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2014-10-16

Cardenas' employment set for 'secret' session, Council to investigate misuse of public funds?

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Beleaguered City of Bandera Public Works Director Mike Cardenas will once again feature prominently on the agenda of the Thursday, Oct. 16, council meeting.
In a closed executive session, council will discuss Cardenas' "employment status and agreement." For weeks, rumors have swirled that Cardenas, a long-time municipal employee, had been negotiating an early retirement from the city. His 25-year employment with the city will culminate in early spring.
Interestingly, several months before talk had started about Cardenas' departure, a concerned citizen let it slip in an open meeting that "Mike would be retiring - or something." The woman's precipitous pronouncement fueled more speculation that Cardenas' tenure with the city had remained contentious - even after he had been stripped of the city administrator title.
Not only has Cardenas' integrity regarding the use of city equipment for his private fence-building company been discussed at length, but council also seemed to be calling into question Cardenas' approved work with the Flying L PUD.
A second interesting item on the agenda is discussion and possible action on "The removal of $350,000 from a City Certificate of Deposit on 06-29-12 without the approval of City Council." These funds were the ones presumably used to correct street work previously completed on 12th Street. If council determines that the withdrawal of funds did take place without approval of a prior council, that act would constitute criminal misuse of public funds, according to an attorney.
Also on the agenda is the current garbage contract between Republic Services and the city. Community Relations Manager Terry Gawlik will discuss possible ways to reduce the city's cost for providing garbage service during the remainder of the current contract and in an extended contract. Overruns in the last budget year reached $60,000.