City tells woman to file paperwork for lien

Brian Cuaron

Oct. 18, 2011 at 5:18 a.m.
Updated Oct. 19, 2011 at 5:19 a.m.

A Victoria woman asked the city council Tuesday night for assistance in getting a lien off her house, saying she had nothing to do with it.

"It's affected my health. It's affected my whole life," Viola Hinojosa told the council. "I can't do it anymore."

A subcontractor, Thomas Dotson, put a lien against Hinojosa's house in 2004 because, he said, the contractor didn't pay him. The city had hired the contractor, Lonnie Watson, to rehabilitate Hinojosa's house as part of a program to assist low-income residents.

According to the Victoria County Clerk's Office, Dotson's lien says he was owed $4,780. However, Watson said that he has paid Dotson, providing the Advocate with copies of four checks issued to Dotson.

Dotson has told the Advocate that he doesn't have paperwork to back up his claim. John Kaminksi, development services director, told the council that the lien has no basis.

However, he reiterated his position that the city has no legal standing to protest the lien.

"There is nothing the city can do at this point," City Attorney Thomas Gwosdz said.

Gwosdz told Hinojosa that she needed to file paperwork to get the lien off her house. He heard the Victoria Community Action Committee, which administered the program that worked on her house, had offered to put the paperwork together.

However, Hinojosa said that was the first time she had heard about the need to file paperwork.

"Nobody has guided me or told me anything," she said.

Gwosdz offered to meet with Hinojosa later.

"I don't understand why it took seven years," she said later, referring to getting assistance.

Victoria Visitor's Center

Mayor Will Armstrong proposed that the council look into building a new visitor's center across the street from the city's 700 Main Street building. The city owns land across the street and has a parking lot there.

Councilman Joe Truman said he preferred utilizing an existing building but supported the city exploring the issue. Councilwoman Denise Rangel was picked to research the issue with City Manager Charmelle Garrett.



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