A Scheduled City Council Meeting in Ropesville Thursday night was cancelled for the lack of a quorum of council members. It was noted this is the third meeting in a row to be cancelled due to the absence of two council members. Mayor Chris Bratcher announced that the meeting would be canceled because state law did not allow it to take place without a quorum of council members present. Immediately a citizen, Josh Hamby called for the resignation of the two council members who were absent. Finally after a 45 minute town hall meeting with no official standing, Mayor Chris Bratcher called for an Emergency meeting for 2 hours later.
The informal meeting often erupted in heated discussions over why the city is in dire financial straits and seemed to focus on issues of cost of the police department, poor financial management and council absenteeism. Most citizens present seem to agree the town only needs and Wastewater specialist and a City Manager. One citizen stated that the town should immediately park the police cruisers and dismiss both officers to save money. The town has two police officers and is also covered by Hockley County Sheriff’s office and Texas Department of Public Safety. Sheriff RC Cheek has previously stated there is no way the sheriff’s office can cover the town 24 hours a day. A former council member made comments that if the town doesn’t make some cuts, they are headed for bankruptcy.
The Mayor fielded some questions and appealed to the crowd to remain civil and urged everyone to work together as a community to resolve the city’s problems. He further stated after the meeting, “Probably 20 years of mismanagement. There’s been money wasted, money that could have been saved. It’s been a long time coming and now it’s here.”