Should City Manager Milstead Resign?

Since: Sep 12

Location hidden

#492 Oct 3, 2012
inacar wrote:
<quoted text> We are being forced into a police state everywhere you go.
Crazy people are out there but you can't fix crazy, it just makes normal people feel less normal in my opinion and brings out the worse in everyone. I heard the reason the walls went up at City Hall was the "threats" they had received. I never heard any discussion during the Council meetings about the walls happening, why it was being done, or who paid for it. Just more tax money being spent on things that don't matter. As far as I know the ladies up front that are now "protected" were not the ones being "threatened". And the glass I am told is not bullet proof.
So what it is protecting is someone coughing on them in reality and separating them from the Citizens they serve.
Well it seems that documents should be presented to the public of the source and expenditure of the money for these glass walls. I have to side with you on this one. I don't think citizens would or did support putting up this barrier. If the threats where made, police reports should have been made. Anyone can say someone made threats. Proof should be made to the public. I want to know where the money came from for this. Just cause someone says homeland security paid for it is not good enough.

I don't agree to all this extra security. I think it puts a barrier between government and citizens. Nor should anyone have to make an open records request for these documents either.
justsayin

Lufkin, TX

#493 Oct 4, 2012
The comment I made about Homeland Security funds was in reference to my encounter and complaints about the barrier at the Angelina County Clerks Office several years ago when the baliffs suddenly surounded me while I talked to the county clerk. I had come in with some paperwork that involved me spreading it out on the counter as I had done several times in the past and all of a sudden, that was not possible.

I was insisting on talking "directly" to my "elected" official and meeting with resistance when someone called for security where I as a legal voting property owning citizen was insisting on my rights.

Since I was "known" by various older officials I was able to "stand my ground" without being arrested and get my questions answered. That was where I was told about Federal Homeland Funds and requirements. Now how much was smoke and how much was truth .... I do not know.

I still say that citizens should be able to lay documents on a counter and slide them across the counter to show the clerk and to also receive items unencumbered.

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#494 Oct 4, 2012
justsayin wrote:
The comment I made about Homeland Security funds was in reference to my encounter and complaints about the barrier at the Angelina County Clerks Office several years ago when the baliffs suddenly surounded me while I talked to the county clerk. I had come in with some paperwork that involved me spreading it out on the counter as I had done several times in the past and all of a sudden, that was not possible.
I was insisting on talking "directly" to my "elected" official and meeting with resistance when someone called for security where I as a legal voting property owning citizen was insisting on my rights.
Since I was "known" by various older officials I was able to "stand my ground" without being arrested and get my questions answered. That was where I was told about Federal Homeland Funds and requirements. Now how much was smoke and how much was truth .... I do not know.
I still say that citizens should be able to lay documents on a counter and slide them across the counter to show the clerk and to also receive items unencumbered.
I think we all agree on this one, having employees separated by glass forms a divide between the employees and Citizens saying we are "them" and "they" have to be protected from "them". Not an environment that leads to trust and respect for each other. And makes it difficult for Citizens to take care of their business, such as organizing their papers on the desk too.(Smile)
ratz nest

Kopperl, TX

#495 Oct 4, 2012
justsayin wrote:
The comment I made about Homeland Security funds was in reference to my encounter and complaints about the barrier at the Angelina County Clerks Office several years ago when the baliffs suddenly surounded me while I talked to the county clerk. I had come in with some paperwork that involved me spreading it out on the counter as I had done several times in the past and all of a sudden, that was not possible.
I was insisting on talking "directly" to my "elected" official and meeting with resistance when someone called for security where I as a legal voting property owning citizen was insisting on my rights.
Since I was "known" by various older officials I was able to "stand my ground" without being arrested and get my questions answered. That was where I was told about Federal Homeland Funds and requirements. Now how much was smoke and how much was truth .... I do not know.
I still say that citizens should be able to lay documents on a counter and slide them across the counter to show the clerk and to also receive items unencumbered.
I totally agree.

