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Elmendorf council exercises diplomacy
By Vicki Root
ELMENDORF -- Aldermen for the city of Elmendorf will not receive a monthly stipend -- at least not yet. This hot topic was among several items of interest testing the diplomatic skills of the city’s mayor and aldermen Aug. 8 during the regular city council meeting.
Mayor Manuel Decena Jr. fielded numerous citizens’ questions and comments, both during citizens’ participation and when the general business items were introduced. According to the mayor, the possibility of paying city council members was his idea. He said he wanted to recognize the countless hours aldermen contribute to the betterment of the community, and that his own research revealed that many cities do pay city council members.
Aldermen’s reactions varied: Two council members said they were not interested in receiving payment because they volunteer their time and resources and they believe the money could be spent on other things. Another said that some of the members are older and on fixed incomes, and a stipend might be nice. No action was taken. A town meeting might be called to further discuss this idea.
Also during the meeting, the annual audit results were presented by accountant Wayne Beyer, who said the city is stable, with current assets of $143,886 and liabilities of $62,000. He gave the city an “unqualified opinion.” An auditor gives this designation when he does not have any significant reservation in respect of matters contained in the financial statements. City Administrator Cody Dailey said the city has received this for “quite a few years” now.
Dailey also said the city fared well, considering revenue from water sales was down last year and expenses were higher than normal, due to the drought causing numerous leaks. The city also had start-up expenses for the new municipal building and other expenses, he said.
Also discussed was funding for a water well, water treatment center, and ground storage, secured by a previous council. Dailey suggested this is not cost-beneficial to the city at this time, and requested the plan be put on hold for now. This was approved.
The council also discussed the selection process of a mayor pro tem. No action was taken.
The council withdrew into closed session to discuss legal issues regarding the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone involving Kilowatt Park Land LLC and the City of Elmendorf.
After reconvening, the council approved for Dailey and the city attorney to enter into mediation regarding this previously executed settlement agreement. This was according to the city administrator after the meeting.
In attendance: City Administrator Cody Dailey, City Attorney Mark Guevara, City Secretary Roxanne DeLeon, Mayor Manuel Decena Jr.; aldermen Richard B. Rodriguez, R.M. “Andy” Anderson, Jesse Garcia, and Linda Peña Ortiz; and Police Chief Michael Pimentel.
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