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Budget request postponed, land sale denied at county meeting

March 16th, 2017 under Top Stories

By JOHN DANIEL GARCIA

johndaniel@bigbendnow.com

MARFA – Presidio County commissioners postponed a measure requested by county auditor Patty Roach to amend the budget procedure in transferring funds at the request of an absent commissioner Loretto Vasquez, who e-mailed judge Cinderela Guevara prior to the meeting, requesting the postponement.

Though the vote was postponed until Vasquez could attend, the commissioners’ court nonetheless discussed the auditor’s request at the behest of commissioner Lorenzo Hernandez.

According to Guevara, the new procedure would allow Roach to review proposed budget amendments before going to commissioners’ court, which Roach would say would expedite discussion and cut down on talking time during court. Currently, budget amendment proposals go directly to the court.

The proposal comes on the heels of a recent budget amendment request from the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office, which led to a lengthy discussion and explanation as to why the proposed amendment couldn’t be honored.

County Attorney Rod Ponton viewed Roach’s proposal with hesitation, saying that, under the wording of the proposed procedure, Roach and Guevara could “pre-approve” proposals and skip the court.

“The whole purpose of the procedure is to streamline the process,” said Roach. “I’m not trying to control the process.”

The proposal, she explained, would allow Roach to examine and certify that budget amendments and line item transfers can be done under state statute.

The review process, Ponton said, can be implemented without having to adopt a procedural change, which will also put at ease beliefs that she is attempting to do implement a pre-approval process.

“I’m trying to assist the judge in managing things. Anything that comes from me is documented. If you want this to go straight to the judge, I’ll be a happy camper. It’ll give me less to do. This whole thing came from the best intentions,” said Roach.

The item is expected to be reviewed in a future court meeting.

At the meeting, commissioners also declined a $6,000 bid for the sale of .358 acres county property in Presidio assessed at $9,750.

The property, located near Presidio High School at 13250 Millington Lots 3 – 4, Block 103, will instead be used by the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office to build storage space for county equipment.

The property, Sheriff Danny Dominguez said, is ideal due to accessibility for patrol and location.

According to Dominguez, the lack of storage for the department in Presidio has led to degradation of property.

“Most of our equipment is practically useless because it’s been destroyed by the weather,” he said.

Should the county had agreed to sell the property, Ponton said, the county would have been required to open the property to the public for unsealed bids.

“I never feel anxious to sell land,” said Guevara before the vote to decline the sale.

 

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