Since: Sep 12

Location hidden

#496 Oct 4, 2012
inacar wrote:
<quoted text>
I think we all agree on this one, having employees separated by glass forms a divide between the employees and Citizens saying we are "them" and "they" have to be protected from "them". Not an environment that leads to trust and respect for each other. And makes it difficult for Citizens to take care of their business, such as organizing their papers on the desk too.(Smile)
I agree with you 100%. I hope everyone else sounds off with support for your opinion. I believe that any citizen who says they want to assert their right are now label as "dangerous" or a threat. Anyone that opposes government policy or rules is now consider a "radical"

Since: Sep 12

Location hidden

#497 Oct 4, 2012
justsayin wrote:
The comment I made about Homeland Security funds was in reference to my encounter and complaints about the barrier at the Angelina County Clerks Office several years ago when the baliffs suddenly surounded me while I talked to the county clerk. I had come in with some paperwork that involved me spreading it out on the counter as I had done several times in the past and all of a sudden, that was not possible.
I was insisting on talking "directly" to my "elected" official and meeting with resistance when someone called for security where I as a legal voting property owning citizen was insisting on my rights.
Since I was "known" by various older officials I was able to "stand my ground" without being arrested and get my questions answered. That was where I was told about Federal Homeland Funds and requirements. Now how much was smoke and how much was truth .... I do not know.
I still say that citizens should be able to lay documents on a counter and slide them across the counter to show the clerk and to also receive items unencumbered.
I have been approached by bailiffs or deputies when I had a different opinion or asserting my rights. I believe the employees called them in a large part just to intimidate me. Employees are quick to label people as radicals or dangerous. There has never been a worse time in recent history for citizens to stand up for their rights.

Many years ago, a certain Justice of the Peace in Angelina county had his constable come out into the office where I was because I wanted to see a civil case file. Case files are public records. I have looked at many case files at the courthouse and was never treated like I was by the JP and constable. The JP told me I needed file an open records requests to see the case file. I never even had heard of an open records requests before. I could not believe the audacity of that JP.

I think most government official thinks those who file open records requests are radicals. Why would people file open records requests? I am asking everyone out here. It seems most of government officials say that people that are filing open records requests are doing it for retaliation because they was fired or something. IS THIS TRUE?

My best guest for open records requests is there is a HUGE distrust of government.

Please, everyone express a detailed reason for or against open records requests and what the motive is for them.

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#498 Oct 5, 2012
Huntington Dog wrote:
<quoted text>
I have been approached by bailiffs or deputies when I had a different opinion or asserting my rights. I believe the employees called them in a large part just to intimidate me. Employees are quick to label people as radicals or dangerous. There has never been a worse time in recent history for citizens to stand up for their rights.
Many years ago, a certain Justice of the Peace in Angelina county had his constable come out into the office where I was because I wanted to see a civil case file. Case files are public records. I have looked at many case files at the courthouse and was never treated like I was by the JP and constable. The JP told me I needed file an open records requests to see the case file. I never even had heard of an open records requests before. I could not believe the audacity of that JP.
I think most government official thinks those who file open records requests are radicals. Why would people file open records requests? I am asking everyone out here. It seems most of government officials say that people that are filing open records requests are doing it for retaliation because they was fired or something. IS THIS TRUE?
My best guest for open records requests is there is a HUGE distrust of government.
Please, everyone express a detailed reason for or against open records requests and what the motive is for them.
I am FOR open records, the more open the records the better it is for the Citizens. The only ones better off with records not being available are city employees and Council with things to hide. I have no ax to grind nor have I ever worked for City Hall, so that blows that theory that's being passed around. I am a homeowner and am concerned about decisions being made by the employees at City Hall and the Council going along with those decisions. I am tired of seeing and hearing the comments from people when they hear that I'm from Huntington. And I am very tired of the comments from visitors about the appearance of our town. I also have come to resent the answer from City Hall there is NO money for maintaining anything when they are spending money on their own entertainment week after week. I want what is best for the town of Huntington and that is not necessarily what is best for the employees that work for the City. It seems over the past years they have developed a very sweet deal for themselves and that needs to change. And because of the way things are done at City Hall following the paper trail is how to show others what is going on and get changes made. So I hope that gives you some of my reasons for requesting information.
ratz nest

Kopperl, TX

#499 Oct 5, 2012
Funny thing about this whole ordeal is......The old saying guilty dog barks first. Why throw such a fit about an open record. It is legal. The only reason to be upset about filling an open record would be if you had something to hide. Hmmm....and also 2 sets of eyes are better than one. The people are not as dumb as they think we are, just because they are working there and we are JUST citizens. If I recall correctly, I remember hearing that several times, the BIG DOGS got raises and the actual WORKERS out in the field and the office didn't get SQUAT. I dont think its right to pin point that it is ALL of the employees there going to lunch on city money. If you look at the employee records it should show WHO actually got the high raises and WHO didnt get one. Hmmmm....maybe we should look...before we ASSUME that its ALL the employees. When is the last time anyone up there got a raise, I bet it wasnt any of the ACTUAL "workers". WAKE UP AMERICA!!!

