Monday, September 18, 2006

Man, am I glad I got out of there

I saw the writing on the wall after I made the mistake of taking on the Gas/Electric foremans job.

Castroville salary check promptness in peril

By William Hoover
Anvil Herald Correspondent

Mayor Jesse Byars on Tuesday, Sept. 12, called an emergency special meeting to be held at 6 p.m. in City Hall in an effort to ensure that Castroville city employees would receive their bimonthly paychecks on time.

However, with such short notice, the meeting never took place and employees have no guarantee they will be paid this week.

City Administrator Shawna Dowell said state law allows for emergency meetings in just such cases. She said the meeting was an emergency because Councilmen Terry Beck and Hank Seay told her at the Monday, Sept. 11, meeting they would prosecute - to the full extent of the law - anyone who tried to spend more than $5,000 without council consent.

"We are having an emergency meeting," said Dowell Tuesday, just after 5 p.m. "Under Texas' Open Meetings Act law, you have to have an urgent public necessity. The comments made (Monday) regarding the limitation on spending $5,000 for myself and the mayor and the references to "prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law" has basically stopped the process for payroll because the payroll is signed by the mayor. To pay the checks, we transfer money from each fund, into the payroll clearing account so that checks can clear. At this point in time, the mayor is not willing to sign those because the amount is over $5,000 and last night we were told we needed council's approval."

The problem then became council's lack of a four member quorum required to hold a special meeting. "Obviously, no action could be taken," said Dowell. "I have one council member out of town and one unable to attend. That is the situation. I don't have payroll covered, even though we have the money in the bank. We just can't transfer it to the payroll clearing account (because of Beck and Seay's orders)."

Not to mention the political infighting and favoritism which the town loves to engage in.
Here's the rest if you're interested in small town politics.

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