MISSION, Texas – A question about whether the disbursement of certain funds was handled correctly by Mission Economic Development Corporation was discussed at length by the group’s board of directors.

Two payments were discussed. One involved the payment of $13,000 under the downtown facade grant program. The program was designed to help businesses downtown. But the $13,000 payment was for a property on Griffin Parkway outside of the downtown area.

The other involved funding for Texas Citrus Fiesta. This generated the most discussion.

Mission Mayor Armando O’Caña

Daniel Silva, executive director of Mission EDC, said Texas Citrus Fiesta initially asked for $75,000. Mission EDC awarded the entity $35,000. However, there was also talk of taking $18,000 out of the marketing and sponsorship budget to give to Texas Citrus Fiesta.

Aissa I. Garza, secretary of Mission EDC, had questions about how the payments were made. Garza said auditors had also flagged the disbursements.

“I do not think it is appropriate for the expense to have been recorded as an MEDC advertising line item,” Garza said at one point during the board meeting.

“If I had understood that you were going to be placing an expense for the benefit of Texas Citrus Fiesta within an expense line item that is for the benefit or incurred for the MEDC I would not have approved that,” Garza said at another point during the board meeting.

The discussion lasted almost an hour. In addition to Silva and Garza, the discussion involved Mission Mayor Armando O’Caña, Mission EDC President S. David Deanda, and Mission EDC Executive Assistant Judy Vega.

Mayor O’Caña asked if the Mission EDC board could take up the disbursement issues again at its next meeting. He also suggested the minutes could be revised.

Here is a podcast on the discussion:

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows a float from the Texas Citrus Fiesta. (Photo credit: City of Mission).

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