Steadfast in pursuit of the truth in La Feria

Seeking and speaking the truth and doing what is right is not always the most popular path to take, but it is one that I have always worked hard to stay on.

The opinions, discussions and actions that I have contributed as a City of La Feria Commissioner Place 5 have been undertaken with the better interests of the entire community in mind.

The expansion of benefits for the city’s employee teams, updating the Handbook of Operating Procedures to current legal code, supporting the effective cross training of employee teams, and demanding the implementation of critical processes to ensure transparent financial recording and reporting are only a few of the actions taken in an effort to secure responsible governance and transparency by the city.

My opposition and its support base have made their perspectives clear: the current city commission is unapproachable and intimidating; it lies about missing money and is firing City of La Feria employees at whim and is even destroying and crucifying the former City Manager during Holy Week.

They also say that the Commission has outsourced the management of theWater/WasteWater and Lift Station facilities as well as the trash and brush pick up without so much as an opportunity to give the public a chance to provide their opinions. Wrong on every count.

Ever since my colleagues and I took office, great strides have been taken to provide significant transparency at the meetings and in making information available via discussions and hard copy provisions when possible.

All vendors are fully vetted in open forum and decisions are made by considering the administration’s recommendations in conjunction with the thorough review of proposals.

My fellow Commissioners, our Mayor and I are constantly approached with community members’ concerns and ideas in person, over the phone and by email.

We listen, we ask questions, and work to find a resolution as quickly as possible and when necessary, refer them to our new administration for assistance.

An independent accounting firm verified what the City’s new Financial Director discovered in January — there are $3 million dollars missing and unaccounted for that must be found.

There are no invoices, bank records, cancelled checks, memos, emails — nothing that can help account for its whereabouts.

As the former City Manager and ultimate daily manager of all financial transactions executed on behalf of the City, we logically seek information and answers from him and the non-profits (South Texas Collaborative for Housing Development Inc. and the South Texas Emerging Market Development Fund) among other entities, some of which involve private investors.

How did the former full time City Manager find the time to create these entities and serve as their Executive Director?

What resources, personnel, meetings times and dates, locations, and funding sources were utilized in their establishment, daily operations and projects?

Are the people of the City of La Feria owed any financial compensation if several of these organizations currently carry the address and other information that is the exact same as that of City Hall as found on the Secretary of State website?

Does our opposition also contend that the State of Texas is lying, too?

Neither theWater/WasteWater facilities nor the trash and brush pick up has been privatized or outsourced.

This was fully addressed again at the City Commission meeting held on April 25; still, our opponents continually spew lies and confusion that hurts the very people they claim to want to serve.

The Commission has not fired any city employee team members; we do not have the authority to do so.

In fact, no employees have been fired, during this Commission’s or the new administration’s tenure.

La Feria, remain steadfast in the pursuit of the truth.

We will continue to stand with you and for you as YOUR voice at City Hall.

Sincerely, Esmeralda Lozano City Commissioner Place 5 / City of La Feria