Pine Forest councilman proffers resignation

Pine Forest councilman proffers resignation

Pine Forest City Councilman Robert Kremer submitted his resignation last week, stating to The Examiner his reasons for leaving were the “unethical and possibly illegal” actions recently taken by the Mayor and council members after a recent meeting. Mayor Cathy Nagel contends nothing unethical or illegal took place and says she has the recording to prove it.

Kremer expressed, “The reason I resigned is the unethical and possibly illegal actions going on by the city council members and the mayor.”

According to Kremer, after the Pine Forest City Council adjourned its most recent meeting, the mayor and some council members started discussing personnel matters, specifically replacing the city secretary position vacated some time ago. Kremer said the former city secretary resigned after being “harassed” by members of the council. Now, the city is considering applications.

Kremer asserts that it is illegal for the city and council to discuss matters in front of a quorum – meaning enough members are present to carry a vote – outside a city council meeting. He pointed out that no item regarding replacing the city secretary was on the agenda, and claims that the meeting had adjourned when the mayor and council began a discussion on that matter.

“There has to be 72 hours notice given for any meeting according to the Texas Municipal League (TML),” Kremer said. “They held a meeting on an item that was not on the agenda and did not provide proper notice.”

Nagel argues that the meeting had not been adjourned. She said Kremer made a motion to adjourn twice but received no second, and before a vote could be rendered, she interrupted the proceeding.

“Nothing illegal has happened,” Nagel told The Examiner. “I said, ‘Before we adjourn, I need to talk about… who is going to interview with me for a new city secretary.’ I needed help from the council.”

Nagel played a recording she said is from the meeting in question, and she can be heard interrupting the adjournment. But, Kremer said she should have placed it on the agenda for discussion.

According to Nagel, Kremer is the one who was in the wrong. She says he talked about the selection process for the new city secretary with the former city secretary who resigned, an act she considers a breach of confidentiality. She said that when she approached Kremer about the matter, he became angry. That’s when she asserts the accusations arose. She also defended the council members, saying the city secretary was not “harassed” but agreed there was a difference of opinion between her and some members of the council.

Kremer disagrees, and said for him, enough is enough.

“I turned in my resignation…so it would be placed on the agenda for the next meeting (Sept. 26),” he revealed.

The acceptance of Kremer’s resignation was not placed on the city council agenda for the most recent meeting on Sept. 26. Nagel said it would appear on the agenda for the October meeting.

She also said she hopes to conduct interviews for a new city secretary next week, the week of Oct. 3-7.

“I’m trying to get things on track here,” professed Nagel.