Since: Jul 12

Lufkin, TX

#500 Oct 5, 2012
Manuela wrote:
I agree with ratz nest, the question should be what are they doing right??? If you get a chance, take a look at the city credit card statements... seems that the city secretary is allowed to have her personal vehicle filled with gas once a month AND have it detailed once a month. I pose this question to you: How is that a benefit to the city?? Want more? Why is the city feeding the Mayor WEEKLY at various restaurants in Lufkin - not only the mayor, but whomever he is lunching with - of course they are saying it is "city business" but what happened to 1. supporting your own town and 2. monthly not weekely????
Now I see why the council and mayor is allowing the city administrator to do anything they want. Mayor is getting freebies off the city and Bruce and Betsy must look the other way in return. Thanks for exposing this Manuela. I wonder if this is legal? Now it is clear what this is all about. Some, maybe all, Council members, the Mayor, City Administrator and City Secretary is all about enriching themselves at taxpayer expense while paying the workers as least as they can.

Since: Jul 12

Lufkin, TX

#501 Oct 5, 2012
Up Up and Away wrote:
<quoted text>
Now I see why the council and mayor is allowing the city administrator to do anything they want. Mayor is getting freebies off the city and Bruce and Betsy must look the other way in return. Thanks for exposing this Manuela. I wonder if this is legal? Now it is clear what this is all about. Some, maybe all, Council members, the Mayor, City Administrator and City Secretary is all about enriching themselves at taxpayer expense while paying the workers as least as they can.
This is just one reason why I am FOR open records requests. Without the proper knowledge, the citizens will continue to be led blindly by what the upper management in the city want. And you are right, it is the citizens and city workers who end up paying in the end.

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#502 Oct 6, 2012
Up Up and Away wrote:
<quoted text>
Now I see why the council and mayor is allowing the city administrator to do anything they want. Mayor is getting freebies off the city and Bruce and Betsy must look the other way in return. Thanks for exposing this Manuela. I wonder if this is legal? Now it is clear what this is all about. Some, maybe all, Council members, the Mayor, City Administrator and City Secretary is all about enriching themselves at taxpayer expense while paying the workers as least as they can.
I for one have only seen the credit cards purchases made by the Mayor, Betsy, and Bruce. How many employees have a credit card and their purchases, I do not know. I imagine the other employees are kept on a very short leash. If any raises were given, the Council should be ashamed of themselves is all I am going to say.
justsayin

Lufkin, TX

#503 Oct 6, 2012
inacar, Do I understand you have seen the actual "individual" charges ------ or have you just seen a total for a certain period ....(week, month, etc)?

Since: Jul 12

Lufkin, TX

#504 Oct 7, 2012
justsayin, I HAVE seen actual credit card statements. I have seen the restaurant charges, which includes the name of the restaurant and the amount charged. I have seen the charges to the car wash where Betsy has her vehicle detailed - and in her handwriting beside it, "Betsy, per agreement", which is also beside the charge at Boots in Huntington for gas to fill her vehicle once a month. If you are doubt, then request the records for yourself and you will see.

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#505 Oct 7, 2012
There are several questionable "per agreement" charges, I have seen copies of from the City. Bruce and Betsy believe everything is OK as long as the Council signs off on it. That seems to have been the pattern for quite some time now. And hearing Council members say they are not in their position to ask questions or investigate facts given to them by the employees, so they appear to have a signed blank check on the Citizen's back. I just know I worked for a company with a gas card and it was for the work vehicle. I would have been fired on the spot if I had used it for my own vehicle. The information I have seen hasn't made me feel better, it has made me want more questions answered.

