South East Bexar County Awareness: The ESD#6 went into receivership
Ms. Sylvia Ruiz Mendelsohn, board president of the ESD#6 is also the co-founder of the Thelma Area Neighborhood Corporation. According to www.bexar.org; Ms. Ruiz and Mr. Jimmie Lopez (former Southside ISD Board member, former BexarMet Water District Board member) assumed the name for their community organization. The same Thelma Area Neighborhood Corporation whose current president, Mr. Theo Castillo attended a recent ESD#6 board meeting; and at which time he thanked them for all their hard work at finally bringing the community center to their area. Ms. Mendelsohn's organization will also be overseeing the daily activities of running the community center.
Conflict of Interest?
The ESD#6 had the courts decide their fate.
The ESD6 went into receivership......not so quickly...says Ms. Mendelsohn's actions.
Local firefighters attended a hearing in which the ESD#6 was to come under "receivership"; an agreement was reached by the ESD6 board President, Sylvia Mendelsohn, her attorney Louis T. Rosenberg and the other parties involved that the ESD#6 would make the payments on accounts due so that Sandy Oaks VFD would not lose their ladder truck and other vehicles as well as giving some (very little) capital to the departments to help with costs, but not fully funding either one.
Waiting for funds which would not come for at least a couple more months. A receiver was to be appointed to handle the activities of the ESD#6 while finances and contracts were straightened out. A procedure taken when wrongdoing is found and so that a legal solution can be had without having a full blown lawsuit.
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The Project must go on......
Mr. Gil Perez, ESD#1 board member and Director of SAFE D, who was slotted to speak to the Southside Community at a canceled meeting of the ESD#6, did attend the rescheduled meeting. And it was noted that he didn't say anything that hadn't already been repeated by people in the commissioner's office as well as members of the community, legal and not.
The same could not be said from members of the community.
South Bexar Fire & Rescue, while the only ones under contract, were now questioning their contract. They were shown a new contract on the evening of December 21st, the evening before the ESD#6 was to go to court to appoint a "monitor". Leading to the question, why? Why would you give a new contract on the eve of appointing someone to negotiate contracts?
South Bexar- former fire chief David Crowley clearly stated that he did not sign. The contract that he had signed was on October 1, 2010.
A gentleman from the Thelma area, Mr. Fernando Rodriguez, questioned the use of fire fighter funds for the community center. It was noted that Ms. Mendelsohn avoided answering his question as to who would actually be running the facility and that it was just "semantics" with the federal government, as far as calling it an evacuation center to secure the grant.
Obstruction Causes Change of Plans:
Ms. Mendelsohn was not happy with the choices she was given and wanted to appoint her own selection, both members of the Fire Marshal's office, who have ties to the construction of the new community/evacuation center as Ms. Mendelsohn has continuously talked of the center being used by the Fire Marshal's office for training, etc.
Therefore, a receiver was not assigned until a later date and instead a judge was to find a suitable individual to help oversee the ESD#6 daily activities. After returning to court for a meeting with the judge, Ms. Mendelsohn was not pleased with the judges selection either and instead opted to call an emergency meeting on Tuesday the 21st of December 2010. The meeting was originally scheduled for Monday, the 20th of December but was rescheduled for Tuesday the 21st of December 2010, the same day as the ESD#6 was to appear in court again to have a "monitor" appointed by the judge. The hearing was then scheduled for Wednesday, December the 22nd, at which time Mr. Stephen Allison was appointed as a monitor, beginning on January 1, 2011.
The court found:
1)The ESD 6 has a legal duty to provide safe and adequate levels of fire and emergency protection within its service area.
2) That public trust within its service area has been compromised and presents a substantial threat of harm to the public.
3) That the school district will continue to be harmed by the continued failure of the ESD#6 to provide safe and adequate levels of fire and emergency protection.
4) That a Court Monitor is necessary in this case to stabilize the management and to assure safe and adequate levels of fire and emergency protection during the litigation.
Mr. Stephen Allison; the monitor would report to the judge. Ms. Mendelsohn and her board would still have access to the daily activities. Although their seats have expired since December 31, 2010, they have remained on "hold over" status.
Reasons sited as to why the Commissioners appointed the individuals currently on the board was due to no one applying for the board positions. Four members of the community had applied for positions and received letters from the commissioners office that they were going with more qualified individuals. One community member had 20 plus years of fire safety experience.
Seems Like Old Times:
ESD6 board records show that the court appointed monitor did not receive payment for services either, as the ESD6 was waiting for money from a loan to pay their bills, having spent the money that was set aside for the monitors fees.
The appointment of the monitor seems to have been a waste of not just time, but financial resources that the firefighters could have used instead. The contracts that were agreed upon have not been held up by the ESD6 board.
Come October of 2013, the last of the three volunteer fire departments will no longer make calls in the South east Bexar County area. The members of Southeast Bexar County have sat back and let Ms. Mendelsohn, County Commissioner Rodriguez and their pawns on the board dictate and control their money and their safety. Leaving them with debt and no safety.
How do you apply to become a member of the ESD #6 board, you must apply for the position. Candidates that have a background in business, medicine or fire safety will be good candidates for the position, but not required. Anyone that is interested can go on the county commissioners website at www.bexar.org and download the application.
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