South East Bexar County Awareness: March 24, 2011- ESD6 Meets and Violates Again
Is It Possible to Keep Losing Money?
The ESD6 is now $200,000 "out of whack", as one community member put it. The meeting proved once again that the ESD6 board is still spending money that they don't have.
The Board Stays the Same
A newly appointed board member, Joe Hearn whom most will remember was the "inner circle" appointment for District Fire Chief, joined the board for their meeting. The board discussed the election of new officers, as Ms. Vargas illegally made mention of Mr. Chavez running for the Southside ISD School Board and the possibility that he might not be on the board much longer. Ms. Mendelsohn made a suggestion, "even though we haven't talked about this prior to and since we are in a continuing situation, I was going to make the suggestion to continue with the same executive board, the officers." And not to the surprise of those in attendance, the members agreed and voted accordingly.
The board that has been spending recklessly decided to schedule a budget workshop around the schedules of Mr. Wood and Mr. Hearn. With all the financial turmoil, the board figures on taking about two hours to finish their budget.
THE MONITORS MONEY:
The court appointed monitor was to be given two payments of $10,000 a piece for his work. When he received the first payment, he opted to allow the ESD6 to hold on to it because he knew that they didn't have enough money to fund the departments and this would give them some money to give the departments while waiting for the tax revenue to come in. The board was informed by their attorney, Louis T. Rosenburg; that the monitor "didn't want the first $10,000" and so they were free to use it. The board then voted to take $850 for payment on the creation of the new District 6 Fire & Rescue station, which is not what was voted on in October. The October 2010 meeting, the board voted to call it ESD6 Fire & Rescue.
Interestingly enough, the Administrator asked if all they were using was $850. ESD attorney Nohl Bryant commented that since that is all they asked for in the agenda, that was all they could take. Ms. Vargas chimed in with the fact that they still needed another $150; when she was quickly cut off by Ms. Mendelsohn.
Hb 1917- Gives Commissioners Court Authority to Remove Esd Members
The HB1917 that has everyone excited about finally holding the ESD commissioner's accountable, because up until now, they have been allowed to continue running personal agendas and mismanaging funds without reprisal. A little misleading is the fact that County Commissioner's have said that they don't have authority over the ESD, yet they are the only ones that appoint members, remove and replace members, at their discretion. Yet, the only thing that was written about the County Commissioner's responsibility was that to make sure that they have an annual audit report from the ESD's, which many in Mr. Rodriguez's precinct have not. Commissioner Rodriguez, has lost control of his ESD Commissioners and has failed to remove or replace them.
The HB1917, authored by Charles Schwertner, State Rep., was filed in Feb of 2011 and is out of committee, the interesting part of the bill states, "If this act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this act takes effect September 1, 2011."
What is HB1917?
Section 1. The heading to Section 775.0422, Health and Safety Code, is amended as follows:
Section 775.0422. REMOVAL OF APPOINTED BOARD MEMBERS BY COMMISSIONERS COURT (REMOVED FROM THE BILL: FOR FAILURE TO GIVE REPORT).
Section 2. Section 775.0422 (b), Health and Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:
(b) The commissioners court of the county in which a district is located by an order adopted by a majority vote may remove a board member. (REMOVED FROM THE BILL: after a hearing, may remove one or more board members if the board failed to give the report required by Section 775.036 (a) (4) to the commissioners court before the 91st day after the date on which the report was due under that section.)
How does this hold the county commissioner's accountable and will it change the way they do things?
The answer will come once the bill takes effect. The county commissioner's can at their discretion continue the status quot and blindly support Mr. Rodriguez, only this time the excuse of not having power to govern over the Emergency Service Districts is gone. It will be written into law and in the end, the accountability rest squarely on the shoulders of the County Commissioner's Board.