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EDC stuck in limbo

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Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 5:18 pm

Amidst uncertainty and unclear direction, the city's Economic Development Corporation attempted to conduct business last week.

In a unanimous decision, EDC directors approved a $3,500 donation, requested by Genie Strickland, toward Christmas lights in City Park. Bandera last year was put on the Hill Country Trail of Lights, an organized tour of several communities' Christmas lights displays.

City Council was scheduled to consider the EDC's recommendation during a special meeting called for Sept. 25. The results of that meeting will be reported in next week's issue.

EDC Director Don Clark, whose term is now in question pending council interpretation of recently adopted bylaws, said the budget was not organized and data input was not up-to-date. The city treasurer is responsible for maintaining the budget; interim treasurer Mae Vion Meyer, who was hired in May, has spent the last several months reconciling the city's budget in preparation for the new fiscal year budget and tax rate adoption.

“We thought it would take a couple of weeks, but it's taking a couple of months for Mae Vion to fix the city budget,” EDC Director Binky Archer said.

Clark was hesitant to commit more funds to future projects without knowing exactly how much was available. His input further limited by city council's ambiguity regarding his term, Clark motioned for an audit of the EDC's books, contingent on Meyer's ability to bring them up to date. The motion carried unanimously.


Active or not

An ordinance approved by City Council on Aug. 16 changed the EDC's bylaws, limiting the number of terms a director may serve to three two-year terms.

What the council failed to clarify, however, was when those EDC directors whose terms fell in excess of the allowed amount would be dismissed, whether immediately or at the end of their current appointments.

Some council members attempted during a Sept. 11 special called meeting to replace Clark and Directors Joe Hearn, Linda James and Vonia Dyer, five days after Clark and Hearn publically challenged council on whether to move a boot sculpture from the Convention and Visitors Bureau to City Park.

The agenda item was tabled after Council Members John Hegemier and Brandi Morgan argued the general public did not have ample notice that positions were available on the board. Hegemier also questioned council's urgency and suggested they wait to appoint new directors until after the November election, when a potential new council could be in place.

“As I understand it, each EDC member is active until December,” Clark said, who was reappointed by former mayor Horst Pallaske in December 2011. “This needs to be settled.”

Since the Sept. 11 meeting, five additional people have submitted their applications for the EDC board, including George Hamilton, Charles Warner III, Tony Battle, Joe Davis and Esther Maldonado. Previously, only Johnny Boyle, Don Giles and Carolyn Edwards were named for consideration. Seven directors may serve on the board.

About the EDC

The EDC, a non-profit organization, receives 33 percent of the city's sales tax funds. It helps finance Celebrate Bandera, the Sister City partnership, Bandera Honors Veterans, the Frontier Times Museum, the Rodeo Association, the Medina River Cleanup and other events throughout the year.

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