2 resigned Coffee City councilmen say they’ll attend Monday meeting
COFFEE CITY, Texas (KLTV) - Two council members of the City of Coffee City who have turned in letters of resignation say they will return to the meeting Monday to make quorum.
Aldermen Ray Ver Hey and Riley Standifer resigned from city council following a March meeting in which Ver Hey confronted Mayor Frank Serrato over his use of a wifi hotspot and laptop. It was a confrontation which led to Serrato asking police officers to escort Ver Hey out of the meeting.
Ver Hey and Standifer turned in letters of resignation over the following weeks. Those resignations were never accepted in official meetings. Serrato attempted to hold three meetings over the following months, but there were not enough members present to establish quorum. The city later filed a lawsuit to resolve the situation, asking a court to allow the meeting to be conducted with the remaining members or to force the resigned members to attend a meeting so their resignations could be accepted.
Ver Hey said in a text message on Wednesday that he would attend Monday night’s meeting.
“After speaking with my attorney more today, I have decided it’s in my best interest to also cooperate, so I will not have attorney fees from the city lawyer levied against us for non-compliance,” he said. “Bottom line, it seems like it could possibly cost us attorney fees to fight everything they are doing or attorney fees from the city attorney if we don’t show up. So, either way it can cost us ‘volunteers’ a lot of money just to do what’s right!”
Standifer said the intention is to elect members to fill their spots, and then their resignations will be accepted.
The city holds regularly scheduled council meetings on the second Monday of each month.
On May 3, Nanette Moss resigned from her position as secretary.
The resignation letter says, “I will no longer work with a pillar of the community (Mayor Serrato) that believes that it is okay to bully the employees of the city for his advantage.”
When asked why she sent in a resignation, Moss replied, “His (Serrato’s) bullying me and raising his voice at me on different occasions.”
“And I’m the one that would witness him hollering and screaming at Nanette,” Standifer said. “He would say things like ‘You’re lying. Do you want to, are you trying to run this city without me?’”
Moss said she would return to her position as secretary under different circumstances. “Because I enjoy working for the City of Coffee City,” she said. “I enjoy the citizens, but as far as going back as a city secretary under Mayor Serrato’s direction, I will not.”
We asked Mayor Serrato about the accusations of bullying from Moss, and in a statement he said, “When your [sic] doing your job, you will not hear from the mayor. If your not doing your job, then you will hear from the mayor. Yes things could be handled differently. But the main thing is do your job.”
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