Edinburg council debates bond management contract

An attempt to terminate an agreement with the engineering firm managing the city of Edinburg’s 2018 bond elections project failed at the council’s meeting Tuesday evening.

Councilmen Gilbert Enriquez and David White voted to terminate the contract with SDI Engineering, while Mayor Richard Molina, Councilman Jorge Salinas and new Councilman Juan “Johnny” Garcia voted against terminating it.

Councilman Enriquez led the push to end the agreement, saying he disagreed with it for a number of reasons, including that the agreement hadn’t been discussed sufficiently when the city originally approved it.

“I guess the council at that time decided I shouldn’t ask any questions, so there was no discussion,” he said during the meeting.

Enriquez also said that he did not believe SDI was performing the scope of work promised in the agreement.

“The scope that SDI said they were going to perform, they did not perform. Simple as that,” Enriquez said. “They did not perform what was identified in their scope of services, so why does the city not receive a credit for it?”

Additionally, Enriquez took issue with fees being charged by SDI.

“I don’t think we need it. For the amount of money that we’re spending and for, you know, this whole contract here is just unbelievable to me,” Enriquez said. “You know, you have a $30 million dollar bond issue that we passed, right, $30 million dollars. Exactly $30 million. But his fee’s based on $30,191,547. How’s that?”

The fees above $30 million were paid to sell the bonds, Enriquez said.

Isael Posadas, who once served on the Economic Development Corporation board when Molina first came to power, represented SDI at the meeting and said the negotiations with the former city manager included applying the percentage fee to those funds.

“We advertised the bonds. We prepared the election, we helped with the presentation, all of that,” Posadas said.

Posadas also disagreed with Enriquez’s claim that SDI had not met all of the requirements of the agreement.

“You have to admit that not all of it was done,” Enriquez said after listing specific stipulations in the agreement.

“I have to admit that we have done more than just your typical contract,” Posadas shot back.

Garcia requested the item be discussed in executive session and the council vote on it afterward.