City Administrator John Vidaurri was granted oversight of the purchase of equipment for the golf course clubhouse kitchen, and former District 5 candidate Kevin Stephens alleged that SG Golf Management is in breach of its contract with the City of Devine during the Council meeting held on Tuesday, May 18.
Clubhouse kitchen equipment
District 3 Councilman David Espinosa requested that City Administrator John Vidaurri be put in charge of purchasing the kitchen equipment necessary for the golf course clubhouse.
The clubhouse is currently under renovation that is scheduled to be complete no later than August 1.
“I already talked to John about it, and you’re fine with handling this?” Mayor Cory Thompson asked.
“Yes, Mr. Mayor, I’m fine with handling it,” Vidaurri replied.
Council elected to have the City purchase kitchen equipment itself rather than leave it up to the contractor (see “Council moves forward with $342k golf course clubhouse reno design” in the September 2, 2020 edition of The Devine News). At that time, architect Edward Garza of GRG Architecture estimated that the equipment would cost $92,000.
Council has since voted to expand to a full-sized kitchen for the clubhouse, a move that requires additional equipment (see “Devine City Council opts for full-service restaurant for golf course clubhouse” in the March 10, 2021 ed. of the News).
After approving a number of renovation change orders at a meeting on May 11, Council discussed the fact that kitchen equipment had not yet been purchased (see “Council takes mulligan, approves additional change orders for clubhouse renovation” May 19 ed. of the News).
“In reference to this kitchen equipment, who makes the decision what kind of kitchen equipment is available?” resident Billy Alvarado asked. “Because, you know, you can go from a $5.00 cook stove to a $20,000 cook stove. Who makes that decision? SG Golf [Management]?”
“The architect has made recommendations,” Thompson replied. “He has made recommendations. They’re on the plans.”
A motion by District 4 Councilwoman Kathy Lawler and District 5 Councilwoman Debra Randall to put Vidaurri in charge of purchasing the kitchen equipment passed unanimously with the backing of Espinosa, District 1 Councilman Rufino “Flipper” Vega, and District 2 Councilwoman Angela Pichardo.
SG Golf Management
Stephens addressed Council during the Visitor/Citizens Forum portion of the meeting and first spoke about issues that he wanted on the record.
“I need it on the record that I was denied being placed on tonight’s meeting agenda,” Stephens said, “although I have seen other requested items not as significant in nature placed on meeting agendas, or even done in Special meetings.
“Also, to make sure that this is on record, it was highly inappropriate for a City Councilperson to place on last month’s Regular meeting agenda for City Council to consider the sale of the golf course specifically to a named business or organization,” Stephens continued. “I am fairly certain that by law, the possibility of selling the golf course should have been placed on the agenda without naming a potential buyer, and that bids must be acquired if [selling] is the City’s wishes.”
The 12th item on the agenda of the April 20 Regular meeting read, “Discuss and consider request made by SG Golf Management to purchase the Golf Course City Property – requested by Alderwoman Randall.” That issue was tabled until the May meeting at the request of SG Golf Management’s Scott Grego, though it did not appear on the May 18 agenda.
Stephens put in a public records request at City Hall to obtain the financial records that SG Golf Management has turned in to the City, but said that what he received was not what he requested.
“This stack of information that I paid $136.75 [for] does not contain financial statements,” Stephens said. “You know, cash flow, income statements, balance sheets, retained earnings, profit and loss statements and so on.”
Stephens alleged that SG Golf Management is in violation of Section 18.0, Accounting and Reporting; Section 19.0, Internal Control; and asked that Council enforce Section 21.0, Default.
He also requested that Council recognize that SG Golf Management is in breach of contract, authorize an internal audit on its financial aspects, and take bids for a different management company to take over daily operations of the course.
No action was taken as Stephens spoke during Visitors/Citizens Forum and matter was not on the agenda.
By Marly Davis