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Mayor sues Floresville council members
FLORESVILLE -- Mayor Daniel Tejada has filed a lawsuit in district court against Floresville councilmen Jesse C. Flores, Mario Morones, John Guerrero, and Sherry Castillo. The suit states that their absences from recent scheduled city council meetings, resulting in the failure to muster a quorum, have limited “... the ability of the city to function, namely to set a budget and collect taxes, and this will cause immediate and irreparable harm to the residents of the city. No adequate remedy exists at law directing council members to appear as a quorum ... .”
The defendants listed are ordered to appear Thursday, Sept. 13, in district court, to show cause “... as to why their presence should not be mandated at the next city council meetings to fulfill the obligations of their office under the city charter ...” and the oaths they took to uphold the charter.
A city council meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, following the hearing. The original agenda for the meeting included 12 items for consideration and possible action, including “... to approve FEDC resolution(s) approving an interlocal agreement (with respect to the Recreation Complex) with the city of Floresville that states the Floresville Economic Development [Corp.] is responsible for the construction, the enhancement, and/or expansion of parks and sports facilities for the benefit of the community... .”
After the Wilson County News posted news of the lawsuit online Sept. 7, the website heated up with comments regarding the lawsuit and the recent failure of the city council to muster a quorum.
Councilman Jesse C. Flores was frequently absent from meetings earlier this year, citing work obligations; he was granted a “leave of absence” by the council. Recently, councilmen Mario Morones and John W. Guerrero failed to appear for several scheduled meetings, citing an apparent “voting block” by the two remaining council members and the mayor. They said they didn’t want to stop city business, but felt citizens had lost their voice.
“If they want to call a special meeting to approve new businesses coming into town, like McCoy’s, or to vote just for the tax exemption for seniors over 65, then sure, I’ll show up,” Morones said at the time.
Shortly after 10 a.m. Sept. 10, Floresville Mayor Daniel Tejada posted the following comment at wilsoncountynews.com, addressed to the residents of Floresville: “After much thought and consideration, and reading the comments here, I will remove any and all items for Consideration and Action regarding the Sports Complex including the renovation and construction of Little League fields and soccer fields, and any other amenities attached to the complex.
“It is imperative that we ratify a tax rate. I’m confident that all coaches, parents, and supporters will understand. We must come together as a City to take care of our tax rate and budget.”
He said a revised agenda would be posted shortly. It was, and the new agenda excluded the item referring to the “Recreation Complex” and an item regarding the “4A ground lease” with the city. See amended agenda, page 2A (download of PDF below).
Tejada’s lawsuit states the council’s failure to muster a quorum and attend to city business could have other ramifications, too. Items pending before the council include:
•Annexation of the recreation corridor -- which includes the Floresville Event Center
•Adoption of the city’s ad valorem tax rate and budget for the new fiscal year. The suit states the city will be “in breach of state law and unable to collect any tax revenue.”
The suit seeks to compel the councilmen “... to attend city council meetings pursuant to the terms of the city charter ... .”
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