By LOUIE DIAZ
San Benito City Commissioners discussed the revision of the San Benito Economic Development Corporation bylaws and heard the first hearing of Ordinance 2586-05-21 during a regular commission meeting held on Tuesday, May 18.
The commissioners also discussed amending the San Benito Economic Development Corporation bylaws. Commissioners Rene Garcia argued that the fiduciary responsibility and the funds fall under the city commission.
“This is more administrative to ensure the oversight is there and to protect the institution from any lawsuits or any type of problems that we may incur,” Garcia said.
City Attorney Mark Sossi drafted some revisions to the bylaws and presented the draft to the commission. The major changes to the EDC bylaws include the addition of a holdover provision, an added specification that appointed board members must be residents and continue to live within the city limits, the addition of a conflict-of-interest provision, and the appointment of the city manager as the CEO of the EDC.
Commissioner Pete Galvan questioned why the city is adding more oversight to the EDC if it was made to operate as a separate entity from the city. According to Sossi, the EDC operates separately from the city, this adds the city manager to the information loop.
A motion was made to pass the revisions to the bylaws by Commissioner Rene Villafranco and seconded by Garcia. The motion passed with a 3-2 vote.
The commission also heard the first reading of Ordinance 2586-05-21, which deals with the appointment and removal of the San Benito EDC Board of Directors, there was no action on the item.
The first draft of the ordinance suggested by Sossi gives the commissioners and mayor three chances to appoint a candidate of their choice for the board. The commission will then approve or deny the selected candidate. The two remaining seats of the EDC board will be made by the commission at large. Sossi explained that the purpose of his suggestion was to ensure equal input from every commissioner and to maintain the quality of the appointed board members.
“We don’t need anybody to have any more authority on this commission—whether it’s me, him, him, her, or him—we are all equal,” Garcia said.
Galvan had problems with the draft and believed that each commissioner should have the absolute authority to appoint one candidate to the EDC board. He also raised a concern that the ordinance may conflict with the city charter.
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