The Devine City Council received positive remarks from the auditor and canceled the Mayor and District 2 elections in the Regular meeting held Tuesday, March 21.
Council members Hal Lance, Steve Lopez, David Valdez, and Kathy Wilkins were present, as were Mayor Bill Herring, Interim City Administrator Dora Rodriguez, and City Attorney Tom Cate.
Council member David Espinosa was absent.
FY 2015-2016 audit
Stephen Horton of Coleman, Horton & Company, LLP briefed Council on the results of the recently completed audit of Fiscal Year 2015-2016.
The City received an unqualified opinion, the highest possible mark.
As of Sept. 30, 2016, the City had a little over $11M in assets and a bit over $4M in liability, leaving a net position of almost $7.2M. Of that, $1.7M is in the general fund, and over $5M is in the water/sewer fund.
“Very healthy net position in that regard, in that you have significant assets compared to liabilities,” Horton said. “Y’all have been very disciplined in paying down your debts and cautiously incurring new debt over the past years.”
A Lopez-Lance motion to accept the results of the audit passed 4-0.
Election cancellation
The position of Mayor and the Districts 2 and 5 council spots are up for election on Saturday, May 6. Herring and District 2 Councilman Lopez are running for reelection unopposed, and a Wilkins-Valdez motion to cancel the election for those positions passed 4-0.
The election for the District 5 council seat, held by Lance since 2007, will still be held. Lance is being challenged by Kevin Hicks and Cory Thompson. Only residents of District 5 are eligible to vote.
Espinosa excused
Councilman Espinosa has been battling cancer for some time, and is in the midst of another round of treatment. Council voted unanimously to excuse Espinosa from the City ordinance that automatically removes the mayor and any member of Council if three consecutive meetings are missed. The decision was made based on Espinosa’s medical condition.
Rodriguez said that Espinosa’s phone number has been made available to the constituents of his district, and that Espinosa hopes to be well enough to attend the next Regular Council meeting in April.
Sidewalk and handicap ramp projects
Public Works Director Ismael Carrillo presented Council with three bids for the rehabilitation of the sidewalk in front of 210 S. Bright, as well as the installation of a handicap ramp on the corner of E. College Ave. and S. Bright Dr., near Dynamic Physical Therapy.
Richard Maldonado bid $6,000, Bobby Rangel bid $6,500, and Richard Camacho bid $6,850.
Carrillo said that all three were qualified for the work, and a Valdez Lance motion to award the contract to Maldonado, the lowest bidder, passed 4-0.
Other business
The Council also accepted a Resolution to appoint Rodriguez as Chief Executive Officer and authorized representative in all matters in connection with the FEMA mitigation project, as well as committing the City to provide matching funds to secure and complete the grant contingent upon receiving Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds; accepted a contract with Coleman, Horton & Company, LLP, for the Sept. 17 audit; annexed two acres of land owned by Connie Graham (legal description of R89706, San Antonio Trust, Block 33, Lot 64); approved the Driscoll Public Library’s 2017-2021 Long Range Plan; and approved the minutes of the Regular meeting from Feb. 21 and the Special meeting on Mar. 9.

By Marly Davis
Staff Writer