San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

STAFF REPORT

Planning commissioner Carter Morris says he will not resign his post and is preparing instead to fight some San Marcos City Council members’ efforts to remove him, his attorney, David Gonzalez, wrote to City Clerk Jamie Pettijohn on Saturday.

Shortly before the close of business Friday, Pettijohn sent Morris a letter saying the council would consider whether to remove him from his appointed position unless he resigned by noon today.

“Mr. Morris respectfully declines your invitation to resign from the Planning and Zoning Commission,” Gonzalez wrote in response.

The five-page letter makes clear that Morris will fight his removal and asks the council to issue subpoenas to call witnesses on his behalf. A fair public hearing cannot possibly be conducted on Tuesday, Gonazalez writes, since Monday is a federal holiday and the item removing Morris from office cannot be added to the agenda until Tuesday, the same day of the meeting.

“If Mr. Morris’ removal is a foregone conclusion, then Mr. Morris simply will not have a true opportunity for a fair hearing. We would ask the city council to determine if his actions in this situation should be further examined before moving forward,” Gonzales writes.

For background on the mounting crisis at City Hall, read the “Related Posts” listed in the sidebar to the right of this story.

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23 thoughts on “Morris says he will fight removal from P&Z [PRO]

  1. I hope they do remove him from the P & Z commission… I’m tired of ppl thinking they can do whatever they want from a political stand point… I wouldn’t doubt it if he is guilty of the claim against him and it does need to be dealt with…. It’s called accountability and I wish they had more of it especially when it comes to the idiot who is our president!

  2. joey, Morris has already been held accountable. The Ethic Commission, you may recall, cited him in a public vote in a public meeting.

    Removal from office would be swatting flies with a sledgehammer. Pure overkill and petty vindictiveness. Interesting that Mr. Thomadies, who was in the meeting at Cafe on the Square with Mr. Morris, is “Mayor” now at the very time the proposal to execute Mr. Morris is put into the agenda.

    Typical lack of democracy in San Marcos. Democracy is on life support, and this is the most blatant example of pure abuse of power by Mr. Thomaides and the Secret Session Star Chamber City Council.

    Things are even worse than they seem.

    Here are the two real problems:

    1. San Marcos is ALONE of its peer cities and of cities up and down IH 35 and as far afield as Tyler and San Angelo in having a three-year real estate ownership requirement for membership on the Planning and Zoning COmmittee. EVERYONE ELSE requires one to be a resident, a registered voter, or both.

    In a typically psychopathic mood, instead of providing voters with a single up-or-down yes-or-no charter amendment to REMOVE the real estate requirement, the City Council has given you THREE count ‘em THREE options — Props 1, 2, and 3 — NONE OF WHICH GIVE VOTERS THE CHANCE TO VOTE UP-OR-DOWN on the real estate requirement which takes us back to King John’s rules pre-Magna Carta. Talk about retrograde.

    Props 1, 2 and 3 FOLLOW THE EXACT SAME PSYCHOPATHIC MODEL as the the three BOGUS Cape’s Camp proposition last year. NO UP-OR-DOWN vote then, was there? Gave the City Council a perfect out to let greedy for-profit developer with a horrific track record to develop at Cape’s Camp.

    Note should be taken that both Council Members (CMs) Jude Prather and John Thomaides voted “NO” on the greedy Cape’s Camp development, and I am proud of their votes.

    It is really difficult to determine where this PSYCHOPATHIC non-democracy democracy comes from. Is it simply a story of a bunch of psychopaths as depicted in the NetFlix series “House of Cards” starring Kevin Spacey as the lead psychopath, or is it psychopathic behavior by one of the city officials appointed by the council. OK, I’ll say which one: The City Attorney, Mr. Corsentino. Or is it the city council or the legal system, or the general insanity which seems to grip the nation as much as it grips San Marcos.

    2. Check out the blank sample financial disclosure forms filed by candidates and public officials. The first time I saw it last year when I ran for Mayor, I was appalled. It seemed EXACTLY modeled on the non-disclosure disclosure forms used by Congresspersons, Senators and executive and judicial branch officers. This form is NOT designed to be transparent in Washington; it is designed to obscure. ame with these forms in San Marcos. And this is NOT criticism of the City Clerk Jamie Pettijohn. This is criticism of the system itself — a sewer in which honorable people are forced to swim.

    Got democracy?

  3. PS. Please think about voting AGAINST Props 1, 2, and 3 which would tell the City Council and others to stop the psychopathic shenanigans and manipulations and give us up-or-down votes, period. You know, like in real democracy.

  4. Should we give Carter another hearing, or do go with what we’ve already learned. He was found in violation, although in a minor way, of abusing the conflict of interest rules. Doesn’t this serve as the “hearing” that his attorneys are requesting? He should take his licks and leave with some smidgen of dignity!

  5. Brad, I happened to read your “Pro” version of the article, and your continued labeling me an Occupy member is libelous. I am not an Occupy San Marcos member, and have never been. With this response, you have been officially informed here and now as to the error in your labeling me as an Occupy San Marcos member or Occupy member. Thank you! Cheap shots that are designed to marginalize a person and shut out the truth are below a real correspondent.

  6. Forrest,

    Both versions of the story — the MercuryPro and the free version — say you’re an Occupy San Marcos member and that has not been changed since the story was published on Oct. 9, four days ago. You’re certainly late to getting around to correcting the record if you find it so offensive as to label it libelous. I’ll edit the story to note that you are a member of Occupy San Marcos’ Facebook group but that you deny membership in the group itself.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/OccupySanMarcos/

    You are remarkably thin-skinned for someone engaged in such a venture, in my opinion. Not to mention unappreciative. I’ve given your crusade a lot of press and you seem rather ungrateful, if I can say so.

