Lubbock City Council Approves New Godeke Library Lease, Puts City Attorney Sam Medina on Unpaid Leave, Approves New Glocks For Lubbock Police
At their meeting Thursday evening, the Lubbock City Council tried out a new citizen comment procedure and approved a new location for a library that has been a hot button issue for several years.
The Council has removed the time limit for individual speakers, but now limits the time for citizen comments overall to 60 minutes. Those wishing to discuss items with the Council are now required to sign up 75 hours in advance of the meeting.
If a person misses the 75-hour deadline, they are able to speak at the end of the meeting, but the Council will not discuss items that are not on the agenda.
Turnout for citizen comments was fairly low for the meeting, as four people signed up to speak prior to the 75-hour deadline, and three people actually showed up to speak.
During the open citizen comment portion that preceded the Council’s business, two people spoke. Councilman Victor Hernandez counted 44 people in attendance overall at the meeting.
The Council also approved a resolution authorizing Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson to execute a lease agreement between the City of Lubbock and Luskey Brothers Investments for a new Godeke Library location.
The City will move the Godeke Library from the current location at 67th Street and Slide Road to the new location at 5034 Frankford Avenue.
The monthly rent at the new location will be $6,315 per month through August of 2016, and would begin on September of this year. The landlord is waiving rent until that point to keep the City from paying rent on the current location and the new location. The monthly rent at the current location is $25,000 per month.
The commercial lease agreement lists a rent increase to $9,472.50 per month from September 2016 through August of 2019.
At the end of the five-year lease agreement, the City will have the option to purchase the building. If the appraised price is not acceptable to either party and an agreement cannot be made on a price, the parties have the option to extend the lease for three years at $10 per square foot.
Under the lease agreement, Luskey Brothers Investments is responsible for the building’s foundation, walls, roof, structural components, and wood-destroying insect treatments and repairs. The City is responsible for all other repairs and maintenance on the building.
“It was pretty easy to look at the calendar and see that we had seven months before September 30th to find a home for Godeke Library,” said Assistant City Manager Quincy White. “The Luskey Building was available. We made a decision that time for discussion basically had to end. We had to make a decision and get the library moved or we ran the risk of the library closing, and we just didn’t even want to consider that as a possibility.”
The City will incur costs to outfit the building as a library and moving costs as well. White estimated that those costs could exceed $175,000.
The Council unanimously approved the lease agreement.
Lubbock City Attorney Sam Medina was also placed on unpaid administrative leave by the Council at Medina’s request.
Sam Medina originally went on paid administrative leave in mid-January amidst allegations of sexual assault allegedly committed by Sam Medina against his eldest son Erik’s wife, Angelina Medina.
Erik Medina is currently embroiled in a divorce and custody battle with Angelina Medina.
Lubbock Police presented their findings in the case to Lubbock County District Attorney Matt Powell, who in turn handed the file over to a Potter County District Attorney’s Office special prosecutor.
The Council approved the measure 6-0, with District Six Councilwoman Latrelle Joy recusing. Joy is representing Erik Medina in his divorce.
The Council will have the option to revisit Sam Medina’s employment status with the City at each meeting. Mitchell Satterwhite is acting as interim city attorney.
Two items were also approved involving the Lubbock Police Department as well.
The Council unanimously approved moving five defunct detention officer positions to public safety dispatcher positions, and one former detention officer position to a property room attendant position in police administration.
The positions were no longer needed once Lubbock Police closed their detention center, and all prisoners are now taken to the Lubbock County Jail.
Lubbock Police will also be carrying different handguns as well. The Council unanimously approved a resolution to exchange the used firearms for a new, different firearm.
The City will be acquiring 448 new Glock Gen. 4 .40 caliber weapons in trade for the current used Sig Sauer DAK .40 caliber guns. They are doing an even trade for the new duty weapons, and new duty and plain clothes holsters are being purchased out of seized funds.
The Lubbock Police Department says that the new Glocks are lighter, offer a more even-tensioned trigger pull, customizable grip sizes based on the officer’s needs, and the ability to carry more rounds per firearm.
The new duty weapons will be carried by Lubbock Police officers by September 30th, to allow manufacturing and training time.