POSTED: Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 10:44pm
UPDATED: Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 3:37pm
Vinton, TX (KTSM) — The Village of Vinton has been in constant controversy during the past year, the lack of an approved budget and decisions in city council have even caused legal conflicts.
Juvencia Rios-Ontiveros who is one of the 3 city representatives that oppose the current administration decided to break the silence and defended her decisions.
Rios has been a public servant for 13 years and has served as mayor of the village previously. Rios-Ontiveros states that the opposition of the projects and a city budget goes beyond a political disagreement.
"It is up to the mayor to accept the proposals by everyone and work with it in the workshops. She is refusing to accept any proposals from any council members," Rios said.
According to the councilwoman, she constantly presented a budget proposal with the intention of lowering the costs of operation.
"I started with my proposal on cutting this that, she said it was ridiculous, it was outrageous and she would not stand for this to be happening of us cutting salaries," Rios added.
Juvencia says the finances of the village are not supervised as they should and expressed her concern about the high salaries some city employees have.
She presented receipts of expenses that include restaurant checks, t-shirt orders, college tuition payments made by the village, aside from city payroll documents, according to her those expenses have not been approved by the council.
"High wages that no one her in El Paso county pays I have some paperwork that will show the salaries and how can someone be paid so much for so few that we have in the village of Vinton," Rios added.
Rios reffers to city records that indicate that just in the month of August Vinton's city clerk earned more than $10,000.
The constant conflict between Mayor Madeleine Praino and these representatives led to the filing of several lawsuits after the mayor and state representatives said Ontiveros was not complying with her duties.
Praino stated in a press release that: “May this be a hard valiable lesson for the citizens of Vinton; their mistake in choosing the wrong people to represent them can have a devastating impact on their lives,” Praino wrote.
Rios said her major interest in Vinton's community, she will not seek re-election although she wants these concerns to be addressed.
“They came back to me and said run, I said get someone else. I believe in term limits, I have submitted it to the council,” said Rios.
We tried to reach Mayor Madeleine Praino for comment, she was not available at the moment.