Edinburg Council Focuses on Public Trust, Accountability and Transparency During City Meeting
|March 16, 2022|
Council Unanimously Approves Three Ordinances Related to Ethics, Budget Transfers, and Disaster Procurement Processes
EDINBURG, TX –During the March 15th, 2022 regularly scheduled Edinburg City Council meeting, the Mayor and Council discussed and unanimously passed three ordinances listed on its agenda:
- Consider Amending the Code of Ordinances of the City of Edinburg, Texas at Title III: Administration, Chapter 31 City Council by adding and adopting Section 31.02 Code of Ethics for City of Edinburg Elected Officials and Board and Committee Members.
- Consider Amending the Code of Ordinances Budget Transfer Provisions at Title III: Administration, Chapter 33 Finance and Taxation, Section 33.48 by removing Section 33.48, which authorizes transfers within a City Department's budget subject to City Manager approval.
- Consider Amending the Code of Ordinances Emergency Procurement Procedures at Title III: Administration, Chapter 33 Finance and Taxation, Section 33.45 by removing Subsection 33.45(F), which authorizes the use of a disaster expenditure budget during local states of disaster.
“It’s important. People work hard for their money. They need to know their money is in good hands and they are electing people that are going to follow the laws that are in place. I think this code of ethics is going to show that,” said Edinburg Mayor Ramiro Garza Jr.
The newly adopted Code of Ethics Ordinance applies not only to elected city officials but also to appointed members of city boards and committees. The ordinance states they must “conduct themselves both inside and outside the City’s service so as to give no occasion for distrust of their integrity, impartiality or devotion to the best interest of the City and the public trust which the City holds.”
Emphasizing the importance of transparency in city business, all members of the Council agreed to remove Section 33.48 of the Code of Ordinances that allowed, at the discretion of the City Manager, budget transfers within city departments as long as the department’s total budget did not increase. Moving forward, City Council will publicly discuss and approve any proposed changes or reallocation of taxpayer dollars.
City Council also unanimously approved Agenda Item 10E, which would eliminate the procurement procedure adopted during the height of the pandemic in response to CARES Act funding constraints, which required that purchases related to COVID-19 occur within a rapid timeline. City Council determined the emergency procedure was no longer necessary to utilize funds provided through the American Rescue Plan Act and decided the city’s standard procurement process should be followed for future ARPA expenditures.
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