  7. Brad,
    I do appreciate the coverage that this story has had through your site, and I think that you have appreciated an upsurge in the participation and number of visits to your site. I remember the words infinite potential for drama in one of your first stories.
    As to the “Occupy” label, I follow the Occupy San Marcos group on Facebook as I would follow other sources of information. The usage and interpretation of the word “member” in this context means only that I am a member that views a Facebook page, not a member that is active in sit-ins in the community. It’s a little funny that you would use these labels. You could have asked me without extrapolating things from a Facebook page.

  8. We averaged 1,504 visits per day last week. Our year-to-date daily average is 1,418 (including weekends, which are almost always low traffic days). So there has been some interest in this story but not nearly as much as the people involved probably think there is.

    By contrast, during the two weeks in July bracketing Cpl. James Palermo’s arrest for aggravated assault by a public servant, we sustained an average of 2,659 visits a day for fourteen days straight, including weekends. The allegations against Palermo were something people were really appalled by.

    My conclusion: People don’t seem to be reacting as if they think it is a huge scandal. San Marcos is reacting with sort of a yawn, actually, compared to the other big news of the year.

  9. To follow up, I just ran a report on our top stories for the year. None of the coverage from the previous week, or from the Ethics Review Commission hearing on Morris, made the top 50.

    For the curious or bored, here are our top 10 for the year so far:

    1. San Marcos cop faces felony rap for assaulting woman during illegal arrest (12,782 pageviews)

    2. San Marcos fastest growing city in the U.S., census bureau says (8,600 pageviews)

    3. San Marcos native left for dead by roadside dumpster (8,123 pageviews)

    4. San Marcos barber closes downtown shop after 41 years (7,118 pageviews)

    5. San Marcos council okays River Road apartments, park donation (4,323 pageviews)

    6. Another San Marcos cop arrested, this time for controlled substances (4,190 pageviews)

    7. Telluride Street shooting leaves man in critical condition (3,300 pageviews)

    8. Reality star Jesse James to appear at Thunderhill races (3,103 pageviews)

    9. Friends brace for passing of colorful activist Breihen (3,083 pageviews)

    10. Retired physician’s hillside home destroyed by blaze (3,075 pageviews)

  10. So Brad by this logic does it mean its okay to continue to label Forrest or anybody however you want because fewer people are looking at it? Well done…

  11. Brad just said the issue wasn’t getting him a ton of readers to the Mercury and that he would amend the story to reflect that Forrest denies membership in Occupy San Marcos. Yes, well done, Brad.

  12. Yes I get it that he said he would amend the article, but his last response seemed to be a justification of sorts. Honestly I wouldn’t expect a huge following on this topic considering something like 5% of the people actually vote on local elections; so, why would they follow this story? Maybe he has gained more hits on this than there would have been if not for the “drama.”

  13. Fulkerson implied I was benefiting from covering this story by racking up visits to the site. I was just pointing out that wasn’t the case. This P&Z/Open Meetings issue is an important story for our city and I’ll continue covering it no matter what it does to our readership. I was being flippant when I said he was being ungrateful; I don’t expect his gratitude nor do I particularly want it.

    The quality of the debate on this issue is devolving quickly. I cannot deny I am partially to blame. Maybe we can just sit tight and wait to see what happens next?

  14. But, we haven’t even mentioned Hitler yet. That’s the only known-good way to end a discussion.

  15. Good lord, Ted. I’m sure this isn’t *that* irredeemable.

  16. Brad who pays your bills? With your developer heavy spin, I’m guessing it’s real estate agents and developers. We all know newspapers and other journalistic ventures require advertising and other revenue to stay afloat, where does your funding come from? Just as we should know where a politician’s contributions come from, it would seem like it would fair to know where our news sources are getting paid.

  17. Or, start your own web site and get all your funding from environmentalists.

  18. I don’t think we spin the news toward developers. I just think some people aren’t used to seeing development issues covered even-handedly so they’re not familiar with what it looks like.

    You can see who our advertisers are by the advertisements on this site. There are very few development- or real estate-related advertisers. In fact, I think both those communities should do far more advertising with the Mercury given the size of our readership and our influential voice for moderate, common sense growth policies.

  19. Oh come in, All this squabbling and quarreling and quibbling gets us nowhere and distracts us fro the real problem, the real issue: WALL STREET. Wall Street’s tentacles extend even to San Marcos.

    Pope Francis just said, ““The world has become an idolator of this god called money.”

    Pope Francis also said, “While money begins by offering a sense of well being. Then you feel important and vanity comes. We read in the Psalm. This vanity is useless, but still you think you are important. And after vanity comes pride. Those are the three steps: wealth, vanity and pride.”

    And Pope Francis also recently said, “Money sickens our minds, poisons our thoughts, even poisons our faith, leading us down the path of jealousy, quarrels, suspicion and conflict. It drives to idle words and pointless discussions. It also corrupts the mind of some people that see religion as a source of profit. ‘I am Catholic, I go to Mass, everyone thinks well of me… But underneath I have my businesses. I worship money’. And here we have the word we usually find in newspapers: ‘Men of corrupted minds’. Money corrupts us! There’s no way out.”

    I am not a Roman Catholic, but it seems as if one might ponder these words which are directed to the global economy, which is to say, WALL STREET.

    As far as Carter Morriss is concerned, he has been accused, tried and found guilty enough to cite by the Ethic Commission. There is NO NEED to execute him by removing him from P&Z. The precedent has been set. The rules have changed. Now if he does it again, THAT would be a different things altogether. But somehow I bet he has learned his lesson and won’t even come close to any line again. So anything further would be overkill.

  20. ”As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

    Go ahead Ted, do it! You might also mention that Brad is a capitalist tool, a shill for the University and probably a member of the illuminati.

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