The council’s post-audit glow didn’t last long after Allison Biggs, Mt. Enterprise City Attorney, broke the sad news that she will, in the near future, be submitting her letter of resignation.
“I’m going to be submitting my resignation. It’s Jon’s fault,” joked Biggs. “He’s out there doing such a good job that I’m having to turn away cases of people he’s arresting. I’ve very much enjoyed my work here and I really, really love that I’ve gotten to know all of you. Suzanne and Khristy do all the work and I take half the credit so I just wanted to let y’all know that. It’s really hard for me but it’s strictly a business decision that I have to make.”
Biggs’ end of meeting announcement came as a surprise to council members with Mt. Enterprise Mayor Jim Reese expressing his understanding and lament for the decision.
“There is such a thing as refusing a resignation,” said Reese jokingly. “It is with a sad heart that I listen to your comment. We have had a great working relationship with you and we will miss you.”
Biggs will be assisting in the city’s transition to a new legal representative.
On a more positive note, the council chose two qualified candidates to receive a $1,000 scholarship. Mt. Enterprise Seniors Nevaeh Davis and Andrik Rubio were selected from the largest pool of applicants the council has ever received.
Upon graduating Rubio plans to attend Tyler Junior College and later Blinn College in pursuit of a degree in Dental Hygiene. He is a member of the MHS football, track, basketball, and tennis teams. He’s a four-year participant in the Ag program and band member and an actor in the school’s prestigious theater department.
Davis plans to attend Kilgore College upon graduating with a focus on Forensic Sciences and Biology. Her goal is to attend Texas A&M in College Station after she’s covered her core courses at KC.
She is an active member of the Ag program and FFA. She participates in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, is part of the school’s Student Council, is a band and theater member, and is highly praised by her teachers for her tireless work ethic and hidden bubbly personality.
The city recently went through its annual comprehensive financial audit and the results were outstanding.
Auditor David Godwin had high opinions of the function of the city with praise going to City Secretary Suzanne Pharr and Court Clerk Khristy Webb for their understanding and execution of city procedure.
“I like what’s going on within the community,” Godwin said. “I want to say thank you to Suzanne and Khristy. They have helped quite a bit, helping us get prepped for the audit and getting all the documentation ready.”
“I always look forward to working with you guys,” continued Godwin. “I look forward to working with Suzanne. She’s doing very well in the accounting role which is very helpful. On the accounting side not a lot of city secretaries have that knowledge.”
Godwin highlighted the city’s net position noting that the City exceeded its liabilities at the close of the most recent fiscal year by $1,844,942. Of this amount, $505,800 may be used to meet the government’s ongoing obligations to citizens and creditors in accordance with the City’s fund designation and fiscal policies.
At the end of the current fiscal year, the unassigned fund balance for the general fund was $272,916, or 71.08% of the total general fund expenditures. Overall, the city increased its net position by more than $192,000.
The hotly debated City Park improvements were tabled once again with the council seeking bids and information for a play area geared toward those 10 and under as opposed to the basketball court that has previously been proposed.
Councilwoman Mary Jo Baird contests the proposed court citing studies showing that such an improvement would in the future foster higher crime rates and an influx of drugs into the small neighborhood surrounding the park complex. New councilman Jacob Waldron supported Baird’s proposal and also asked that council members research the costs and options available for a more family-friendly play area.
Ordinance 2020-1208 was repealed and replaced with Ordinance 2022-0426 which contains more succinct language for the city to remain in line with the State’s TABC license fees. The new ordinance states that all city licensure for alcohol sales will remain at 50% of the State’s fee, taking away the need for a specified rate.
Council moved to open a new and separate bank account to hold grant funds, which came as a recommendation from Traylor and Associates business consultants.
After some discussion, the council moved to refuse an increase from the Public Utility Commission’s 2021 Price Index Adjustment for Right-of-Way Access Line Rates. While these increases would draw extra funds into the city’s coffers, Mayor Reese and the council chose to pass the savings back to the residents.
Council approved the purchase of self-inking City and Court seal stamps. This inexpensive purchase will help avoid complaints and compliance issues later down the road with the visibility of the seal on faxed and scanned City and Court documents.
City Marshal Jon Randolph was the topic of an Executive Session item discussing staff salaries. After a relatively short discussion, the council unanimously approved a motion to increase Randolph’s salary by 25%, effective immediately.
In this session council also discussed a complaint sent to the city and moved to send a return letter stating that there was no merit to the complaint.