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Palmview takes hard look at finances

City-of-Palmview-LogoPALMVIEW—Entering into the tightest part of the year, city leaders hope to save enough money at the end of the fiscal year to put away for a rainy day.

“I want to be part of a group, of a team, of a city that’s going to have a fund balance,” Palmview’s Mayor Pro Tem Ricardo Villarreal said Monday night as city leaders discussed finances. “Even if we start at $3,000 this year in the black, please help us do that.”

City Manager Ramon Segovia only was named to the position last month, but he’s working with the finance director to streamline procedures, implementing a new purchase order system and becoming more strict on spending.

Until now, Segovia said the city basically goes check-to-check with no money left over at the end of the day.

“Basically what we’re doing is everything goes through my desk now,” Segovia said.

Mayor Jorge Garcia agreed with Villarreal on transparency for citizens and the need for documentation.

“I don’t want anyone pointing fingers at me saying I’ve taken money,” Garcia said.

Frank Rodriguez, an accountant contracted by the city, said he’d like to set up a workshop to go over Palmview’s finances. He’s been putting together forms and procedures to protect the city’s assets as well as protect the council.

Though Segovia stressed the city hasn’t made any major cuts or big changes, his former position as assistant city manager has not been filled. Most city employees wear multiple hats in the city of about 7,000 residents, and the code enforcement officer was given the title of director of city services. But, Segovia said, since the code enforcement officer already had other duties, like public relations, Segovia didn’t want to give him the full responsibilities of the assistant city manager.

“I’m not saying we won’t eventually (hire an assistant),” Segovia said. “We’re still adjusting, trying to see what will work.”

Meanwhile, the city council approved new alarm fees that may bring in some extra revenue. Beginning Jan. 1, the city will charge an annual $50 fee to tie home alarms into the police department. Also, if there are more than five false alarms in a year, the city will charge another $50 fine.

“We just want to make sure everybody’s being responsible with time and the usage of our police department,” Segovia said. “A false call means one guy’s off the road and he could be assisting someone else.

“I think that overall we’re headed in the right direction.”

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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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