City of Willow Park

Mayor, council candidate at odds

The Weatherford Democrat, by Christin Coyne, March 18, 2012 – PARKER COUNTY — Willow Park City Council candidate and current Planning and Zoning Commission member Bernard Suchocki was escorted out of a city council meeting by police Tuesday after a dispute between him and Mayor Marvin Glasgow escalated.

Issues between Suchocki and Glasgow have gone public in recent weeks, prompting Suchocki to file to be on the May 12 city council ballot and Glasgow to respond to Suchocki’s comments in recent public meetings.

After Suchocki, an attorney, was removed by other members of the Board of Directors of Willow Park Fire/Rescue earlier this year, he has since made two presentations before the city council criticizing the mayor and announced a bid for City Council Place 5, running against incumbent Hale Alderman.

Suchocki said he believes the issues between him and other city leaders come down to his outspoken opposition to a planned apartment complex as a planning and zoning commissioner.

Glasgow, who responded to some of Suchocki’s previous comments during the meeting Tuesday, denies that his problems with Suchocki are based on political issues – saying instead that he believes Suchocki has used “bullying tactics” and others more valuable to the board threatened to quit if they had to work with Suchocki.

Previous issues

“As a result of the Mayor Glasgow Gestapo tactics, I decided to run for City Council,” Suchocki told the Democrat in February.

Suchocki said he did not believe due diligence had been done by the city and developer in presenting all necessary information to planning and zoning commissioners regarding the apartment proposal last year.

In a statement he requested be added to minutes of the Aug. 18 P&Z meeting, Suchocki raised concerns about whether the city had the capability to provide water and sewer services to the proposed apartment complex and, though the fire marshal submitted a letter not recommending any changes to the final plat, whether the fire department had assessed the plans regarding their ability to provide fire protection to the units.

One issue he was not clear about was whether the proposed units were two or three stories and whether the city would need to purchase a fire apparatus with a ladder to properly protect a three story building, Suchocki told the Democrat.

Since that time, because of the confusion about whether the units would be two or three stories, the city has been told the developer will be submitting a request for a replat, according to Glasgow.

Despite the Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision to move ahead with the project, Suchocki spoke out at a following city council meeting in opposition to the group’s recommendation.

Glasgow then issued a statement clarifying protocol that commissioners may not offer input at city council meetings unless specifically requested, stating, “Once the final vote has been cast, Commissioners will show proper respect to fellow commissioners, the decisions of the Commission, and the processes involved.”

Fire Department Board of Directors

Suchocki, who has served on the fire department board of directors for nearly a year, said  in a statement during the Feb. 14 city council meeting that he was called prior to an early 2012 meeting by his friend on the board and told that Glasgow and Jim Martin, who serves on the board and is the apartment complex developer, wanted him off the board or they were going to quit.

The board of directors meets about twice annually, nominates and approves its own members and serves in an advisory capacity, according to Glasgow.

Glasgow said in a council meeting Tuesday that, though Martin told him he wanted Suchocki off, he didn’t tell Suchocki’s friend that.

“So once again he was mistaken,” Glasgow said. “Take that for whatever it’s worth.”

According to the accounts of both men, Glasgow made a motion to remove Suchocki from the board citing conflicts with other members.

“Several members of the board didn’t like his attitude,” Glasgow said, adding, “He tends to be a bully … He’s difficult to get along with.”

After he made a motion to remove Suchocki, Glasgow said city administrator Candy Scott and fire marshal and current fire chief Brent Sauble voted with him in removing Suchocki.

With Suchocki voting against removal, Suchocki’s friend and another board member in attendance at the meeting reportedly abstained.

However, Martin disputed the mayor’s account Tuesday night when reached Wednesday.

Asked if he had told the mayor he wanted Suchocki off the board, Jim Martin said, “I never had that discussion with the mayor.”

Martin said he was not at that fire department board of directors meeting and didn’t vote on the issue.

During the February city council meeting, Suchocki accused the mayor of going back on campaign promises to oppose apartments.

Glasgow responded Tuesday night, noting that he did not vote on the rezoning changes, recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission to enable the apartments and later passed by the city council and is not responsible for bringing apartments to Willow Park.

However, Suchocki noted that Glasgow has since made statements supportive of the proposed apartments to the Democrat.

According to a story run by the Democrat in October, Glasgow contrasted what he called standard-construction apartments proposed across the highway and shot down by city leaders to the more upscale plans by Martin for land outside prime commercial area.

After giving a statement attacking city leadership during the citizen’s comment period, Suchocki again stood up Tuesday night immediately following Glasgow’s update from the mayor, in which he addressed some of Suchocki’s statements.

As Suchocki started giving a rebuttal, both men began speaking over each other.

“Be seated now,” Glasgow said, using his gavel. “Escort him out. Escort him out of this building. I will not put up with that in here. All the way out of the building.”

“You cannot sit out in the audience, anybody, and disrupt the council meeting,” Glasgow said afterward.

City of Willow Park

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