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Mission city council extends city manager’s contract

This article originally appeared in the Friday Aug. 23, 2019 issue of the Progress Times.

Following a six-month probationary period, Randy Perez has been officially approved as a permanent city manager.

At a special called meeting held this week, the Mission City Council evaluated the city manager and presented him with a contract as permanent city manager for the next three years. Perez, who took over the position following the retirement of Martin Garza, Jr., has been with the city for over 17 years in the finance department and as Deputy City Manager.

Randy PortraitCouncil held discussions on this item during executive session, and reconvened before announcing that Perez would be staying with Mission. Perez was on a probationary period, and was offered a contract that would extend his position for three years.

“I’m very excited, I’ve been working hard and will continue to work hard for our great city of Mission,” Perez said. “I appreciate the opportunity, it’s truly a blessing to serve in this capacity.”

During the meeting, council discussed which auditing firm the city would engage in contract negotiations with. Finance Director Angie Vela presented information from the different firms that had submitted bids for this service.

Of seven applicants, six were deemed acceptable possibilities by the committee that evaluated them (including Vela, Deputy City Manager David Flores and Assistant Finance Director Isasa Garcia). Acceptable firms included ABIP, PC; BKD, LLP; Burton, McCumber & Longoria, LLP; Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC; Garza/Gonzalez & Associates; and Oscar R. Gonzalez & Associates.

Following the presentation – which included information about where the firms are located, profiles on their financial standings and business models, employee count, history, staff and experience, references, peer reviews and data processes – council asked Vela what the finance department recommendations were. Vela noted that BKD was at the top of their list.

“My top three would be BKD, LLP, Garza/Gonzalez & Associates and CRI,” Vela said.

All committee members present gave their top three choices, and the first choice for all three was BKD, LLP (located in San Antonio). Council member Ruben Plata made a motion to enter negotiations with Burton, McCumber & Longoria, LLP, which has handled Mission’s auditing services for the last three years.

“I’d like to recommend BML [Burton, McCumber & Longoria, LLP] due to the experience they have,” Plata said. “Their offices and staff and employees are in the Rio Grande Valley.”

Plata’s motion died after the other council members did not second. During the discussion following, Mayor Pro-Tem Norie Gonzalez Garza noted that her daughter used to work with ABIP, PC, but she is no longer employed there so there was no conflict.

Each council member was asked to list who they believed should be the top three choice firms to enter negotiations with – BKD, LLP; Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC; and Burton, McCumber & Longoria, LLP. Council voted to begin the process with BKD.

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