Thursday, January 10, 2008

The government arena

Maybe these cities hire folks who lie on reumes because there are problems that are apparently all over the place and help is hard to find?

Go figure.

Manager's resignation is latest problem for Dilley
Sara Inés Calderón: Express-News

Minutes after a Dilley City Council member was arrested for not leaving a meeting, the little Frio County town was rocked again when City Manager Noel Perez resigned.
Councilman Rudy Alvarez's arrest late Tuesday came less than a month after the town's police chief and sergeant resigned, prompting residents to worry that crime would run rampant. The police officials withdrew their resignations, but the events have caused some residents to worry about what's going on at City Hall.

People in Dilley are upset not by Alvarez's arrest, said farmer Tim Brown, but because of constant infighting on the council.
"It was something that should not have happened, and wouldn't have at a normal City Council meeting," Brown said.

Tuesday's meeting, in which council members yelled at each other, was another example of poor city management, Brown said. Now that the city is without a manager, things won't get better, but they shouldn't fall apart, he said.

Mayor Russell Foster asked police to remove Alvarez during a loud, profanity-laced argument about how to place an item on a meeting agenda. When Perez started cursing at the mayor, Foster asked him to leave. Alvarez refused and Foster then asked police to escort the councilman out.

After Alvarez struggled with the officers in front of about 30 people at the meeting, he was charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. He faces a fine or up to a year in jail if convicted.

Perez, the city manager since mid-2007, then resigned. According to city officials, Perez is employed on a contractual basis and may resign orally.

Perez would not comment Wednesday. City staff said he was on personal leave.
Alvarez did not return calls seeking comment. Foster was out of town, according to city staff.
Sean Carroll, who was born and raised in Dilley, said the resignation was an inconvenience that might have minor effects on city services. It's not the first time Dilley has suffered from political infighting, he said.

"We have too many politicians and no statesmen," he said.

Dilley is a town divided, said Councilwoman Esmeralda "Esme" Cano, and must heal before moving forward.
"It was inevitable that at some point it was going to escalate to this, and it's unfortunate," she said.