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Section A: General News


Auditor sounds the alarm for Floresville’s finances


Auditor sounds the alarm for Floresville’s finances
Floresville city auditor Patricia K. Wagner


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Wilson County News
January 23, 2013
8,987 views
95 comments

FLORESVILLE -- “I think the decisions that are going to have to be made are going to have to be practical decisions, not political decisions,” said Floresville city auditor Patricia K. Wagner, during a Jan. 18 meeting of the Floresville City Council’s audit committee. The committee also met Jan. 14.

Wagner had just informed the committee that preliminary findings ahead of the fiscal year 2012 financial audit reveal that the city is in dire financial straits because liabilities continue to exceed assets. She cited one of the findings of the fiscal year 2011 audit, in which city officials were chided because Floresville’s financial position was not being monitored. Wagner said the general fund deficit of $166,384 at the end of 2011 has ballooned to an unaudited deficit of $355,419.

The auditor blamed the further deterioration on legal and professional fees paid in 2012 and said that as of Sept. 30, 2012, the city had a cash deficit of $384,661, with outstanding payables of $177,468.

Additional strain has been placed on Floresville’s finances by the Lauro G. De Leon III Floresville Event Center, because a bond payment of $1,756,706 is due in fiscal year 2016.

“Granted, the interlocal agreement with the 4A [corporation] calls for a reimbursement of $1,291,389, but where is the 4A going to get this money?” Wagner asked. “[The] 4A had no available cash at Sept. 30, 2012. You will probably have to issue refunding debt to push the debt service out to later years. But if you were able to sell refunding bonds at all, the interest rate could be very high.”

This is why Wagner said one of the options the city might want to consider for getting out of debt is selling the event center.

Councilman Jim Miller, who sits on the committee, expressed grave concern over the ramifications related to the city’s bleak financial picture. He also said that during a recent meeting between the city and the River Bend Community Development Corp., it was revealed that the corporation -- which oversees the tax-increment financing (TIF) responsible for infrastructure improvements within the River Bend subdivision -- has not undergone a financial audit since it was formed in 2003. Even worse, it is on pace to default on its TIF debt in 2014, based on current revenue, he said.

While the city has no direct stake in the corporation, the city is responsible for the water, sewer, and streets infrastructure within the subdivision, Miller said.

Mayor Diana Garza said following the meeting, “These are initial audit findings. We find them alarming and take them seriously. We will act upon recommendations of the audit committee. In reviewing these initial findings, we will review every aspect of the city’s operations.”

The committee is set to meet again Jan. 28 at 1 p.m., at which time they will present ideas for a plan to alleviate Floresville’s financial malady. Miller said following the meeting that the plan must be submitted within 30 days, as the city’s audit is due for completion in March. The plan must be included in the audit report, Miller said, otherwise the city risks not receiving a clean audit. This could lead to a downgrade of Floresville’s credit rating.

Cuts must be made to a budget that shows a majority of its revenue being allocated toward personnel and benefits, he said. According to Miller, the city pays retirement benefits on all employees and it funds 100 percent of the cost of individual health insurance on each worker. Under the city’s plan with Humana, Floresville spends $403.75 per employee, per month for medical coverage, based on a work force of 52 employees -- a total of $251,940 per year.

“There’s no other place to cut,” Miller said. “And the truth is, we have no other choice. There will be a top-down review of every employee, their job descriptions, their pay, and their benefits.”

In attendance: Floresville city auditor Patricia K. Wagner and Jerry Barbatto and Terry Thill of Alonzo, Bacarisse, Irvine and Palmer; committee members Floresville city councilmen Jim Miller, Sherry Martinez Castillo, and Eric Rodriguez; City Manager Andy Joslin; Douglass Jones, Deb Conoly, and Comptroller Lauren Feagins; and City Secretary Sherry Pollok.



Mayor Diana Garza's comments:
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Airborne Trooper  
wilson cty  
January 31, 2013 1:44pm
 
Ok now what, let me edumacate you, Mr Miller was not on the council when members missed council meetings. And those officials didn't want to vote on passing the building of the sports complex. They knew Castillo and Gomez ... More ›

 
Something else to say 2  
January 31, 2013 1:42pm
 
Joslin has a way of twisting people without doing it. Remember his previous employment, he was a police officer. They have ways to get to people without talking to them. Remember he also is the one that signs the checks! Don't ... More ›

 
ok now what  
here and now  
January 31, 2013 1:01pm
 
Really....Joslin forcig the employees to show support...maybe just maybe you should AKS the employees who was out of line between your savior Jim Miller and the City Manager...I did..and I was told that Joslin NEVER asked any ... More ›

 
Fed Up With Arrogance  
Sin City  
January 31, 2013 11:27am
 
Andy, the T-shirt I Built, what did you build the night of the council meeting when you ordered all of your employees to show up wearing their T-shirts? You talk the talk but do not walk the walk.

 
Jim Lawhon  
Floresville, TX  
January 31, 2013 11:13am
 
Fly guy, I did not attend the council meeting but have seen the aftermath. Thank you for your well stated and unemotional offering. I concur 100%.

 
Concerned Tax Payer  
Floresville, Texas  
January 31, 2013 9:18am
 
Does Joslin understand that making your employees wear shirts and go to a meeting is illegal? That constitutes hostile work environment. And telling them they were going to be fired? Do we need to call the Attorney General's ... More ›

 
Airborne Trooper  
wilson cty  
January 31, 2013 8:57am
 
Well written fly guy. There is no doubt that someone went out and got all these folks to include possibly telling city employees they were going to lose thier jobs and needed to come speak. This was suppose to be a meeting to ... More ›

 
Flyguy  
Adkins  
January 31, 2013 8:28am
 
Right on Proletariat! Vindictive verbal assualt on an elected offical by so many, including a sitting councilwoman, deflected the real issue - competent overall operations management of the City of Floresville. The repetitive ... More ›

 
Webmaster  
Floresville  
January 30, 2013 7:14pm
 
Video from Floresville City Council, Jan. 29 meeting can be viewed here: http://www.wilsoncountynews.com/article.php?id=48839

 
Senior Citizen  
Wilson County  
January 30, 2013 4:53pm
 
From Roberts Rules: ...  Personal remarks are always out of order ... What a sad commentary last night's meeting was on the city of Floresville. Yes, the city manager still has his job, but at a high price. Perhaps there ... More ›

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