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Elmendorf’s budget includes one less cop
ELMENDORF -- The city’s police department is now down to two paid officers after the Elmendorf City Council voted Sept. 13 to lay off one officer so that the city would meet its fiscal year 2013 budget calculations.
City Administrator Cody Dailey would not elaborate on why the city decided to lay off Officer Richard Puente, who was one of two officers on the chopping block at the council’s Aug. 9 meeting. Dailey at that meeting was directed to respond to Puente’s appeal of a July 25 suspension related to an alleged “violation of personnel and police policy.”
Absent of Puente, Police Chief Sonny Gonzales and Cpl. David Rios are Elmendorf Police Department’s only paid officers. The department also employs a handful of non-paid reserves.
In addition to approving Puente’s layoff, the council also voted to adopt the city’s $2,122,891.65 budget for the 2013 fiscal year. The budget, which takes effect Oct. 1, anticipates a surplus of $9,333.95.
The budget will be supported by an ad valorem tax rate of 47.7261 cents per $100 of assessed property value, which is the effective rate, as calculated by the Bexar County Appraisal District. The new rate, which the council voted to adopt, is slightly less than a half cent less than last year’s rate of 48.1749 cents.
For the average taxpayer, the new rate will mean a decreased tax bill. The Bexar County Appraisal District certified the average value of a residence in Elmendorf at $69,813. Therefore, the average tax bill will be $333.19. This is approximately 4 percent, or $13.93, less than last year’s average tax bill of $347.12, when the average taxable value of a residence was $72,054.
Despite the lower rate, the city estimates that the 2013 fiscal year budget will raise $13,132.95, or 8.22 percent, more tax revenue than the previous year’s budget. Of that amount, $4,714.38 is tax revenue being raised from new property added to the tax roll this year.
Both the budget and tax rate were adopted following their respective public hearings.
Also during the meeting, the council:
•Had a lengthy discussion on proposed changes to the city’s personnel policy, which relate to the authority of the city administrator, mayor, and city council pertaining to disciplining police officers. The matter will be discussed further during the council’s next regular meeting in October.
•Received citizen input from Patricia Wilson about a spike in water usage that she has noticed on her recent water bills. Because other residents, including Councilman R.M. “Andy” Anderson, have expressed similar concerns, this matter also will be discussed further in October.
***In attendance: Mayor Manuel Decena Jr. and councilmen Richard Rodriguez, R.M. “Andy” Anderson, Jesse Garcia, and Linda Ortiz; City Administrator Cody Dailey, City Secretary Roxanne De Leon, City Attorney Michael Guevara; and Chief Sonny Gonzales and Cpl. David Rios of the Elmendorf Police Department.
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