Lamar City Council meeting of July 8, 2024

Mayor Kirk Crespin swearing in Lamar’s new Chief of Police Al Fear

All Council members were present for the meeting.  Mayor Kirk Crespin spoke to viewers about the presentation prior to the meeting by Sam Light of CIRSA, the city’s insurance liability company.  The mayor said this is a yearly review to Council about legal limitations and liabilities which reminds them of their responsibilities and duties and which acts as a “reminder to keep us in check”.

The City Treasurer’s report included information that the mayor and city administrator recently attended a meeting in Montrose regarding the city’s DOLA grant for the new wastewater treatment plant.  There are also several other grants still in progress.

The City Clerk’s report gave the most recent Sales and Use tax report, which we will publish separately from this article.

City Administrator Rob Evans announce the next 3 “Coffee with Rob” dates of July 17th, 24th and 31st.  He reported that the July 4 fireworks display provided by the Lamar Fire Department was a great success and gave a big “thank you” to the Fire Department for their work in providing this to the community.  Also in his report was that Code Enforcement continues in an effort to clean up the city and that construction on Arby’s restaurant is progressing nicely.  Mayor Crespin interjected that he’s had recent conversations with the general contractor for the Arby’s project, who has been very impressed with Lamar’s staff and how easy they are to work with.

In reports from Council members, Joe Gonzales said the recent July 4th golf tournament was a success.  He also gave thanks to the City crews who responded to a water main break at the golf course, working diligently through a storm to get the repairs done.  The Angel Open will be August 17th and he said it is filling up quickly.  Council member Gerry Jenkins said the Public Safety Board will be having a meeting July 18th from 4-5 pm at the library where the public can meet the new police chief as well as the fire chief to ask questions.  Council member Brent Bates said the Corporate Cup on July 24-27 has all teams filled.  They are looking to add more food trucks to the event.  He encouraged the public to attend as spectators.  Mayor Crespin wanted to thank the Fire Department for their work on the fireworks display, reminding everyone that our community is fortunate to be able to have such a great display.  He spoke to the community, saying that he wanted everyone to know that the Council is well aware of fireworks being set off around town by citizens.  Due to the number of complaints, it hasn’t been possible for police to respond to each one. as they are difficult to enforce, as the people doing this are not always there by the time police can get there. He referenced a metro county who received 800 such complaints and was able to issue zero citations for the same reasons. He doesn’t want the community to think that Council isn’t aware or that they don’t want to take action.  In the future, the city may set up a hotline for reporting these infractions so as not to overload the 911 system and make it difficult to report a dire emergency.

Approval was given to The Buzzard’s Roost for a special event permit for their upcoming all day musical festival.  The event has not been held for several years but is back by popular demand.  There will be food trucks on scene and fencing and security will be in place.  All staff serving alcohol will be TIPS certified.  Council agreed that there have been no issues with the event in the past and voted unanimously to approve.

Police Chief Al Fear was officially sworn in by Mayor Crespin and all council members thanked him for accepting the position and welcomed him to Lamar.  Mayor Crespin addressed the chief first, saying that his personal request was that the focus be on Main Street and its speeding problems with cars and semis.  Councilman Bates stated that his number one request was that drug enforcement be increased but also mirrored the mayor’s thoughts on speeding.  He said he drives a lot and “we all know which towns you don’t speed through” and hoped that Lamar could develop this reputation as well.  He also thought code enforcement needed to be a priority to help with blight.  Councilman Tamez felt that public perception of the police force and its interaction with the public was very important.  Councilman Zavala thanked Fear for accepting the position and agreed with Bates’ priorities. Councilwoman Jenkins also thanked the chief and voiced her hope that the officers get more involved with the community and work on their “customer service”.  Councilwoman Matta also felt that drug enforcement was a big issue for the department.  Councilman Gonzales said that he felt all members of Council were on the same page regarding drugs and PR with the public.  He mentioned that the city used to have a Citizens Academy in which the public could learn exactly what the police officers go through as part of their job and asked if that could be brought back.  Chief Fear responded that the Citizens Academy was already high on his list of things to do and that he had, in fact, spoken about with Jenkins during his interview.  “I would like for all of you to be the first to go through it so you can get a better idea of what the police do for the city” he said.   He told Council that in one day he had already filled 3 pages in a notebook of things he wants to work on.  “My goal is to be more transparent and work hand-in-hand with the community.”  He mentioned wanting a bigger social media presence as well.  He ended his address to Council by saying “When and if the criminal element comes to Lamar, I want them to be looking over their shoulders.  I want them to be a little nervous when they see a squad car in their rearview mirror.  We’re going to have zero tolerance for that activity here in Lamar.”

The next regular meeting is scheduled for July 22 at 7 pm.

By: Barbara Crimond

Filed Under: City of LamarFeaturedPublic Safety


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