by Kim Powell
LAMESA - "My question is, are you here for Lamesa? Or here for disrupting Lamesa? What you called tonight is a disruption of city business," City Councilman Josh Stevens, said.
The heated discussion at the Lamesa City Council meeting all started when Councilman Robert Moreno put on the agenda to have Councilman Greg Hughes removed from the Lamesa Economic Development Committee (LEDC).
"I wanted to give the EDC and the LEAP (Lamesa Economic Alliance Project) program a chance, to give them a chance to work together and not have anyone looking over them or trying to micro-manage that," Moreno explained.
"He wanted one of the members off and appoint somebody else. Obviously that wasn't the sentiment of the council and he went ahead pursued it and that's the democratic process," Mayor, Dave Nix, said.
Moreno claims that the EDC feels pressured to make certain decisions because members of the City Council are on the Board of Directors.
"Why are you singling out one member? Because you seem to be saying that all of them are doing the same thing?" the Mayor asked.
"Well the thing is, Mr. Mayor, the understanding is that there's pressure being put on these members," Moreno responded. "Let them make their decisions. Let them work their process and then bring it back to us."
When it was time for members of the EDC to express their opinions, they all agreed on one thing--Hughes should not be removed.
"I never saw him take the wrong side, I never saw him be unfair," one EDC member, said.
"Greg has been a very positive influence on our board," another said.
"At no time in my tenure did we ever get any pressure to do anything because they were associated with the city," another added.
The council ultimately voted 5-2 against removing Hughes.
"I asked him about three weeks ago why he wanted Mr. Hughes removed and his comment to me was, 'I'm an elected official, I don't have to have a reason,'" Mayor Davis said. "And I thought that was a very arrogant thing to say and a very dangerous position for an elected official to have."
"Everyone has an opinion, everyone's going to work together and I'm hoping that we do work together in the future," Moreno said.