilman Harvey also filed ethics complaints against the mayor of Duncanville.  Mayor Hodge refused to conduct a meeting because she didn't like the new format and because SHE, as mayor, didn't approve it. 

Problem is THE CHARTER does not give the mayor authority to rule unilaterally, and she in turn also silenced the voice of the citizens of Duncanville by attempting to not allowing the council to decide on the rules.  This is not the first time the little dictator has attempted to twist or ignore the charter, and Patrick Harvey is FED UP WITH IT!

Mayor Hodge was a sympathy vote.  She strung together a narrative about how she was a victim and convinced people she was the best option.  The story has many sides to it, but as a result Duncanville voted for a mayor who has a personal vendetta against the city.  Her interest are not to move Duncanville forward, but rather to get revenge on everyone she sees as an enemy.  This is why Duncanville has lost dozens of wonderful employees over the past two years... Why the City funded at her direction a baseless $300K+ lawsuit against a developer... and why the council has become a circus to watch and a joke to witness her in action... narcissism comes to mind.

I encourage The Dallas Observer to take a seat at this meeting and see for themselves what a side show the mayor is and her cohorts, Jameson & Jones.  Jameson has a sense of entitlement and severe lack of class as displayed in her email to Humble.  Jones is simply a stooge for the Hodge & Jameson.

For more on the letter and complaints, see Duncanvillevoice.com 

Catbird
Catbird

This has been going on for years and it used to be a sort of tit-for-tat silliness that was pretty harmless.


Two years ago Mayor Hodge talked the Council into suing Monte Anderson (Belmont Hotel) for something they made up that never happened and the tit-for-tat disagreement ramped up to something resembling a malignant blood feud.   


The election next May promises to be sort of like the shoot out at the OK Coral and lots of folks can't wait for the show. 


You just can't pay for entertainment like this.   

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

This is just the tip of the iceberg for D'Ville's problems.  There are enough crazy people elected there to start a..., well, to start something that has a lot of crazy people.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

You think we could trade A.C. for her?

JFPO
JFPO

You sounded just like Dirty Harry when you said that.

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