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Karen Gibson Chosen as Mayor Pro Tem by Lubbock City Council, More Council Updates

Cole Shooter, KFYO.com

At Thursday morning’s Lubbock City Council meeting, the Council selected another councilmember to serve as mayor pro tem.

The Council selected District 5 Councilwoman Karen Gibson to serve as mayor pro tem, with Gibson receiving the votes of Mayor Glen Robertson, District 6 Councilwoman Latrelle Joy, District 4 Councilman Jim Gerlt, and her own.

District 3 Councilman Todd Klein was nominated by District 1 Councilman Victor Hernandez, but only garnered the two remaining votes.

District 2 Councilman Floyd Price was absent due to his daughter’s wedding.

Hernandez was nominated by Joy, but he declined the nomination.

a letter from current Mayor Pro Tem Price was read by Hernandez, which stated that he feels that tradition dictates that this particular position should be based on seniority, and the position should be changed with each two-year mayoral term.

Hernandez elaborated on his own view, saying “It’s nothing against Karen Gibson. Her turn, God willing, will come. It’s just she’s served two years, Todd Klein has served six.”

Gerlt, who nominated Gibson for the position, discussed his choice, saying “I hope that people observing this don’t look upon this as drawing battle lines among this new Council.” He continued, saying “This is just a matter of us coming in and saying I think it’s time for a female to serve as the mayor pro tem for a while, so that’s my thinking.”

In other business, the Council approved a contract resolution for engineering services from Parkhill, Smith, and Cooper for more than $561,000 to move forward with the design of extending the 34th Street Redevelopment Project from Indiana Avenue to Quaker Avenue, or as far as the extra funds left over from the originally-approved bond will allow.

Also unanimously approved by the Council was a resolution for the renovations of building space for the City’s Public Health operations. The contract is with Minnix Commercial Partners for almost $75,000 to renovate approximately 6,000 square feet of space in the building, located at 806 18th Street. That property, which the City is leasing from the Lubbock Housing Authority, will serve as the City’s new Health Department. The lease agreement has the City paying $40,600 annually plus utilities, and the cost of renovating the building to suit the purpose of the facility.

The Council approved a voluntary annexation of an area north of Erskine Avenue and West of North Frankford Avenue. The parcel has no residents, and will be developed as a garden office complex. The Council approved the measure 5-1, Hernandez dissenting.

Measures for a new hotel near the Marsha Sharp Freeway and Avenue W were also considered by the Council as well. The Council approved resolutions revising the existing Urban Renewal Land Plan in the 300 blocks of Avenue V and Vernon Avenue to Commercial/Interstate Highway Commercial District Specific Use, and the sale of a vacant lot at 305 Vernon Avenue to Lubbock Development, L.P. for $1,500, which has been deemed as essential for the development of the hotel. These measures were approved by the Council 5-1, Hernandez dissenting.

The Council also approved the settlement of a case involving an elderly man that was shot by a Lubbock police officer and heard the preliminary 2012-13 property tax rate and budget.

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