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Council says 'no' to golf carts; Wade walks out on ethics complainants

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OVILLA -  After a 4-1 vote council denied the use of golf carts on public streets Monday, June 27.

Place 3 Councilman James Wade has been promoting the use of golf carts in the town for months.

The first time the action appeared on the council’s agenda, there wasn’t a second, so, the action failed and dropped off. 

Since then, Wade has been running a petition to get the city to allow the item to be placed on the agenda again, this time, with more than 112 signatures.

“He [Wade] has said himself at least one of these, is not even in the city, these aren’t even valid,” said Mayor Bill Vansyckle. 

Wade stated in email the reason he wanted golf carts 

to be allowed on public streets is because of his mother’s health.

“My mother had been experiencing walking difficulty recently. She lives in Ovilla Oaks and has a long uphill driveway. So for her birthday I purchased a golf cart to make it easier for her to fetch the mail and daily newspaper from the street,” stated Wade.

“After checking into the legality of using a cart on the street, I discovered that, though it is legal in the state of Texas, it was not in the city of Ovilla except for Ovilla city workers.”

According to law provided by Police Chief Frank Moon, section 551.403 states :  LIMITED OPERATION. (a) an operator may operate a golf cart (1) in a master planned community: (A) that has in place a uniform set of restrictive covenants and (B) for which a municipality has approved a plat; (3) on a public or private beach; or (3) on a public highway for which the posted speed limit is not more than 35 miles per hour, if the golf court is operated: (a) during the daytime; and (B) not more than two miles from the location where the golf cart is usually parked and for transportation to or from a golf course.

During council discussion, Wade proceeded saying he had information from attorneys at the Texas Municipal League saying otherwise. 

“Were you [ City Secretary Pamela Higgins] instructed to leave anything out of the packet?, “ asked Wade. 

“I was under the impression my materials were going to be presented as well tonight.”

Higgins answered no, but after a brief recess and the council reconvened, she said “ I was instructed to leave items out.”

When questioned, Vansyckle said, “ there was information provided previously, but when I asked Wade to submit to me what he wanted in the packet, he only gave me this ( showing the copy of his petition.)” 

There were four more action items involving Wade tabled from a previous meeting but, when the motion was made for the council to reconvene after a 10 minute break, Chief Moon told Vansyckle Wade was not returning for the remainder of the meeting.

The items were then voted on by the remainder of the council and passed with a note of prejudice from Wade. 


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