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By James McAfee/The Knox County News-Courier—
KNOX CITY—The City Council of Knox City delivered a “vote of confidence” to Police Chief Richard Candelaria and City Administrator Sam Watson following comments made by a citizen during the council meeting July 21.
Resident Elda Garcia, who lives near the city, addressed the council during the public comments time asking for their terminations, citing that they do not live in the city and were not doing their jobs.
However, all council members disagreed, saying the police chief and administrator were doing “excellent jobs” as far as they were concerned, pointing to Candelaria having to handle everything by himself for a long time before new officer Paul Davis had been hired.
Each member of the council addressed the other concerns of Garcia, but noted that changes, such as fixing the streets, tearing down old houses and cleaning up the city required money the city didn’t have at this time unless residents were asked to pay additional taxes.
“Thanks for backing up officers,” Candeleria told the council.
Later in his police report, Candeleria said 76 calls had been handled in June and explained that the Neighborhood Watch program’s progress had been curtailed because of the pandemic.
The city also heard from county agent Jerry Coplen about how the city could spend up to $11,693 from the CARES Act to take care of additional expenses related to COVID-19. Watson earlier was authorized to explore the city’s options.
After Watson noted that Knox County had exceeded the 20 active cases of the virus and were under Gov. Greg Abbott’s new mandate in regard to public meetings, he suggested that the Community Center be closed.
After first voting 3-2 on a motion to close the center, the council readdressed the issue and approved an amended version, adding that it could reopen if the number of cases dropped below 20.
In other business, the council approved bids of $150 and $750 from Tim Lewis on two trust properties in Knox City and gave Allen Rhodes the OK to graze his cattle on a city right of way.