IN THE RED – EDC director: Deficit won’t affect pending projects

Staff Writer

San Benito News photo by Francisco E. Jimenez San Benito Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Salomon Torres is seen inside his office Tuesday along with his administrative assistant, Norma Rodriguez, left, and summer intern Alondra Martinez, right.

San Benito News photo by Francisco E. Jimenez
San Benito Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Salomon Torres is seen inside his office Tuesday along with his administrative assistant, Norma Rodriguez, left, and summer intern Alondra Martinez, right.

San Benito Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Salomon Torres has confirmed that the EDC’s budget for the fiscal year is currently in the red, but he said that the budget deficit will not “at all” affect any current or future projects.

The EDC had a budget of $964,188.68, but as of the 2012-2013 Mid-Year Budget it has approximately $1,361,821.81 in total expenditures, a deficit of approximately $386,833.13.

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  1. Clean desk Maybe he’s thinking of saving the tax payers money and working at home from his Laptop?

  2. Well I think it is time to get rid of the City Manager and his sidekick. I have not seen the 50 plus BUSINESSES here in San Benito that he claims he brought in to Mathis. The Mayor said a few months ago THAT EVERYBODY HAD TO TIGHTEN THEIR BELTS. The only belts that got tightened were the TAXPAYERS. COMMISSIONERS its time to TAKE CARE OF THE TAXPAYERS. DO THE RIGHT THING.

    • Betty W. on July 11, 2013 at 4:13 pm
    • Reply

    Disgruntled Citizen: You were reading my mind. This gentleman will get his salary whether this operation has funds or not. You are right about the next elections. I hope people who know how to function as a team and know how to read a budget run for these city and school board elections. People who will listen to their constituents and not just their close friends. I would like for the Mayor and All Commissioners to have a public meeting and talk to us. Instead, they go eat together in the mornings and will not talk to us. The businesses are just passing SB bye. Small town thinking is alive and well in SB.

    • Disgruntled Citizen on July 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm
    • Reply

    “They had been looking at it for quite a number of years, I think as far back as 2007,” Torres said. Maybe the reason they (whoever they is) did not purchase it is because the money was not there. This year it was still unbudgeted and the money was still not there but they still went ahead and went over budget. It is so easy to spend money when you are digging into the taxpayer’s pocket and not your own.

    “If I had been around back then and had been told that that was a priority for the city, then I would have made the same efforts to acquire it. It is such a valuable property and it has a lot of potential for how it could benefit public use of that area.” Why not enlighten the public and inform them what the “value and potential” is and be specific instead of just it could be used for this or for that. This statement also sort of confirms the popular belief among the public that the previous EDC Director resigned abruptly because she was against the purchase of the Thomae funeral property and would not do what they wanted, which was to go over budget.

    “Still, Torres said that he is not concerned about the shortfall due to the unanticipated expenditures.” Of course he is not concerned because he still gets his salary whether the EDC is over budget or not. Mr. Torres comments regarding the lack of funding on the current budget for the funeral home purchase seem to be laying the blame on the previous EDC director. Maybe she didn’t budget it because the money was not there and she was looking out for the taxpayers.

    I would like Mr. Torres and the Mayor to explain and justify to the taxpayers and especially the city employees the $1.50 hourly increase (as reported in the media) the administrative assistant received this fiscal year while the rest of the city employees only received the .50 cents across the board raise budgeted. It appears the administrative assistant received a $1.00 hourly rate increase plus the .50 cent across the board increase. Let’s get real; what city rewards their employees, and yes she is a city employee if paid with taxpayer money and approved by the city commission, including the city manager for going over budget to the tune of $387,000 and then blame it on the previous EDC director.

    All these compadrismo in the city and school board is just taking the city further and further down into the pits of no return. What major investors are going to bypass the cities of Harlingen, Mcallen, and Brownsville when they read and witness all of that is going on in San Benito.

    If I had the money, I would pack up and move but now I have an ex funeral home (that was not budgeted in my budget or the city’s budget) and a new truck for the assistant city manager to drive around that need be paid for!

    Speaking of investors, Mr. Mayor and Mr. City Manager, where are all the jobs and businesses that the China trip or should I say vacation was supposed to provide. Didn’t I read in the local paper that Mr. City Manager justified a second assistant city manager so he could devote more time to his job in bringing more jobs and businesses into the city? What happened?

    I better stop here because I feel my blood pressure rising and I need to do some real work to pay for my over budget expenses. At the next election, please vote wisely. San Benito just can’t afford to have the same people (mayor) in City Hall and the School Board without real positive results and not just promises. Haven’t you had enough of this stuff.

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