This week’s city council meeting included the presentation and approval of the preliminary budget for the fiscal year 2018-2019.
City Manager Martin Garza, Jr. presented some of the general figures in the budget, which is available for the public at the city secretary’s office and on the city website. $46,023,250 will be in the general fund, $23,569,948 will be in the utility fund, “with a total of all funds balanced included being” $107,820,783.
“This is keeping the same tax rate that we currently have, which is .4862,” Garza said. “Included here is a proposed increase of $1 to the city employees who are currently making less than $15, and also to some labor positions that we made a comparison with so they will be comparable to those cities.”
A public hearing for the annual budget will be set for Monday, Aug. 13. The time and location of the hearing will be announced when it is decided by the city.
Council went into executive session to discuss the “appointment, evaluation, duties and other employment matters” related to the municipal court judicial appointments. Executive session lasted approximately four hours as council deliberated.
When they returned from executive session, it was decided that Presiding Judge Johnathan Wehrmeister would remain in his position.
“The council finds that the reinstatement of Johnathan Wehrmeister to full duties as full-time presiding judge is permissible and ordered,” City Attorney Abiel Flores said. “And as a condition of continued appointment, all other administrative guidelines as discussed in executive session shall be complied with.”
No action was taken on the other three judges, Judge Horacio Peña, Judge Mauro Reyna and Judge Ramon Rosales.
Council authorized the city to solicit bids for “Housing Assistance – Program Phase 17-II” which is in reference to the reconstruction of three homes and relocation of three homes and the rehabilitation of two homes in the city. The authorization was passed, and council member Jessica Ortega-Ochoa brought up a question she said she had “always been curious” about.
“Is there a way that we could have the names of the owners [homeowners] on here?” Ortega-Ochoa asked. “Because we only know when we’re going to go and give them the keys to the house.”
Jo Anne Longoria, the Community Development Director for the City of Mission, said that it was not a normal practice for council to know the names of the homeowners prior to the reconstruction or relocation of their homes because of confidentiality.
“I guess I can provide it for those purposes,” Longoria said, as long as it is not put on the public agenda.
Abiel Flores said that he would need to look into the issue, but that it shouldn’t be a problem for the council alone to see the names of homeowners before a meeting.
Sidney Williamson was presented with a Citizens Lifesaving Award. Williamson, who is part of El Mesias United Methodist Church, was on the scene on July 10 when a six-year-old child was on their way to the church, and began choking on some food they were in the process of eating.
After trying to get the child to cough up the food with no success, Williamson, an intern with the church, began performing the Heimlich maneuver on the child. When that also did not work, she began doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which saved the child’s life.
“The child lost consciousness and went into cardiac arrest,” Mission Fire Department Engineer Justin Longoria said. “After the second cycle of CPR, the airway was cleared and the child started breathing once again.”
Longoria, who was the active Lieutenant that day, said Williamson performed a selfless act that resulted in a life saved in Mission.
“I’m very thankful for this award and to be here,” Williamson said. “I’m thankful for my team; I’m thankful for the child who’s life was saved. Most importantly, I’m thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, because without Him there was no way I could have done that that day.”