Chaos was the word at the regular meeting of the Stinnett City Council Monday evening
Local Stinnett citizen Crystal Irvin spoke her concerns about both the handling of the arson investigation regarding her family as well as the general day-to-day operations of the local law enforcement.
While speaking to the city council members and citizens, she asked Chief of Police Marie Farbro to stand in front her and the congregation and stated, “As a person I have nothing against you. I think you’re probably a fine person. For what ever reason I don’t believe you’re competent at your job.”
Irvin said she believes Farbro is not qualified for the position and the arson investigation surrounding her family was not handled properly.
“I have been told that by the Borger city cops, by people in the sheriff’s department, by people in the highway patrol department, and by people who came over and investigated my arson,” Irvin said.
At that time Farbro removed her badge and placed it on the table in front of the council.
“That just drives my point home,” Irvin said.
Farbro left the building and city council member Kim Johnson followed behind her. The day after the meeting Farbro stated that she was not resigning, but at that point she just simply “had enough.”
She said, “I do my job serving and protecting Stinnett. I still love Stinnett.”
She also said what Mrs. Irvin did was “very rude, she didn’t have to do that.”
It was confirmed that Johnson left the meeting to talk with Farbro to calm her down and talk things through.
“She did a good job at it,” Farbro said.
Later it became a concern that by Johnson abandoning her post was an issue upon her returning with Farbro to the meeting and taking her designated seat.
Mayor Billy Murphy stated, “ I don’t think it was abandonment or a malicious act, she was helping a friend.”
He said, “I didn’t know the rules and I didn’t kick her out. I just told her, ‘If you are willing to leave, go ahead.’”
He continued to say that he was trying to stop an argument by doing so,”but Kim was a better person to leave.” he added.
Murphy said the meeting was nothing but personal problems” waiting to blow up.
An email was sent to The Texas Municipal League in regard to the concerns. Assistant General Counsel Laura Mueller from Texas Municipal League responded by saying,” Vacancies in city council seats are hard to come by. For a council member to resign, they must do so in writing, and then it is effective eight days later. Also, even if a council member resigns in writing, they remain a council member as a “holdover” under the Texas Constitution until their replacement is appointed or elected. A council member can also lose their seat if they miss three consecutive regular council meetings or if they violate some ethics statutes. There is no problem with a council member leaving a meeting and then coming back, other than they might have broken the quorum, in which case a break would have been appropriate. Sometimes council meetings in some cities last for an entire day, and these councils take breaks and sometimes council members may come and go, but they don’t lose their spot just because they leave a meeting, even if they break quorum by doing so. Unless a council member is disrupting a meeting, he or she arguably cannot be made to leave a meeting. Also, she did not abandon her post on the facts that you gave me.”
Johnson and Irvin were not available for further comment.