• May 26, 2020

City Council passes Emergency Perryman study - Odessa American: City Of Odessa

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City Council passes Emergency Perryman study

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Posted: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 5:56 pm

During Tuesday’s virtual city council work session council members accepted often embattled councilman Malcolm Hamilton’s resignation and agreed to fund a $127,200 study by Ray Perryman about preserving the Permian Basin Energy sector structure and the Odessa economy through the COVID-19 crisis and oil supply challenges.

Hamilton announced his resignation at the end of the last regular council meeting. His exit leaves his seat open through the end of this year as he would have been up for re-election in November.

The Perryman study would evaluate and assess the current issues going on in Odessa and the region such as job losses, economic hardship and vulnerabilities by the industrial sector.

“Obviously the goal of this portion,” Odessa Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Director Wesley Burnett said, “will be to identify the actions that we can take to alleviate hopefully some of the most difficult problems.”

Burnett said this is a tool for ODC and the community to disseminate the information to Austin as well as Washington D.C.

The council did not agree to authorize Mayor David Turner to negotiate and execute an agreement to approve use of ODC funds for COVID-19 supply sourcing and manufacturing, related infrastructure based projects as well as to provide COVID-19 related assistance.

Odessa City Attorney Natasha Brooks said that if the council agreed it would keep the council from calling an emergency meeting each time an item needed to be negotiated.

At-Large council member Peggy Dean said she is a proponent of the study and that she knows that there is a need to work quickly but said it’s important that the council know what ODC is doing and that the council get to understand and vote on what it is that they’re doing.

“I’m not gonna feel comfortable if you can just do these things and we don’t really know about them,” she said. “I think we can meet almost as quickly as the law lets us.”

She said the need to stay informed is greater than it’s ever been.

“I don’t think we need to circumvent every procedure we have. I think they just need to be expedited.”

When asked what expedited meant, Dean said that it related to the online meetings.

City Council approved the Perryman study unanimously, but did not approve the other COVID-19 related projects.

Odessa Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Director Wesley Burnett said items to be funded include a couple of businesses manufacturing COVID-19 equipment and also possibly putting up temporary towers for WI-FI in underserved parts of the community until a permanent tower could be installed.

“What we’ve done specifically is talk about the job retention aspect of this as far as the company being able to put their workforce in place again or continue to use their workforce to manufacture things specifically for COVID-19.”

He said that they also talked about businesses working on making ventilator splitters. “We’re talking honestly a couple million dollars for those as far as the costs go,” he said.

Burnett also spoke about the need for the Perryman study.

On Hamilton’s resignation the council also passed their decision to fill the District 1 vacancy unanimously.

In a press release Wednesday the City invited any interested residents from District One to submit their name for consideration of appointment until November 2020.

The council will accept applications until 5 p.m. April 20.

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, 18-years or older and must not have been convicted of a felony. They must have also lived in the state of Texas continuously for 12 months and in District one for six months. They also must have been registered to vote in the district for six months. They also must, “Not be determined totally or partially mentally incapacitated by final judgment of a court.”

Interviews will be during a council work session at 10 a.m. on April 21 and the appointment will be during a city council meeting at 6 p.m. on April 28.

Applications will be available through the City Secretary’s Office. If interested, people can contact the city secretary at cs@odessa-tx.gov or 335-3276 for information and the application.

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