Citizens of Fate had the opportunity to see their newly-elected city government officials in action during Monday night’s regular meeting of the city council.
The new-look council unanimously approved an ordinance repealing the removal of the cap on the council’s compensation per month, in an effort to show the community its commitment to the citizens of Fate.
The vote sets in place a cap on the council’s compensation, setting a maximum of $100 per meeting for each council member ($200 for the mayor). The previous council had voted to remove the cap.
“If you’re on the council to make lots of money, then you’re on here for the wrong reason,” Mayor Lorne Megyesi said.
Brenda McDonald with the city attorney’s office said that since the cap does not increase the compensation of the council, the cap will go into effect as soon as is legally permitted.
The council also heard a presentation by McDonald regarding the expedited scheduling of 13 public hearings for the proposed annexations of several properties within the city.
Several of the properties the council will consider for annexation are generally located north of Prince Road and south of FM 552.
“These annexations are to solidify the city’s northern boundary, and were something that the prior council and prior city manager’s staff were very interested in” McDonald said.
According to McDonald, the annexations would also extend the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) up to other cities’ ETJs, and make sure that properties located along the city’s northern boundary would go into the Fate’s ETJ.
Council Member Cameron Cowan said that the annexations would allow the city to have more control over the types of developments that could go into the land at the city’s northern boundary, which is currently not under any city’s ETJ.
“Rockwall hurried up and cut us off from getting any access for the city to a potentially industrial type of development access land down at [State Highway] 276,” Cowan said. “We’re trying to protect citizens in our community by having some control over the types of development, the types of growth, the types of things that could be put here instead of that decision being made by Rockwall or Royse City.”
Cowan said that the properties near the city’s northern boundary would either be taken by Fate, Rockwall or Royse City, and that there was not an option that just leaves it in the county.
“One of the motivations here is that the tracts of land to the north are very large, undeveloped tracts, and the desire to have the ability to play a role in what those tracts become when a development opportunity comes,” McDonald said.
The new members of the city council each had a few words of gratitude to the citizens who voted for them, as well as a few thoughts on how they plan to serve the city on board the council.
“I hope to open this up so that everyone in the city knows what’s happening in Fate,” Council Member Steve Herrmann said.
“I would like to thank the people who work for the city of Fate, who make it a great place to live, work and raise a family,” Council Member Joe Burger said. “I would also like to thank the past council members for their work because without that, we wouldn’t be ready to move forward from here.”
Council Member Nikki Robinson said she appreciated all of those who helped get her name out to those who hadn’t voted on the eve of the election, as she was dealing with the loss of a family member that night.
“I appreciate all of those who voted for me,” Robinson said. “I hope to be able to meet all of your expectations.”
Council Member Lance Megyesi, brother to Mayor Lorne Megyesi, reminded voters that they still had more work to do.
“Again, I would like to express my thanks for the voters who supported us, and to remind you that your work is not done,” Council Member Megyesi said. “We are in early voting now for the runoff elections. I encourage you all to get out and vote, and thanks for supporting us.”
“This is a position I am not going to take lightly,” Council Member Jon Thatcher said. “I believe this is a good opportunity for us to have a very open government, one that is community-friendly, and we can have fun doing so.”
Mayor Megyesi said that the staggering voter turnout in the election put the city of Fate back on the map as a major influence within Rockwall County.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who came out and voted,” Mayor Megyesi said. “I don’t know if you saw what Fate did this year in this election, but we were a third of the county vote. People are standing up and noticing Fate now.
“We’re not the stepchild anymore. We are a true player in the county of Rockwall.”