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Section A: General News


Letter: Get the facts straight on FEDC




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October 10, 2012 | 2,789 views | 23 comments

Editor:

For some time now, attending Floresville City Council meetings has become an ordeal. It is an ordeal for the city administrators trying to conduct business and for those citizens who want to be part of the process in a positive way. It is particularly painful for those of us who volunteer our time without interest in personal gain. Painful because the lack of information or misinformation that is passed off as fact and detrimental to the interests of the city.

The following examples came out of the Sept. 29 council meeting:

•Misinformation: The Floresville Economic Development Corp. (FEDC) is operating in the red (deficit).

Fact: The FEDC has always been and is now solvent. The Fiscal Year 1012-13 budget, which was approved by the board Oct. 1 and will be presented to the council Oct. 4, clearly shows that. Further, numerous external audits have found FEDC finances to be sound, including the most recent -- done this year in conjunction with the city’s.

•Misinformation: The FEDC had to sell land to pay off its “obligation” to the school district.

Fact: This story bears some expansion. What is doubly bad here is this seed was originally planted by one of our councilmen by insinuating that the FEDC couldn’t pay its debts.

First, let’s talk about this great endeavor. In 2003, the city (FEDC) initiated the discussion to create a technology center in cooperation with the Alamo Community College District and the Floresville Independent School District (ISD). In December 2007, the Alamo Colleges agreed to partner with the Floresville ISD and FEDC to build and staff the early college center and agreed to provide $591,000 annually to operate it.

The FEDC executive director played a key role in advocating for and getting a $491,000 grant from Rep. Cuellar, and researched and co-wrote a request, which secured a $1.8 million grant from the Economic Development Agency. Additionally, the FEDC verbally committed to contribute $300,000 to support the early college, which opened in August 2010. Because of a requested other commitment, the FEDC delayed contributing the last $200,000 until this year. This was fully negotiated with and agreed to by former Floresville ISD Superintendent David Vinson. The final contribution was made in August.

No, the FEDC did not sell land to do this. The land sales are in conjunction with an aggressive effort -- and the benefit of Eagle Ford shale activity -- to fill up the 305-acre industrial park with commercial companies. So far, the FEDC has closed contracts with eight major companies and has contracts under negotiation with four others. This fulfills the very purpose for which the park was purchased.

•Misinformation: The FEDC board is in trouble.

Fact: The county attorney has filed a suit against the FEDC board (in their official capacities), alleging that the agenda posted for their July 23 meeting was informationally insufficient and, thereby, violated the Texas Open Meetings Act. This was the meeting in which the board decided unanimously to borrow $2.1 million to enhance and/or expand parks and sports facilities for the benefit of the Floresville community. This is purely an allegation to which the board, through its lawyer(s), has responded and firmly believes that there was no infraction.

I think the people that propagate this misinformation need to avail themselves of the facts. I know the city and the FEDC are open and willing to provide such. Let’s not be shooting ourselves in the foot!

ALFRED “FRED” Q. GONZALES

Floresville

Editor’s note: Fred Gonzales serves on the board of the FEDC.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Connect the Dots  
Floresville  
October 15, 2012 9:51pm
 
Oyes, prima flora.....you know how it goes. Tick, tock. Pero no saben como leer el reloj....

 
TigerLily  
Floresville  
October 15, 2012 9:34pm
 
Oyes, primo Kernel, te cortaron la lengua? Fred, how about you? You like to use big words like the mayor. But it is not going to get you anywhere. Like CTD says, the clock is ticking and the truth will come out.

 
Concerned Tax Payer  
Floresville, Texas  
October 15, 2012 2:41pm
 
If Fred cannot answer these questions, can the Kernal? Why isn't anyone saying anything? Anybody? Anybody? Hello, you were quick to critize a citizen who was just asking questions and he has replied and you have no answers? Que paso?

 
Be Careful  
Floresville, TX  
October 15, 2012 8:49am
 
Fred is having difficulty with reality (Most be to close to Halloween) This has been posted several times before, but FEDC continues to deny what FEDC files (required by law) to the State. Reports can be found http://www.texasahead.org/tax_programs/typeab/reporting.php 4B: ... More ›

 
TigerLily  
Floresville  
October 14, 2012 1:48pm
 
You are absolutely correct, CTD. Where is your clock? Is it still ticking?

 
Connect the Dots  
Floresville  
October 14, 2012 10:55am
 
No response from the peanut gallery to Jim Lawhon's question, I see. It's easy to write a letter filled with inaccurate information when you have not the fortitude to answer for it. Tipico de la gente "cool flecha," ... More ›

 
Jim Lawhon  
Floresville, TX  
October 12, 2012 7:25am
 
Fred – I am the guy who stood up at the City Council meeting on September 29th and asked the questions that you seem to have interpreted as an attack on the FEDC. You must not have heard the beginning of my time at the podium. ... More ›

 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
October 10, 2012 7:00pm
 
"... and the $123,000 payment to the city of Floresville for the Floresville Event Center." Will the FEDC be able to afford the $1.3 million balloon payment when it comes due in a couple of years? Where is this in ... More ›

 
LaLa Land  
Floresville, TX  
October 10, 2012 6:48pm
 
Poor Fred, you are like the mayor, Gomez, Flores, and Castillo. Can't catch a break. Y'all are just making it easier for the voters. Se tapan todos con la misma colcha!!!!

 
Winston Shaffer  
Floresville, TX  
October 10, 2012 5:53pm
 
Well, Mr. Gonzales, before Dr Vinson left we had several conversations about the FEDC funding. Let me say, your recollection of his position does not match my recollections. It is convenient for you to blame someone who has ... More ›

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