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New council member sworn in, Halloween happening for Eagle Lake

October 21, 2020 - 00:00
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    Lake interim Police Chief Federico Garza. Courtesy | City of Eagle Lake Eagle

GayeLynn Thomas was sworn in as interim alderman at the Oct. 13 Eagle Lake City Council meeting.

Thomas fills the the position vacated by Anthony Johnson. Johnson, who was up for re-election this year, moved outside of the city limits and was unable to fulfill his term.

Thomas served on city council in previous years and will fill the position until the Nov. 3 election.

There are two council seats on the Nov. 3 ballot with incumbent Eve Lucas running for re-election, and candidates John Young and Larry Contreras also on the ballot. Johnson’s name appears on the ballot, but as he is now ineligible, votes for him will not be considered valid votes.

Garza hired as interim ELPD Chief

Following closed session, Mayor Mary Parr announced the new interim Police Chief for the City of Eagle Lake, Federico Garza. Garza has more than 25 years of law enforcement experience with DPS and over 10 years as Chief of the Webb County Sheriff’s Office in Laredo. He also served as Chief of Police for the City of Uvalde. City Administrator Melissa Landin said Garza is expected to start work soon “once clearing the TCOLE-required background check.”

Parr also addressed a recent investigation by JPPI Investigators, LLC, stating the investigation found “no instances of racism on behalf of City Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer Victor Shimek or City Administrator Melissa Landin.”

Parr went on to say that allegations against her were “baseless.”

City Hall reopens to public

City Hall is back open to customers with staff and customers both wearing masks. Council discussed reopening the Eagle Lake Community Center, parks and city council meetings to the public, however no action was taken on reopening these venues yet. Parr and council stated they will revisit the discussions of reopening additional city buildings and spaces in future meetings.

Halloween a go

The annual trick-or-treat event in downtown Eagle Lake was approved by council to take place Saturday, Oct. 31. The Halloween festivities will be sponsored by the City of Eagle Lake. COVID precautions will be enforced for the event.

Truck ordinance amendment passed

An amendment to Article 12.05 pertaining to trucks and commercial vehicles passed with a 4-0 vote. Alderman Michael Cooper abstained from voting on the action item citing a conflict of interest. The amended ordinance states trucks can come in to make day-to-day deliveries as long as they are legal sized trucks.