By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Amid a discussion of budget proposals during Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Port Isabel City Commission, a footnote of a comment by Mayor Joe E. Vega announced the resignation of Finance Director René Nava.
Vega made mention of a message he had received prior to the meeting before continuing on with the budget discussion.
Speaking after the meeting, Interim City Manager Jared Hockema said Nava submitted his letter of resignation on Monday. “He’s resigning for personal reasons,” Hockema said. “He has a home-based business he’s trying to start.” Nava’s resignation is effective Aug. 11.
In the letter, which he addressed to Hockema, Nava said he will be available on a part time basis after August 11, if necessary. He also thanked the City. “The time has come for me to move on to other endeavors and at this time I would like to thank you, the city commission and staff for the opportunity to work for the City of Port Isabel,” Nava said in the letter.
Nava’s resignation comes in the wake of news that the City is currently operating at a loss of more than $739,000 and, without intervention, is expected to face a budget deficit of more than $1 million for the current year. The City has posted losses for four of the last five years.
Though the City has begun advertising the finance director position, there was some discussion at Tuesday’s meeting that the position may remain vacant. As part of Hockema’s solutions proposed to address the City’s budget woes is the implementation of a hiring freeze that would leave vacated positions unfilled. The hope is that the savings garnered from wages that would have been paid for those positions could be used to lessen the deficit and also allow the City to consider increasing the wages of its minimum wage employees.
As finance director, Nava drew the second largest salary in the City, making $61,817 annually. After including benefits, however, the finance director position’s total cost to the City comes to $73,668.27. Nava began as finance director in March 2013 after previously being hired as a staff accountant in February 2012.
To view Nava’s resignation letter, visit us online at www.portisabelsouthpadre.com.
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