City Coun­cil votes down ‘Sec­ond Amend­ment sanc­tu­ary’ res­o­lu­tion

Big Spring Herald - - FRONT PAGE - By ROGER CLINE Staff Writer

Big Spring won't of­fi­cially be­come a "Sec­ond Amend­ment sanc­tu­ary" fol­low­ing a vote on the is­sue at Tues­day night's City Coun­cil meet­ing.

The coun­cil met in its cham­bers, 307 E. Fourth St., with six mem­bers present. Only Dis­trict 1 Coun­cil­man Raul Mar­quez was not at the meet­ing.

At the be­gin­ning of the "New Busi­ness" sec­tion of the meet­ing's agenda, the coun­cil ad­dressed a res­o­lu­tion pro­posed by Mayor Shannon Thoma­son at the pre­vi­ous City Coun­cil meet­ing Sept. 24. The res­o­lu­tion, which was tabled at the Septem­ber meet­ing, vowed to "...pre­serve the rights, free­dom and lib­erty guar­an­teed by the Constituti­on of the United States;" and de­clare Big Spring to be "...a Sec­ond

Amend­ment sanc­tu­ary."

Be­fore the mea­sure was dis­cussed, area res­i­dent Judy Collins took ad­van­tage of a new state law, House Bill 2840, which al­lows mem­bers of the pub­lic to ad­dress the coun­cil at var­i­ous times dur­ing gov­ern­men­tal pub­lic meet­ings, in­clud­ing at the start and end of the meet­ing and be­fore ev­ery vote.

Collins read sev­eral quo­ta­tions from Amer­ica's found­ing fa­thers sup­port­ing the Sec­ond Amend­ment rights of Amer­i­can cit­i­zens.

Af­ter a 4-2 vote (with Coun­cilper­sons Camilla Strande and Jim DePauw vot­ing "no") to re­move the pro­posed res­o­lu­tion from the ta­ble and ad­dress it at the meet­ing, Mayor Shannon Thoma­son read the text of the pro­posed res­o­lu­tion. Fol­low­ing a lengthy sec­tion pro­vid­ing sev­eral jus­ti­fi­ca­tions for the item, the res­o­lu­tion reads:

"Now, there­fore, be it re­solved by the City Coun­cil of the City of Big Spring, Texas, that (Sec­tion 1) The City of Big Spring Texas, through its duly elected Mayor and City Coun­cil, hereby de­clare our rights, our free­dom and our lib­erty as guar­an­teed by the Constituti­on of the United States of Amer­ica and demon­strate our de­ter­mi­na­tion to pre­serve the same for our­selves and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. (Sec­tion 2) The City of Big Spring, Texas, through its duly elected Mayor and City Coun­cil, hereby des­ig­nate Big Spring, Texas, a Sec­ond Amend­ment Sanc­tu­ary in or­der to pre­serve for the Peo­ple of, on, and in Big Spring, their rights guar­an­teed by the Constituti­on of the United States of Amer­ica."

Coun­cil­man Terry Mc­Daniel de­scribed some of the re­search he had done in ex­plor­ing other Texas cities that had ex­plored a sim­i­lar res­o­lu­tion.

"The past week I've been con­tact­ing the cit­i­zens of Big Spring, talk­ing to them about this par­tic­u­lar item," Mc­Daniel said. "I have got­ten the fol­low­ing wide va­ri­ety of answers. The first one was that, 'Sure, this means we can all carry guns when­ever we want to with­out a per­mit.' That's how some peo­ple ac­tu­ally in­ter­pret this. The sec­ond was, 'This means we can give a mes­sage to the in­di­vid­u­als that are run­ning for of­fice in this area that we are all for guns.' The third one: 'This means if the govern­ment de­cides to take our guns away, we can form a bar­ri­cade around the city lim­its, arm our­selves, and tell them to "Come and take it."' It was also pointed out that this is a waste of time.

