Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Von Ormy Mayor withdraws resignation

VON ORMY-- Von Ormy Mayor Trina Reyes withdrew her resignation on Monday August 29, 2016 in an email sent to City Commissioners and staff.  Reyes had resigned during a meeting of the City Commission on August 22, following a commission vote rejecting her nominee for Chief of Police --Pedro Rosario.   The vote was the 4th time in 6 months that the City Commission has voted to reject or remove Rosario, who Mayor Reyes has repeatedly appointed as a vacancy appointment to serve as interim Police Chief.  
     Texas law does not make a resignation final until eight days after being submitted in writing to the City.  Reyes withdrew her resignation just prior to the eight day and will continue to serve as Mayor.  Her current term of office ends in May of 2017.

Monday, August 22, 2016

City adopts zero property tax rate; Hires Police Chief; Mayor Reyes resigns

Greg Reyes being sworn in  as Police Chief
by Von Ormy City Clerk Juanita de Anda
VON ORMY--At a special meeting held Monday, August 22, 2016, the Von Ormy City Commission adopted its fiscal year 2017 budget and tax rate.  Commissioners Martinez and Quintanilla voted unanimously to adopt a tax rate of zero, returning the city to a no property tax status.  The City receives most of its income from sales tax and franchise fees.  City sales tax receipts have stabilized over the past two years, following a dip resulting from Eagle Ford Shale decline.
    The new city budget totals $656,200.00 for 2017 and includes paying off the the city's remaining debt on the city park ($50,000.00), leaving the city with no debt.  The City also carries over $600,000.00 in surplus into next year.
   The Commissioners appointed Greg Reyes as the city's first Police Chief.  Reyes formerly served as City Marshal in Von Ormy.  In 2016, the City converted from a City Marshal's Office to a Police Department, which necessitated the application of a new law enforcement agency license.  The change also means that the City will no longer have a City Marshal, but will instead have a Chief of Police.
   Mayor Trina Reyes resigned during the meeting.   The City Commissioners elected Sally Martinez to serve as acting Mayor.
  The Commission also moved its regularly scheduled meetings to the first Thursday of the month.

Friday, August 12, 2016

City Commission adopts proposed property tax rate of zero

VON ORMY-- The Von Ormy City Commission met for a special meeting on August 11, 2016 and took the following actions:

Adopted a proposed tax rate of $0 for 2016 to be included in the rate notice to be published pursuant to Texas Tax Code Sec.26.052     
- The City Commission approved a contract with Shauna Zamarripa to maintain the website 
- The City will solicit bids to build a shed to house the new tractor.
- The City will solicit bids to clear land in City Park.
- The City Commission tasked the City Attorney to create a policy to allow residents of Von Ormy and organizations to use the city building for meetings and workshops
- It was announced that City Auditors Garza/Gonzalez and Associates have completed the FY 2013 and FY 2014 audits
- The Mayor's nominee for Chief of Police, Pedro Rosario, was defeated for the third consecutive time.  Following the meeting, Mayor Reyes appointed Pedro Rosario to be interim Police Chief to fill the vacancy in the office.  Interim appointments serve until either confirmed or rejected by the City Commission at the the next meeting.   

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Former Von Ormy Councilwomen's criminal case tossed; District Attorney reviewing whether to refile

VON ORMY--The criminal cases against former Von Ormy Councilwomen Verna Hernandez, Jacqueline Goede and Carmina Aguilar were dismissed on Monday, August 1 due to an error in the indictment.  An indictment is a written statement of the formal charges against a criminal defendant.  The indictment as written alleged, among other things, that the three former Council members held a City Council meeting without a quorum, but it failed to state that a quorum is necessary for a City Council meeting to be valid.  Attorneys for the former council members argued that the indictment was defective because it failed to list all of the elements of the crime being charged.  The judge agreed and dismissed the case.

     The Bexar County District Attorney's Office stated in a statement to the press that they are still able to correct the indictment and recharge the three former Council members and are reviewing the case to determine whether they will or will not.  
    Following a Texas Rangers investigation, the three former Councilwomen were indicted by a Bexar County Grand Jury and charged with violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act stemming from an October 15, 2014 meeting.