Last week, Gonzales city council confirmed through the passing of multiple resolutions their commitment to reopening Gonzales while following the guidelines of Gov. Greg Abbott.
In a press conference in early May, Abbott announced that hair salons, gyms and pools will be allowed to open on May 18. The businesses will be required to follow certain rules as the state continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the regularly-scheduled council meeting, councilmembers voted to authorize city manager Tim Patek to determine if/when summer youth activities will be allowed as well as whether the city will open their swimming pool.
“In talking with other towns around us, they have not made a decision yet [on opening pools],” Patek informed council. “Cuero and Luling are still waiting. If they open, they would probably open mid-to-late June or July.”
One concern city staff has, Patek mentioned, was lifeguards and their training. With current social distancing guidelines, it would be tough to safely train lifeguards for the city pool.
The city does have a Splash Pad they can open. An announcement will be made as soon as city staff determines a safe way to open both the pool and the pad.
At the time of the meeting, summer youth activities were still not approved by Gov. Abbott. Since then, Abbott gave a green light to camps opening beginning June 1. The resolution passed by council gives Patek the authority to determine whether or not summer youth would be available. The city has stayed in talks with Gonzales ISD. With summer school expected to take place online and not on campus, summer camps were placed on hold before Abbott’s announcement. Camp usually starts the first week of June and ends by July 4.
In other news:
Recently, questions have been presented regarding a Code of Ethics adopted by City Council in the Fall of 2019. I am happy to provide the following clarifications and overview of this item.
City Council adopted a Code of Ethics October 10th,2019. Gonzales citizens were provided the opportunity during Public Comment on this date to present their thoughts regarding this agenda item. Following consideration and discussion, the City Council voted to adopt the item.
The City’s Code of Ethics Encourages:
Freedom of speech complying with the laws of the nation, the State of Texas and the City Charter.
Freedom for all individuals to campaign for their political candidates of choice and participate in political campaigns according to fair campaign practices, election code and the city’s code of ethics.
Fair, moral and ethical conduct working for the common good of the people to earn the public’s full confidence and trust.
The City’s Code of Ethics Discourages:
Abusive conduct, personal charges or verbal attacks upon the character or motives of other city officials, employees, volunteers and members of the public.
Any appearance of impropriety.
City board members and volunteers are guaranteed their rights of free expression and action that are fundamental to democratic government. The Code of Ethics requires a commitment to refrain from abusive conduct, personal charges or verbal attacks on city officials, employees, volunteers and the public to reflect professionalism (Code of Ethics Sections 9.804 & 9.805) Thus, board members are not removed for expressing different opinions presented in a professional and respectful manner.
City board members are volunteers who believe in working together with city officials to direct the city’s future and prosperity. The city currently has approximately 73 volunteers appointed by City Council serving on city boards and commissions, of which 5 chose not to commit to a Code of Ethics. On behalf of the City of Gonzales, we thank all our volunteers for their countless hours of work and support to improve our city. We respect the decision of those who did not sign the Code of Ethics and we wish them well.
Be confident your City Council, city staff and city volunteers are all working united to continue moving our city forward. I am available to you for questions or concerns at 830-263-0876. If you are passionate about Gonzales and interested in serving your community as a member of a City of Gonzales Board or Commission, please contact Kristi Gilbert at 830-672-2851 or firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.
Mayor Connie L. Kacir
Come and Take It!