City Will Address Demands In Fort Stockton

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

FORT STOCKTON - Tempers are at a simmer in Fort Stockton this week instead of at a boil like last week.

You'll remember angry citizens stormed the last City Council meeting to voice concerns about a raised trash rate and other issues.

There was no name calling or shouting at City Hall on Tuesday night, but that doesn't mean a group of citizens has forgotten the issues it wants to see addressed.

"With as many people as we had there I think they realize we are for real," Ralph Hernandez, Fort Stockton Business Owner and former council member, said. "People are going to start paying attention. This is just one issue, there's many more to be discussed.

The group of citizens presented the Council with a list of seven demands. Fort Stockton Mayor Ruben Falcon can't say what action the Council will take, but he did say they're taking this very seriously.

Some of the demands include having the city return sanitation rate increases to businesses and perform an audit of recent transactions.

Falcon said the Council may not handle the demands the way the group wants it to, but it will address them.

Both sides agree many of the city's financial problems are the result of a lack of planning from previous councils but some citizens think poor budgeting is also to blame.

"On the 15 million (in debt the city currently has)," Falcon said. "I feel that was investing money in the aging infrastructure and equipment."

Despite the friction, Falcon says open conversation is what Fort Stockton needs.

"When a citizen has a concern they should contact one of the elected officials and ask them questions," Falcon said. "In the end, the citizen still might not agree with the action taken but at least they can see what the point of view of the council was when they took the action."