Regular City Council meeting postponed after only 2 members show up

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK, News-Telegram Managing Editor

March 5, 2008 - Come on, guys, surely it wasn't THAT boring.

Admittedly, Tuesday night's agenda for the regular monthly meeting of the Sulphur Springs City Council was hardly a firestarter. A lot of routine business was listed on the schedule -- second readings of amendments dealing with utility companies, some housecleaning about water treatment to make the federal government happy, clarifying rules about pet adoption, and buying concrete and materials for Rockdale Road and Houston Street projects.

But when the start time rolled around, a funny thing happened: Only two council members, Yolanda Williams and Gary Spraggins, had shown up.

Since two is hardly enough to make a quorum -- at least four City Council members are required to conduct business -- the meeting was canceled roughly 15 minutes after its scheduled start.

"I've never had this happen before," said City Manager Marc Maxwell, who has served at his post since 1995.

City Secretary Gale Roberts was also unaware of any precedent for canceling a meeting due to a lack of a quorum. It may have been the first time ever, but a thorough search of the records would have to be done to verify that possibility. Speculation was that Tuesday's election, which generated record turnout numbers around Texas, may have had something to do with the absence of the other five councilmen.

A special meeting is expected to be called for sometime next week to handle the business originally scheduled for Tuesday. City officials must post notice of the meeting at least three days in advance in accordance with state open meeting laws.

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