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Mission councilwomen barred from MEDA executive session

MEDAlogoTwo Mission City Councilwomen were barred from participating in an executive session of the board of directors of Mission Economic Development Authority (MEDA) on Thursday, Feb. 24. The meeting of the MEDA board was called to discuss the action taken by Mission City Council on Feb. 18 ordering an immediate stoppage of funding to MEDA and the dissolution of the independent corporation.

 

Councilwomen Norie Garza and Maria Elena Ramirez, who are not members of the MEDA board of directors, were not allowed to join in the executive session. City Manager Julio Cerda, who is a member of the MEDA board, requested that the two councilwomen be allowed to join the closed session, but acting on the advice of attorney Bob Galligan representing MEDA at the meeting, the board decided to limit participation in the executive session to board members only. Mission Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas is a member of the board, but was not present for the meeting.

While board members are not allowed to discuss business conducted in executive session, MEDA President/CEO Pat Townsend Jr. indicated prior to the meeting that the board needed to meet privately to discuss the legal ramifications and options regarding the dissolution of MEDA, and how MEDA’s possible dissolution would affect the organization’s ability to handle and fund the Military Parkway road construction project. The awarding of bids for the road project was also on the meeting agenda.

Following the executive session, the board voted to award the bid for the Military Parkway construction project to Mission Paving Company, being the lowest responsive bidder. The Mission Paving bid for the entire project was $1,137,034, which is slightly higher than L&G Engineering’s estimated cost of $1,128,496.

The project scope for the bid consists of a “Base Bid” for roadway construction of Military Parkway between Conway and Inspiration Rd., Add Alternate #1, for drainage related to the roadway, and Add Alternate #2 for construction of a portion of an adjoining city street connecting to Military Parkway.

Following the bid award, the meeting was adjourned.

After the meeting, while Townsend could not reveal what was discussed in executive session, he did comment on the council’s action to dissolve MEDA and how he is trying to address it. He expressed concern about the phrasing of the council action. While the dissolution order “is a shock to MEDA,” he feels his task now is to figure out how to get it done in a way that will at least meet the intent of the council.

“I didn’t care about the September 30, 2011 [deadline], but the ‘or sooner’…I don’t like because it’s not a date certain,” he said. “What if the dissolution prior to that is so disruptive that somebody has to object?”

Townsend added, what is important now is for MEDA to look at what the council wants done and figure out a way to get it done. “Why would you want to do something that doesn’t conform to what the council would like?” The proposal that MEDA comes up with may not be exactly in line with the wording of the city council minutes, “But if they say it’s okay, it’s okay.”

MEDA is scheduled to meet again today (Friday) to address items related to the Military Parkway project. In addition, an agenda item under executive session reads “hear complaints against personnel President/CEO position.” Townsend said he put the personnel item on the agenda himself because he felt it was appropriate “for the board to discuss the role of the president/CEO in this entire mess.”

City of Mission dissolves MEDA Originally published Friday, February 18
Council removes Roseland as MEDC board president Originally published Friday, March 4
MEDA to discuss merger with MEDC Originally published Friday, March 4
MEDA board considers mass resignation Originally published Friday, March 11
Mission council supports MEDA board restructuring Originally published Friday, March 18
MEDA board members tell council, 'Slow down' Originally published Friday, March 18
MEDA rebuffs city takeover of board Originally published Friday, March 25
Council strips MEDA's authority Originally published Tuesday, March 29, 11:24 p.m.
Mission rescinds MEDA's authority, hires its employees, except Townsend Originally published Friday, April 1
MEDA Timeline Originally published Friday, April 1
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CoverageAreaThe Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.

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