"I was told by an in­di­vid­ual that Pre­sidio, Texas, had passed this about a week ago, so I called the city ad­min­is­tra­tor of Pre­sidio, Joe Por­tillo, and talked with him. He ex­plained to me that the County of Pre­sidio passed the res­o­lu­tion and not just the city. It took place in Marfa, which is ap­par­ently where they all get to­gether. I asked him if there were any reper­cus­sions from the state, and he re­ferred me to Rod Pon­ton, who is the County At­tor­ney and also the City At­tor­ney of Pre­sidio. I con­tacted him, and he said that, in or­der to keep from re­fer­ring to the dis­cre­tionary items re­ferred to by the gov­er­nor, they amended the doc­u­ment and did not re­fer to those items.

"If we ap­prove this ex­actly the way that it's writ­ten, we stand a chance of not be­ing able to re­ceive dis­cre­tionary grants from the state. Af­ter speak­ing with the at­tor­ney down there, and some of the other in­di­vid­u­als that I spoke with, I do be­lieve that we can pass it but we have to amend some of the items that are in there."

Coun­cil­man Jim DePauw sug­gested vot­ing down the res­o­lu­tion and mak­ing the re­quired changes out­side of the City Coun­cil meet­ing be­fore re­vis­it­ing it.

Mayor Thoma­son sug­gested that the re­quired changes could be made by strik­ing out one para­graph re­fer­ring to sev­eral State of Texas reg­u­la­tions.

Af­ter a lengthy dis­cus­sion, dur­ing which Mayor Thoma­son re­vealed that a sim­i­lar res­o­lu­tion is al­ready on the books ap­proved in April 2014. Other coun­cil mem­bers ques­tioned why, if the 2014 res­o­lu­tion is al­ready on the books, why an­other res­o­lu­tion is re­quired.

The coun­cil voted against the mea­sure 2-4, with Mayor Shannon Thoma­son and Coun­cil­man Doug Hart­man in fa­vor of the res­o­lu­tion; and Coun­cil mem­bers Terry Mc­Daniel, Glo­ria McDon­ald, Camilla Strande, and Jim DePauw op­pos­ing.

In other busi­ness, the coun­cil ap­proved a bid from Poly­dyne Inc. for poly­mer for the new fis­cal year. Poly­dyne's bid was the only bid re­ceived af­ter the city con­tacted 10 ven­dors. Two other re­sponses were re­ceived with no bid. Poly­dyne's bid is $53,300, up $1,700 or 3.19 per­cent from last year's to­tal of $51,600.

The coun­cil also ap­proved ad­ver­tis­ing for bids on sev­eral ve­hi­cles and equip­ment such as back­hoes and mow­ers with a to­tal value pro­jected out­lay of $1,062,639.

The coun­cil also:

• Ap­pointed Fi­nance Di­rec­tor Don Moore as an "In­ter­nal Au­di­tor" for city fi­nances.

• Des­ig­nated Scott Emer­son, Bran­don Iden and Alex Calvio as nom­i­nees for the po­si­tion of di­rec­tor on the Howard County Joint Tax Ap­praisal Dis­trict Board of Di­rec­tors for 20202021.

• Ap­proved grant­ing per­mis­sion to seek grants for ad­di­tional fund­ing for ren­o­va­tions to the His­toric Co­manche Trail Am­phithe­ater.

• Ap­proved an agree­ment with En­ter­prise FM for four ve­hi­cles for the Big Spring Po­lice Depart­ment.

• Ap­proved unan­i­mously a Fi­nan­cial Ad­vi­sory Con­tract with SAMCO Cap­i­tal for fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor and con­sult­ing ser­vices.

• Unan­i­mously ap­proved a mas­ter in­ter­local pur­chas­ing agree­ment with North Texas Share for gov­ern­men­tal func­tions and ser­vices.

• Unan­i­mously ap­proved an in­ter­local pur­chas­ing agree­ment with Gabriel, Roeder, Smith and Co.

HER­ALD photo/Roger Cline

The mon­i­tor in the Big Spring City Coun­cil Cham­bers told the tale Tues­day evening...the coun­cil voted down 2-4 a res­o­lu­tion which would have de­clared Big Spring to be a “Sec­ond Amend­ment sanc­tu­ary.” The vote came af­ter Mayor Shannon Thoma­son read a res­o­lu­tion passed in 2014 which also sup­ports strong pro­tec­tion of the Se­con­dAmend­ment rights of Big Spring cit­i­zens.

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