- Category: Local News
- Written by Kathy Olivarez
MISSION — Nearly a dozen days after the Mission City Council voted to disband the Mission Economic Development Authority, moving its work under the city-controlled Mission Economic Development Corporation, city leaders have made yet another change to the group by removing the MEDC board president.
On Monday, the council voted to remove Joe Roseland from the MEDC board after serving on the board for almost 15 years. Roseland said he was previously asked to resign from the board.
“Ten days ago, this city council mandated that MEDC immediately defund Mission Economic Development Authority, an action that obviously would require a budget amendment by our board,” Roseland told the council. “During last Tuesday’s MEDC meeting, I raised the question about how the MEDC board should legally proceed in amending our budget to comply with this mandate. Because I asked this question, I was asked to resign my position on the board. I declined to do so.”
In becoming a board member, all appointees must take an oath, Roseland said. In that oath, he promised to follow all rules, including creating and approving a budget for MEDC.
“I take my position on the MEDC very seriously. While I do serve at the pleasure of the city council, I do not serve the city council…I serve the citizens of Mission,” he said at the meeting. “If you want someone on the MEDC board that will follow your mandates without question and without regard for proper procedures and without thinking for themselves, then you should remove me from that position…I am not your man.”
As a board member, Roseland said he wouldn’t compromise his values, shirk the fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of Mission or break the oath he took when sworn onto the MEDC board.
“I am not making these comments in an attempt to sway your vote one way or the other, I just want the record to reflect why this item is before you now,” he said. “If you will listen to the recording of our MEDC meeting, you can verify my comments.”
Roseland told the Progress Times he did not refuse to take the action Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas had requested. He only wanted to ensure legal steps were taken before the two groups merged.
“This is really not a good situation. I am thinking about the citizens of Mission. I have to do what is right. Things on the MEDA are not working well. The MEDA board is too large to get things done,” Mayor Salinas said in defense of his position, explaining there were 15 members on the MEDA board. “I need to make it smaller to make things work. Some will have to go and some will have to stay…maybe it’s time for me to go. There are people trying to build hotels and businesses in Mission, but it is not working. I want to work with the people who are on the same page we are.”
After their vote to remove Roseland, council members appointed Sgt. Jody Tiddle, public relations officer for the Mission Police Department, to replace Roseland.
The Progress Times asked City Attorney David Guerra if it was legal for the mayor to appoint a city employee to the MEDC position. Guerra said that according to the by-laws, as long as no more than three city employees are on the board, it is legal to appoint a city employee to the position.
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|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|
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