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The Ever Confidential AEPEP Contract

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Craig View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 06 2015 at 2:19pm



The Ever Confidential AEPEP Contract
 
 
It seems that this issue just keeps getting more and more entwined and convoluted.
 
In April, after hearing the pleas from Coleman, our state representative in Austin sponsored two bills to ensure contracts between electrical providers and cities could no longer be confidential. These bills would have provided relief to Coleman citizens and businesses by allowing us, the citizens, to finally be able to fully review the contract that is holding us hostage with AEPEP.
 
You would think that our city leaders would have fully supported this effort. After all, for many years we have heard repeatedly that the contract is secret and there is simply nothing they can do about it.
 
On March 19th, a very passionate debate took place in Coleman at the city council meeting, where it became abundantly clear that somehow our city leaders were not actually on board with this effort to bring the AEPEP contract to the light of day. In fact, to everyone’s utter surprise, it was just the opposite.  You can see what happened if you watch the video at http://colemanconnected.com/post.asp?id=1&t=audio-video-of-very-passionate-discussion-3-19-15
 
On the agenda of the very next city council meeting, this item appeared:
 
The City Council may consider, discuss and/or take actions regarding the approval of a Resolution opposing House Bill 2715 and House Bill 2716 in their entirety
 
Many people showed up to voice their opinion on this matter and …… IT WAS TABLED BEFORE THE MAYOR COULD EVEN FINISH HER INTRODUCTION.
 
Of course, everyone knew something BIG had happened to convince Mayor Pro-tem Payne to quickly call for this resolution to be tabled, but no one knew what the “something” was. 
 
If it had ended there, it would probably have just been forgotten history; but, of course, such things have a propensity to live on and get more repugnant as they go. And that is just what has happened.
 
On April 20th, eight (8) city leaders and citizens from Coleman traveled to Austin, without authorization from any board or council, to convince our congressman not to support these bills.
 

The 8 were:
 
  1. City Manager, Paul Catoe,                                      -- paul@web-access.net
  2. Mayor Pro-tem Gary Payne,                          -- glpayne1@verizon.net
  3. Mayor-Elect Nick Poldrack                                  -- 625-3370
  4. City Attorney, Pat Chesser,                                  -- patchesserlaw@yahoo.com
  5. EDC Executive Director, Kim Little                 -- edcolemanedc@outlook.com
  6. EDC Secretary, Roy Poage                           -- porkhide@aol.com
  7. County citizen Kay Poage, wife of Roy Poage
  8. Citizen Rodney Cole Jr, as chauffeur.
 
 
 
Yes, these 8 people traveled all the way to Austin in what can only be described, in my opinion, as a covert action to sabotage the processes of transparency that had been started in Austin to give much needed relief to the citizens of Coleman.
 
WHY did this happen and who authorized it?
 
We spoke with Mayor Kay Joffrion on this matter.  She let us know that she had not been invited and did not even know about the meeting until hearing of it indirectly after it had occurred.  We have a short video interview with the Mayor that we will be releasing soon on this subject.
 
Why had the Mayor not been invited to such a meeting if it was for the good of Coleman and officially sponsored?  We asked this same question to Mayor Joffrion, who replied:  “After hearing that the meeting had occurred, I talked with Pat Chesser and asked him that question and he said ‘Oh, I thought you knew about it.’”
 
Who authorized the meeting and expenditures?  That’s the million-dollar question! It appears that our city manager asked the city attorney, Pat Chesser, to make the appointment in Austin, without having received any prior city council approval for neither the trip, city representation nor the expenditure. This folks in my opinion, is the epitome of corruption at is inner core.
 
So how does the city manager get this approved retroactively (quickly)? Well the most hidden way is to use what is called a consent agenda and that may be just what has been put into play. On this week’s agenda, at the top of the page is the following.
 
CONSENT AGENDA:  
(THE CITY COUNCIL MAY APPROVE ALL OF THE CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS WITH ONE MOTION) – MAYOR KAY JOFFRION.

1. The City Council may consider, discuss, and/or take actions regarding the approval of the Professional Fees which were not previously approved in April of 2015.


The consent agenda is a normal item and we do not know the exact contents of this consent agenda and whether the expenses for this Austin trip are included, yet it is commonplace for this item to be glanced at very briefly and then approved without discussion, which makes it the perfect instrument for authorizing expenditures of this nature that should have been authorized in advance. With a quick glance and vote, your rights and representation can be subverted by your own city leaders.
 
Very sad, very disturbing! It really hurts to see such actions and what is worse, this type of event is simply not isolated.
 
Perhaps it’s time you contact your city council member and EDC (Economic Development Board) representatives that attended this meeting and start asking them real questions?
 
Who authorized this meeting at the city level?
Who authorized the expenditures and who is paying for this? 
Who authorized the meeting at the EDC level?
Why are you working to keep the AEPEP contract secret?
Why these particular eight (8) people?
Why has this meeting and its content not been made public?
 
We will be asking these questions. I pray you understand that you should be, too.
 
Democracy is not successful without checks and balances; perhaps we all need to start checking and making sure there is, indeed, balance.
 
 



Edited by Craig - May 07 2015 at 6:57am
Craig Allen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Craig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2015 at 2:31pm
5/6/15 - 2:39pm

Before posting this article I called the following people to let them know I was posting an article and wanted to get their comments.

Ms. Kay Joffrion -- Granted us a video interview which we will post soon.
Mr. Gary Payne -- Left a message.
Mr. Paul Cate -- Left a message with secretary.
Mr. Roy Poage -- Would not speak to me on record.
Mr. Nick Podrack --- Left a message.
Ms. Kim Little. She is out of town.

At the time of posting, none of the individuals has provided us with comments.

This is of course an open forum and all view points are welcome.
Craig Allen
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Lucy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lucy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2015 at 3:17pm
So eight people out of hundreds in Coleman convinced the congressman to change his mind? That sounds rather fishy. Is it too late to contact the congressman directly and tell him that these eight don't represent the majority?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Craig Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2015 at 10:19am
Here is the video interview with Mayor Kay.

Craig Allen
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