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Goliad district operates under few state rules

By chirst
Sept. 14, 2013 at 4:14 a.m.
Updated Sept. 15, 2013 at 4:15 a.m.


Goliad City Council members

City Council members who have served since the Municipal Development District was created:

William J. Schaefer, mayor

Martha Mullenix, mayorpro-tem

Roney Powell, council member

Richard Tinney, council member

Buddy Zavesky, council member

Jay Harvey,mayor

Buddy Zavesky,mayor pro-tem

Richard Tinney, council member

Roney Powell, council member

Martha Mullenix,council member

Mike Pena, council member

Jay Harvey,mayor

Buddy Zavesky,mayor pro-tem

Roney Powell,council member

Martha Mullenix,council member

Mike Pena,council member

Matt Bochat,council member

Jay Harvey, mayor

Buddy Zavesky,mayor pro-tem

Ed Carter, council member

Martha Mullenix,council member

Mike Pena,council member

Matt Bochat,council member

Jay Harvey, mayor

Buddy Zavesky,mayor pro-tem

Ed Carter, council member

Vicki Rubio,council member

Lionel Garcia,council member

Mike Pena, council member

Jay Harvey,mayor

Buddy Zavesky, mayor pro-tem

Ed Carter, council member

Vicki Rubio,council member

Lionel Garcia,council member

Alfred Perez,council member

Jay Harvey, mayor

Buddy Zavesky,mayor pro-tem

Ed Carter, council member

Liz Holsey, council member

Lionel Garcia,council member

Alfred Perez,council member

Development district board members

Municipal Development District board members who have served since the special taxing entity was created:

Adair Sutherland

Donna Cellini

Ward Thomas

Luis Rodriguez II

Leonard Von Dohlen III

Newton Warzecha

Curtis Grace

Mary Jane Martin

Roney Powell

Adair Sutherland

Donna Cellini

Curtis Grace

Mary Jane Martin

Luis Rodriguez II

Ward Thomas

Newton Warzecha

Roney Powell

Leonard Von Dohlen III

Adair Sutherland

Donna Cellini

Ward Thomas

Newton Warzecha

Curtis Grace

Mary Jane Martin

Hernan Jaso

Steven Paulsgrove

Sereniah Breland

Adair Sutherland

Donna Cellini

Newton Warzecha

Mary Jane Martin

Hernan Jaso

Steven Paulsgrove

Sereniah Breland

Donna Cellini

Luis Rodriguez

Adair Sutherland

Ernest Alaniz

Hernan Jaso

Liz Holsey

Becky Walker

Mary Jane Martin

Sereniah Breland

Richard Moore

Mary Jane Martin

Adair Sutherland

Hernan Jaso

Ernest Alaniz

Liz Holsey

Luis Rodriguez II

Becky Walker

Goliad city staff

Goliad city staff who have served since the Municipal Development District was created:

2008

Terry Baiamonte,city attorney

Ken Bays, city administrator

Sandra Lewis, economic development coordinator

Erika Bochat, Main Street manager

Jami Billings, finance officer

Marti Bolsen, finance officer

Terry Baiamonte, city attorney

C.J. Snipes, city administrator

Sandra Lewis, economic development coordinator

Erika Bochat, Main Street manager

Marti Bolsen, finance officer

Terry Baiamonte, city attorney

C.J. Snipes,city administrator

Erika Bochat,Main Street manager/economic development

Sereniah Breland,city administrator

Marti Bolsen, finance officer

Terry Baiamonte, city attorney

Sereniah Breland,city administrator

Erika Bochat,Main Street manager/economic development

Marti Bolsen, finance officer

Larry Zermeno, financial officer

Terry Baiamonte,city attorney

Sereniah Breland,city administrator

Larry Zermeno, financial officer

Bridgette Bise,Main Street manager/economic development

Terry Baiamonte,city attorney

Larry Zermeno,financial officer, city administrator

Bridgette Bise,Main Street manager/economic development

Doug Cochran,economic development coordinator for three days. The position has been vacant since then.

Brenda Moses,financial officer

The code governing Municipal Development Districts contains few rules.

Even though Goliad City Council members with defaulted loans have voted on board membership in Goliad, it may not be illegal, according to the code. The law says an officer or employee of the city serving on the municipal development board "may not have a personal interest in a contract executed by the district." The code does not give rules, however, for an officer or employee of the city who is not serving on the board.

John Griffin, a Victoria attorney who represents governmental entities, said there are other statutes that should prevent City Council members from voting when there is a conflict.

"My view is that a council member who is in default of a loan to the district has a conflict of interest in voting on financial matters touching the district," Griffin said in an email.

The practice of issuing loans or grants is legal, said Bill Longley, legal counsel for the Texas Municipal League. However, exactly how those contracts are executed and what type of businesses can receive money is broadly defined, Longley said. He said the code authorizing cities to issue loans and grants has generally been interpreted to include retail and commercial development.

Goliad could also be violating the local government code by using the general fund for economic development money, Griffin said.

A statue in the law states the municipality needs to set up a fund for the sales tax revenue and may have several accounts within the fund.

Goliad City Council also approved new rules and regulation for the Municipal Development District Board on Sept. 3. Some of the new rules could be in conflict with state law.

Goliad added to the rules that five board members will serve one-year terms and four will serve two-year terms. However, according to the local government code, board members are to serve two-year, staggered terms.

Related stories:

Texas Rangers to investigate Goliad lending practices

Goliad Investigation: Legislators to review development districts law

How Victoria's economic development works

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