Since: Jul 12

Lufkin, TX

#506 Oct 8, 2012
inacar wrote:
There are several questionable "per agreement" charges, I have seen copies of from the City. Bruce and Betsy believe everything is OK as long as the Council signs off on it. That seems to have been the pattern for quite some time now. And hearing Council members say they are not in their position to ask questions or investigate facts given to them by the employees, so they appear to have a signed blank check on the Citizen's back. I just know I worked for a company with a gas card and it was for the work vehicle. I would have been fired on the spot if I had used it for my own vehicle. The information I have seen hasn't made me feel better, it has made me want more questions answered.
When did you hear Council members say they are not in position to ask questions or invesigate facts? Did they say this publicly? I have a feeling many council members deny they have the ability to investigate facts. The deny it because they don't want to do the work. They are not being paid anything so they are not going to spend their time on investigating facts.

From the grape vine and Facebook Zavalla Town, it appears that the council members do investigate "facts"

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#507 Oct 8, 2012
Up Up and Away wrote:
<quoted text>
When did you hear Council members say they are not in position to ask questions or invesigate facts? Did they say this publicly? I have a feeling many council members deny they have the ability to investigate facts. The deny it because they don't want to do the work. They are not being paid anything so they are not going to spend their time on investigating facts.
From the grape vine and Facebook Zavalla Town, it appears that the council members do investigate "facts"
I was told directly from a Council member that his job as Council member was not asking questions or investigating what he was told by the employees. About the glass and doors at the front now- I picked up some minutes today from 2010 and it is noted the front entrance at City Hall was remodeled because of the employees being threatened. Bruce was given the OK to hire the work to be done and pay for it, keeping in mind not to go overboard with the costs. So we didn't have a grant or have a mandate from Homeland Security, this was a choice made by Bruce and the Council and the Citizens paid for it. In fact there isn't an accounting noted in future meetings as to just how much the remodeling cost either.
I am so proud of the Citizens of Zavalla for finally waking up and saying something. Asking questions shouldn't be an insult, it should make them proud to be able to show what a great job they are doing with our money. Just saying if they try and make us fill guilty for asking questions maybe we aren't asking enough questions.

Since: Jul 12

Lufkin, TX

#508 Oct 8, 2012
inacar wrote:
<quoted text>
I was told directly from a Council member that his job as Council member was not asking questions or investigating what he was told by the employees. About the glass and doors at the front now- I picked up some minutes today from 2010 and it is noted the front entrance at City Hall was remodeled because of the employees being threatened. Bruce was given the OK to hire the work to be done and pay for it, keeping in mind not to go overboard with the costs. So we didn't have a grant or have a mandate from Homeland Security, this was a choice made by Bruce and the Council and the Citizens paid for it. In fact there isn't an accounting noted in future meetings as to just how much the remodeling cost either.
I am so proud of the Citizens of Zavalla for finally waking up and saying something. Asking questions shouldn't be an insult, it should make them proud to be able to show what a great job they are doing with our money. Just saying if they try and make us fill guilty for asking questions maybe we aren't asking enough questions.
I was told directly by a current council member (one who has served for a while) that the council does not look at anything but the bottom line, and basically all they do is look, and then sign off on it. In other words, they don't care how the money is being spent, just sign the ok, and spend away.
Angelina resident

Glen Rose, TX

#509 Oct 8, 2012
Does anyone know if Betsy uses her personal vehicle to do city business (banking and post office)? I can see the city refunding her for any city expenses that she does with her own personal car. But, the car detail- not so sure about that!

Since: Jul 12

Lufkin, TX

#510 Oct 8, 2012
Angelina resident wrote:
Does anyone know if Betsy uses her personal vehicle to do city business (banking and post office)? I can see the city refunding her for any city expenses that she does with her own personal car. But, the car detail- not so sure about that!
I see where you are going with this. I respect your view. However, she is already getting an ungodly amount of salary now.

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#511 Oct 9, 2012
Manuela wrote:
<quoted text>
I was told directly by a current council member (one who has served for a while) that the council does not look at anything but the bottom line, and basically all they do is look, and then sign off on it. In other words, they don't care how the money is being spent, just sign the ok, and spend away.
I just know the more information I see, the more I question what's going on at City Hall. It's time that the Council realizes their sworn duty can not be taken lightly. In my opinion they swore to be the Citizen's eyes and ears, not be "yes men" for the City employees.
Looking at the paperwork that is being presented to them, in my opinion they are crazy if they sign off on that mess. You can only blame copy machines and computers just so often for poor reports, missing pages, and wrong entries and then you need to look into the real problem at City Hall. The administration staff is being well paid and we should have skilled employees for that amount of money. Please stop making excuses and do your job!

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