Goliad Mayor Jay Harvey, who was absent from the meeting due to work requirements, said Monday that
Four Goliad residents, including former mayor Hernan Jasso and former Justice of the Peace Emilio Vargas, voiced support for finance officer Larry Zermeno, who has served as interim city administrator since the resignation of Sereniah Breland in October.
“I have been a resident of Goliad for a bout five years,” Ernest Alaniz said. “In that time, I have seen three city administrators, which really doesn’t speak good for our election process.
“I am sure that every candidate we are considering is qualified, but I believe that our interim city manager has been doing a very good job and that despite him sharing the duties as finance manager. I can’t help but believe that once he is able to dedicate his time 100 percent to the job, that he’ll do a good job for Goliad.”
Ramiro Rubio made similar comments in support of Zermeno.
“He has made many changes for the best in the water and waste of everyday operations,” Ramiro Rubio said. “He introduce a new water metering that saves money on manpower, gas and use of vehicles and new alarm system that informs people immediately of threats such as a tornado.
“He is a man you can counsel with and he understands people and there are many problems in this town that need to be improved.”
Jasso told council that Zermeno would provide stability to the position.
“I know we will have longtime service from this individual,” said Jasso, who now serves as chairman of the Goliad Municipal development District. “I know he is of good character, which is important to all of us.”
Vargas delivered an emotional plea to council in support of Zermeno.
“I have known Larry and his family for a long time,” Vargas said. “The Zermeno family has been in this area since the beginning of Texas. They have instilled in him old-fashioned values of community, state, God and country.
“We have seen too many people come and go. Goliad has become a training ground for people. ... Larry is here to stay and run this community.”
Council went into executive session to discuss the city administration position and returned to unanimously agree on taking no action.
Along with Zermeno, City of Corpus Christi employee Bob Harraid and former League City city administrator Chuck Harrington are the finalists for the position.
Zermeno informed council on the progress to constructing signage in four locations at entrances into town. He said there had been a misunderstanding between the city and sign company and that the total cost of the four signs would be approximately $226,000.
“That’s way too much money to spend on signs,” council member Ed Carter said. “We could spending money on a lot of other things in town. We could spend money on streets, sidewalks. That’s way too much money.”
The council approved the construction of the signs in November.
Also on Feb. 5, council unanimously approved donating an oak tree at the cost of $30 each to new homes in the city.
Goliad County Judge David Bowman told the council that the family chosen for the Habitat for Humanity home in Goliad has begun putting in “sweat equity” into home.
“We have already started receiving funding for a second build in Goliad,” Bowman said.