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Goliad board lowers councilman's loan payment (video)

By Melissa Crowe
Sept. 16, 2013 at 4:16 a.m.
Updated Sept. 17, 2013 at 4:17 a.m.

Roney Powell speaks before the Goliad Municipal Development District board on Monday evening. He said he  was threatened with a lawsuit if he pursued speaking out against local government.

GOLIAD - With no answers to a time frame, fund balance or interest charges, the Goliad Municipal Development District approved lowering payments on a city councilman's outstanding loan Monday.

Councilman Lionel Garcia asked the board members to decrease his $549 monthly payment to $400 on the loan for his laundromat, WL Laundry.

While the only question a board member asked was the time frame, City Administrator Larry Zermeno was not prepared to respond.

"We will prepare an amortization schedule ... to include interest and principal and as long as it takes," Zermeno said. "I'm not sure what that maturity date would be."

Documents given to board members during the meeting included conflicting balances for Garcia's loan.

A listing of his customer payment history showed a balance of $21,952, while another financial document titled "loan payments received," showed a balance of $19,529.

The packet given to board members did not contain any written record or contracts of the new agreement.

On Oct. 30, 2009, Garcia agreed to make monthly payments of $549 on the first of the month for 60 months.

As a penalty for paying late, the interest would increase to 5 percent from 2.25 percent.

"I know I'm late," Garcia said. "I'm here to admit it. ... I've been having problems, but I will pay it."

Garcia's was not the only loan with conflicting balances.

Lone Star Video showed two balances: $11,987 on the loan payments received schedule and $12,389 on the customer payment history schedule. Panache on the Square had balances of $5,034 and $6,253. Several other loan balances varied by about $400 to $2,000, depending on the schedule.

Linda Powell, a concerned Goliad resident, attended the meeting to ask the board about the mishandling of loans.

"We not only expect more accountability, we demand more accountability," she said. "At least one of you needs to ask some pertinent questions."



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