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Council strips MEDA’s authority

MEDAlogo_TNThe Mission City Council has rescinded the authority of MEDA (Mission Economic Development Authority) to conduct any economic development activities on behalf of the city. The action taken in the Monday, March 28, city council meeting repealed, effective immediately, the resolution that authorized MEDA to serve as the city’s economic development arm in 1989.

The new directive calls for an inventory of MEDA’s assets and liabilities and conveyance of assets and assumption of liabilities by the city. Further, the resolution delegates economic development activities of the city to MEDC (Mission Economic Development Corporation).

A fourth provision of Monday’s resolution gives the city more options concerning hiring employees to run the economic development operations. While a resolution considered by the council last week, but not approved, was to convey the council’s intent to hire all MEDA employees, the latest resolution merely authorizes the hiring of up to six city employees to carry out the economic development activities. No mention is made of MEDA employees.

Mission City Attorney David Guerra, commenting on a related action approved at a meeting of the MEDC board immediately before the council meeting said, “In other words it is anticipated that the employees that will be doing the economic development activities for the city will be city employees to be hired, and they very well may be the MEDA employees. And so that those employees can get exactly the same benefits as all city employees, they have to be hired by the city. And the agreement would be that the city would be leasing those employees to MEDC.”

MEDC Board President Cathy Garcia said the board hopes the city will be able to hire the current MEDA employees.

“That’s really our first choice,” she said following the MEDC board meeting.

Although the newly streamlined MEDA board of directors met at noon Monday, after a lengthy executive session the board took no action concerning its employees or the president/CEO employment agreement posted in the agenda. MEDA President/CEO Pat Townsend Jr. later said his board attorney did not allow the MEDA board to discuss the city’s resolution since it was not on his meeting agenda.

MEDA did take action on two items related to the transfer of responsibilities to the city. The board approved assignment to the City of Mission portions of two engineering work authorizations. On the Military Parkway project, $44,000 in engineering fees for construction management and lab services yet to be invoiced are to be assigned to the city for future payment.

The board also approved assignment to the city a contract with L&G Engineering for the Mile 2 North project, west of Conway. Townsend told the MEDA board that when the council stopped funding MEDA on Feb. 18, it placed this project in suspense. So, he gave notice to L&G to suspend all activities on the project as of March 24. MEDA has been reimbursed by MEDC the $185,369 it already paid L&G for a portion of the engineering services to provide schematic design and preliminary ROW maps. Contracted services yet to be paid on the project total $72,183.

City of Mission dissolves MEDA Originally published Friday, February 18
Mission Councilwomen barred from MEDA executive session Originally published Friday, March 4
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
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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