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Deb Conoly (clockwise from left, at table), Eric Rodriguez, Comptroller Lara Feagins, City Secretary Sherry Pollok, Doug Jones, Jim Miller, John Guerrero, and City Manager Andy Joslin work March 12 on the insolvency plan for the city of Floresville.
Wilson County News March 20, 2013 3,145 views 8 comments
FLORESVILLE -- The city of Floresville is one step closer to solid financial footing as the Floresville audit committee worked together in conjunction with city staff to develop an insolvency/turnaround plan during a March 12 special meeting.
The plan, which borrows from the successful actions of Fort Stockton, was painstakingly shaped through the cooperation of city staff and the audit committee.
In the plan, five critical priorities were outlined for action by the city. These include monitoring; financial management policies; debt service; utilities, permits, and fees; and infrastructure.
One proposed change in practice that prompted discussion was the proposal to move toward zero-based budgeting.
Traditional budgeting requires that only variances from the prior year’s budget be approved, with the base amount automatically incorporated into the budget.
For example, many entities will compose a budget by using the previous year’s amounts, plus a percentage on top to account for growth.
With zero-based budgeting, every line item on the budget must be accounted for and approved, in a sense, starting at zero instead of the prior year’s numbers.
“When you build a business plan, you don’t build a plan saying to the banker ‘Tell me how much money you are going to lend me,’ and then build your business plan around that,” said Councilman/committee chairman Jim Miller. “No, you develop your plan and go to the banker and say ‘I need this much money to do this’ and that’s in a nutshell what we’re doing in a zero-based budget.”
Another topic of necessity was utility rates, permits, and fees.
The insolvency/turnaround plan calls for the implementation of phase I of the water and sewer rate increases, based on a water rate study discussed at the Feb. 28 meeting of the city council.
Currently, the base rate charges $13.50 for the first 3,000 gallons of use. The next 9,000 gallons, or the volume rate, is billed at $1.50 per 1,000 gallons. When the increases take effect, the base rate will increase to $16 and the volume rate will increase to $2.80 per 1,000 gallons up to 9,000. The sewer rates will also increase from $12.50 to $16.50.
Phase I increases were described as necessary for the city to meet its current obligations in the water rate study conducted by Raul Gonzales of Community Resource Group.
Mayor Diana Garza, who said after the meeting that cooperation breeds results, lauded the productive meeting which produced the insolvency/turnaround plan.
“That’s how it’s supposed to be done,” Garza said. “With everyone working together and listening to what each other has to say, many things can get accomplished for the city of Floresville. It is about cooperation and a willingness to work together.”
Although scheduled to meet March 12 and 13, the audit committee only met March 12 due to achieving agreement for the insolvency plan.
In attendance: Committee members Eric Rodriguez, Deb Conoly, John Guerrero, Doug Jones, and Jim Miller; City Manager Andy Joslin; Mayor Diana Garza; Comptroller Lara Feagins; and City Secretary Sherry Pollok.
The weasel has reemerged? Like he has room to talk. We know his reputation is so impeccable! NOT. I would think the old regime would be too embarrassed to show their faces. Time will tell! Those people will NEVER be able to run ... More ›
The weasel has reemerged? Like he has room to talk. We know his reputation is so impeccable! NOT. I would think the old regime would be too embarrassed to show their faces. Time will tell! Those people will NEVER be able to run for office again and we cannot wait till Castillo is out too!!!
Isn't it funny how Mr. Gomez is now laughing at the audit committee and blaming "those returning councilmen" as the cause of this? Unfortunately the joke is on you Rene! Do you not see they are working for the betterment ... More ›
Isn't it funny how Mr. Gomez is now laughing at the audit committee and blaming "those returning councilmen" as the cause of this? Unfortunately the joke is on you Rene! Do you not see they are working for the betterment of the community not of themselves. It's amazing what happens when people work together for the city. This is what needs to happen. Now to get rid of the city manager and other staff that sit behind the "locked" doors and get staff in there that knows what they are doing!