The effort to fill an expiring term on El Campo’s City Development Corporation board stalled Monday after three votes, the last of which ended in a tie.
Councilwoman Anisa Vasquez was not present at the session.
The CDC works as the economic development arm of the city, using a quarter-cent of sales tax revenue to encourage new industry and work with existing businesses. Its five-person board serves at the pleasure of council with all expenditures in excess of $25,000 requiring city council approval to proceed.
Two terms on the CDC board were set to expire. Council immediately and unanimously reappointed former councilman Larry Russell to one. Russell has served on the CDC board since 2012.
The second post is held currently by El Campo businessman David Allgayer, but term limits do not allow him to continue to serve.
Eight people filed applications asking to be appointed to the CDC board.
Councilwoman Gloria Harris called for Cedric Taylor to be appointed, a motion which failed 2-4 with Mayor Randy Collins and Councilmen John Hancock, Chris Barbee and David Hodges against.
The same people often serve on the same boards, Harris said. “Maybe we should start taking some of the old people off. Maybe we should have some new blood,” she said.
Hancock nominated former Councilman Jeff Allgayer, the son of the businessman currently serving.
“David Allgayer will be sorely missed. It’s a board that needs lots of experience. If Jeff is on there in his place, we can get a lot of service still out of David,” Hancock said.
Harris wasn’t so sure. “David and Jeff are two different people. Children don’t always do what we think they should,” she said.
“Hopefully, Jeff would think on this own,” Collins said.
Mayor Pro Philip Miller questioned Jeff Allgayer’s ability to make the CDC’s day-time meetings. During his time on city council, Allgayer’s attendance was much less than all other council members although not low enough to trigger removal as outlined by the city charter.
City Attorney Ronny Collins told the Leader-News it would be inappropriate for an appointment to be made on the grounds that the individual was the child of a current board member.
The motion also failed 2-4 with Harris, Barbee, Miller and Hodges against.
Wharton County Electric Cooperative General Manager Gary Raybon was nominated by Barbee, a vote which tied 3-3 with Harris, Hancock and Miller against.
Council then looked again at the list. Hancock offered to revote on Raybon to avoid a tie, but was advised that would be inappropriate in the same session by the city attorney.
Council then opted to table the issue until the next session.
In the meantime, David Allgayer continues to serve in the post although the CDC does not have any meetings currently scheduled before city council’s next meeting.