|6/26/2014 9:07:00 AM|
Something run a(muc)k
Make no mistake. If you get an impression that things are in a wild political frenzy here in Alice and Jim Wells County, you are right.
From the coffee shops to the graduation parties, people are talking about, and wondering, what is going on with our political leaders and their apparent actions.
In other words, has anybody been minding the store? Or has there been, figuratively speaking, an open bankbook?
We had barely gotten over the stunning defeat of our long-time county judge by a political newcomer when both city hall and the courthouse began to be shaken by one controversy after another involving local politicians and the handling of public funds, business and property.
The multi-use complex (muc) remains at the forefront of news and debate.
Details about the reported mismanagement of the project have city council and administration scrambling to come up with hopefully some viable options.
Predictions are that they will probably come to the taxpayers to attempt to bail the city out of this seeming financial and contractual fiasco by either certificates of obligation or through issuance of bonds....both forms of increasing taxpayer indebtedness to continue construction. Bonds require voter approval, COs do not.
Some taxpayers, however, are looking at the possibility of a referendum to require voters having a voice on the certificates of the obligation (COs) should council go in that direction.
If a certain percentage of registered voters sign a petition, council cannot proceed with the CO process until a vote is held to either approve or disapprove them. What is causing additional uneasiness among officials and the public alike, is that projected costs to complete the west side project do not even include the funds necessary to operate it on a yearly basis (staff,
insurance, maintenance, etc).
Courthouse watchers are abuzz over reports that one county commissioner has filed a police report regarding the use of county property by another commissioner. An investigation is underway.
Public frustration and even anger are being directed towards these issues and the officials involved.
The impression is that our stewards of public funds are not practicing diligence when it comes to providing oversight.
State law offers a means of accountability, but it is the responsibility of elected and appointed officers to carry out those duties. Many fear when another shoe might drop and additional revelations about local government could appear.
Such current scenarios as we are witnessing seem to point to a city and county where certain officials assumed too much authority and others apparently neglected to use theirs. With such situations, administrative and political chaos results.
There is a compelling need for all city, county officials, and every other public body or organization that receives or expends public monies in Alice/JWC to determine where, how, and why these breakdowns in review, approval, monitoring and auditing procedures are taking place and to make sure the right process is followed.
Proper governance and management only works productively and successfully when the proper script is followed.
When roles are confused or abandoned, what will be played out can be costly both financially and politically. When things run a(muc)k the political waters become muddy and voter action usually follows. When the public feels that its trust has been violated then the ballot box becomes its response one way or another.
Posted: Friday, June 27, 2014
Article comment by:
Per previous quote: "Easy for the council to vote on if it isn't their money! I'm sick to death of this kind of mismanagement!!! VOTE THE MORONS OUT!" and "Do a little at a time, until the council pulls their heads out of their hind ends and get serious and watch what they are doing to our city!!!"
Everyone has a right to their opinion. I do believe in freedom of speech. I do not, however, believe that everyone has the right to be rude and to be name-calling on social media. As for the "Easy for the council to vote on if it isn't their money!" -- Well if certain voters think this job is "Easy", I suggest they run for an office at the next election and show the community just how easy this non-paying/voluntary position is. Also, when one President of the United States happens to be in office when a war begins, we cannot and should not blame the next elected President for something that was done with someone else in office, or for example done by previous management.
Also, I believe the city council are tax payers, as well, so it is in fact also "their money".
I'm all for less spending and correcting the situation, but Im also hopeful that this community can do this together and offer suggestions to the city council and other elected officials in a tactful manner. Their job is not easy, and obviously they aren't in it for the money. They are in it to serve our community in the best way they believe they can. We all should serve our community in the best way we can. If you choose not to, then by all means move to another community that does not have differences with elected officials and where everyone agrees and everything is bright and beautiful and easy..............perhaps Disneyland.
Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014
Article comment by:
I whole heartedly agree.......City Council didn't see this coming???? Where were their heads at??? Certainly not where they should be!!!! And now they say they don't even have the money to MAINTAIN it???? True, we needed a pool for our kid's swim teams and for public use, but this kind of a facility?? Not in Alice, we didn't! Maybe one with the first price tag of sayyyyy 10 million. It just grew and grew until it became the monster it is today! Newell Atkinson tried to tell you all, but everyone demonized him for it! When are the morons running our city going to "get over themselves" and do what is right? They should be treating tax payers' monies seriously, but then I guess they really aren't that smart. Now what? I certainly don't think it fair OR right to ask us to pay more taxes for this cluster*&^% that has been paid for once already..........and who, in their right mind, would enter into a project like this without a secure contract???? These people have our checkbooks for this kind of mismanagement! Who really cares if it its not finished by it's open date???Don't open it until we pay for it first. Do a little at a time, until the council pulls their heads out of their hind ends and get serious and watch what they are doing to our city!!! Money is going out way faster than it comes in! Easy for the council to vote on if it isn't their money! I'm sick to death of this kind of mismanagement!!! VOTE THE MORONS OUT!
Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014
Article comment by:
This is beyond belief!! I am so disgusted by all of this. I am especially disgusted about the hole in the ground west on the west side of town. So many of us were so opposed, but no one listened. I love Alice and all my wonderful friends here, but I am seriously considering moving. I don't see good things in the future of our little town. I have always loved living here, this really upsets me.
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