Wilson County News January 16, 2013 3,417 views 2 comments
ELMENDORF -- In addition to the ongoing construction of Elmendorf City Hall, the city is taking on a new look, with the recent resignations of an alderman and the city’s police chief. These two items dominated the agenda of the Elmendorf City Council’s Jan. 10 meeting.
City Administrator Cody Dailey said that former Alderman Linda Hall resigned her position since she had moved from the city to reside closer to her place of employment. The remaining aldermen voted unanimously to appoint former Mayor Tommy Hicks to fill the unexpired term, which ends in May.
Police Chief Sonny Gonzales also has resigned. Dailey said Gonzales, as of the end of December, had vacated his post to accept a position as a civilian investigator with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Gonzales was promoted to chief June 16, 2011, following the resignation of former Chief A.D. Carroll in April of that year.
The council voted 3-1-1 to authorize Dailey to interview candidates for Gonzales’ successor. They allowed the city administrator to narrow the field of applicants to three, leaving a fourth place if Elmendorf police Officer David Rios -- the department’s only paid officer -- should apply for the position. As part of the vote, the council stipulated that Dailey is allowed to offer applicants the $41,600 annual salary previously budgeted for Gonzales.
Alderman Jesse Garcia abstained from the vote, while Alderman R.M. “Andy” Anderson voted no. This was after Anderson suggested the city suspend its police department, at least until after all city offices are moved into the new Elmendorf City Hall. Anderson expressed concerns over the police department not being able to financially sustain itself.
Hicks reminded the council that it is illegal to place stipulations or quotas on a police department. The city’s police force, he said, takes care of Elmendorf’s citizens and watches over the city when residents leave for work every day.
“If you take that away, outside influences could take advantage,” Hicks said. “[The police] are never going to make enough money to support themselves.”
Former Councilman Bucky Ball said the police department serves as a selling point to help attract new residential and commercial development into Elmendorf. In addition, Ball said that without a dedicated department, the citizens would have to rely solely upon the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.
“By the time they get here, we’re in bad shape,” he said.
In other business, the council:
•Voted to allow Dailey to open a bank account for the deposit and payment of funds for the Butterfield Ranch Public Improvement District.
•Discussed the recent canceled meeting of the city’s Reinvestment Zone No. 1, which only a representative of the San Antonio River Authority attended. Since the other eight members did not attend, Dailey suggested that the council might select new board members.
•Discussed the overwhelming success of the 2012 Christmas in the Park Parade, reaching a consensus that the city should start planning a second citywide annual celebration, similar to the Floresville Peanut Festival. A committee likely will be formed in the coming months to plan an April 2014 event to attract visitors to he city.
•Presented a certificate of appreciation to Wayne Montgomery for his efforts in promoting the 2012 Christmas in the Park Parade.
Jan. 9 meeting
In attendance: Elmendorf aldermen Linda Ortiz, Jesse Garcia, Tommy Hicks, R.M. “Andy” Anderson, and Richard Rodriguez, and Mayor Manuel Decena; City Administrator Cody Dailey, City Attorney Michael Guevara, City Secretary Roxanne Deleon, and Officer David Rios of the Elmendorf Police Department.
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Senior Citizen Wilson County January 17, 2013 4:59pm