This letter is a response to Carlos Perez’s letter to the editor referencing “Expo bylaws.”
First, I want to commend Perez for taking interest in county government. I concur that it should be the commissioners court that should write and approve the Expo Center board bylaws. The court is currently waiting on the final approval from our county attorney, in reference to legal issues before the commissioners court can approve said bylaws. I also agree with Perez that an audit should be conducted. The current contract between the county and the Expo Center board allows the county auditor to conduct audits on the finances of that entity. I have recommended to the county auditor to consider such audit.
Perez says that I was mistaken when I stated: “No taxpayers’ money is involved in what the Expo Center does.” Perez was referring to the $143,331 that the county budgeted for the Expo Center this fiscal year.
Perez, for whatever reason, added the words “is” and “center” to my statement. He also chose to leave off the most important word, “board,” from my statement.
What I said was “no taxpayers’ money involved in what the Expo board does.” This statement can be found and read on Page 6A in the Bee-Picayune dated March 2, 2011, under the title “Commissioners argue over possible conflicts of interest with Expo board.” The county budget for the Expo Center of $143,331 does reflect $25,000 for utilities. The usage cost of utilities at the Expo Center during any fiscal year is much more than the revenues generated by the Expo Center to cover those costs. Because of that, the court budgets funds to meet those expenses every fiscal year. Those are taxpayers’ monies, but they are managed and controlled by the commissioners court and only allocated by court approval, not the Expo board. Thus, I stand by my statement... “No taxpayers’ money is involved in what the Expo board does.”
The only funds the Expo Center board oversees are those revenues that are generated by the activities that are held at the facility. I challenge Perez to check with the auditor’s office to verify these facts, as I have.
Carlos Salazar Jr.
Commissioner, Pct. 1