County interlocal agreements in jeopardy

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

The Cameron County Commissioners Court recently waged a debate about the proper way to enter into interlocal agreements with other governmental agencies.

It began last Tuesday during what is usually a quick-paced part of Commissioners Court meetings, the consent agenda. Containing items that don’t often need protracted discussion, the bulk of the consent agenda is normally approved with perfunctory ease.

Occasionally, a commissioner may pull items for individual consideration. Such was the case when freshman Commissioner Gus Ruiz asked to pull an item to approve an interlocal agreement with the Town of Los Indios to paint and stripe crosswalks. Thus began a lengthy discussion about the legality of how the County enters into such agreements.

“It seems like in the past, County, in regards to interlocals, have not charged — in particular they wouldn’t charge for labor, equipment and fuel. And my understanding all of a sudden they started charging,” Ruiz said. “What prompted the change and why was it not being done? Why is not being done before? I don’t think we have those questions answered today,” he said.

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