Controversial Llano cemetery ordinance changes voted down

STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS

Proposed changes to the Llano City Cemetery ordinance were voted down during the regular City Council meeting Jan. 7. The changes would have limited the types of displays and headstones in a new section of the cemetery. Staff photo by Jared Fields

Proposed changes to the Llano City Cemetery ordinance were voted down during the regular City Council meeting Jan. 7. The changes would have limited the types of displays and headstones in a new section of the cemetery. Staff photo by Jared Fields

The Llano City Cemetery ordinance will remain as-is after a unanimous vote during the Jan. 7 regular Llano City Council meeting.

Proposed changes to the ordinance had residents outraged over the weekend and prompted many to sign a petition against the revisions.

The changes, which included restricting upright headstones and concrete curbing, were proposed by city staff with the goal of saving on maintenance costs.

“Thank y’all to the city employees. They do the best they can. This was not vindictive; they were throwing ideas out there and throwing it to us to see if we agree,” Alderman Craig Bauman said. “The (city) employees were not trying to do anything to upset people.”

Comments on social media regarding the changes caused a stir over the weekend before the council meeting.

“We were never given the opportunity until tonight to discuss this (ordinance). It was blasted all weekend on Facebook. It’s frustrating to sit up here and try to do the best we can for y’all,” Alderman Sammy Leverett said.

All five council members and Mayor Gail Long spoke against the ordinance during discussion on the topic.

Another topic on the agenda was a revisit of the city’s zoning ordinance. The item had previously been tabled for staff to come back with recommendations on hiring an outside firm.

City Manager Scott Edmonson said the council’s options moving forward would be to set a workshop meeting or hire an outside firm.

Hiring an outside firm, Edmonson said, would have to wait until the council could budget the item during the next fiscal year.

Council voted 5-0 to direct Edmonson to research potential costs for an outside firm and bring that information back to a future council meeting for discussion.

Also during the City Council meeting:

• the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board was dissolved because a quorum had not been established in 11 months;

• the Llano Chamber of Commerce will place a flagpole at its office;

• and the city is seeking a Community Development Director. The job posting will be open through the end of January. 

jared@thepicayune.com

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