City council members tweaked an application for the Del Rio Economic Development Corporation as the city begins the process of selecting three members for the corporation’s board of directors.
Del Rio Economic Development Coordinator Oriana Fernandez during the council’s Aug. 27 meeting, presented the resolution appointing the original members of the Del Rio Economic Development Corporation board of directors. The city council approved that resolution in 2016.
Fernandez noted the EDC directors whose terms are up are Place 4 Director Leonel Martinez, who was appointed to the board following the death of his father-in-law, Don Newton, who had been the original Place 4 appointee.
The terms of the Place 5 Director Rachel Beavan, who was appointed following the resignation from the board of Sylvia Owens, and Place 7 Director Antonio Rodriguez are also about to expire, Fernandez told the council.
She brought to the council’s attention a resolution it had passed in February regarding Place 1, 3 and 9 on the EDC board.
Fernandez said the terms of those places should have expired in 2021, but the February resolution set the expiration of those terms at the end of September.
At the council’s Sept. 10 meeting, Fernandez said, she will ask the council to amend the resolution to change the ends of the Place 1, 3 and 9 terms to Oct. 1, 2021.
Following a question from Councilwoman Diana Bejarano Salgado, Fernandez pointed out three of the EDC directors, who had been named to one-year terms when the board was originally formed, have been reappointed.
They are Place 2 Director Lucas Gilliam, Place 6 Director Manuel Pacheco and Place 8 Director Jerry Simpton. Fernandez said the terms of those members will expire on Oct. 1, 2020.
“The ones we need to focus on for purposes of time right now are Mr. Leonel Martinez, who is our current board president; Ms. Rachel Beavan, who took over for Sylvia Owens, and Mr. Antonio Rodriguez,” Fernandez said.
Salgado asked who was now serving in the Place 3 position initially held by Frank Larson.
“That would be Dr. Michelle Brown,” Fernandez said.
Salgado also asked about the Place 1 seat, and Fernandez said the council had initially appointed M. Roberto Garza-Crosby to the place, which was now held by Alvaro “Al” Arreola.
“And Mr. Eddie Amezcua Jr. is the Place 9 director. He took Mr. James Wacaser’s place,” Fernandez pointed out.
She then launched into the application process for recruiting new members for the board.
She presented the council the original application and asked Councilman Rowland Garza about his prior concerns regarding applicants’ addresses on the form.
“I seem to remember that one or two of the members had put their business addresses on there,” Garza confirmed.
“We have a residence requirement,” the councilman added.
Fernandez reviewed the process she will use to advertise the vacancies on the EDC, noting in the past the city had advertised for two weeks to obtain applications.
Salgado asked about the mandatory training for directors and if all members had gone through that training. Fernandez said they had.
“As far as the duties of the board, (the by-laws state) the board shall make a semi-annual report to the city council, including but not limited to the following, and on there, you have a review of the accomplishments of the board in the area of economic development and the activities of board for the budget year addressed in the annual financial report, along with any proposed change in the activity as it may relate to economic development.
“So it would be good if they have nothing to report, then give us something to say they haven’t done anything, but I feel we should get something,” Salgado said.
“Okay, ma’am, I’ll be sure to communicate that to them at their next meeting,” Fernandez replied.
“And I think that’s part of the conversation we need to have with them as well, because it does come on the shoulders of staff to make sure they’re moving along,” Garza added.
Mayor Bruno “Ralphy” Lozano said he would like to make a suggestion on the residency requirements, noting, “Just to make sure we’re understanding the residences of the potential applicants, I suggest present home address and if applicable, present business address, because I think that will help clarify (things).”
“We said no more than three members could live outside the city limits, correct?” Garza asked.
“Correct,” Fernandez said.
“So the next round of those who are up for either reappointment or new individuals, there are no out-of-city limits spots available? Or is there one?” Garza added.
Fernandez replied there is one position available for someone residing outside the city limits.
She pointed out Place 4 Director Leonel Martinez resides in the county.
Brown and Pacheco hold the other “outside the city limits” seats, Fernandez added.
Following the discussion, Salgado made a motion to advertise for applicants for the DREDC board of directors, with Councilman Raul C. Ojeda giving the second.
The six council members present unanimously approved the motion. Councilwoman Liz Elizalde de Calderon was not present.