The city manager in Aransas Pass says an audit has revealed that the City has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars that were not properly budgeted for or appropriated.
As a result, the City has had to tap into its reserve funds to cover the losses.
City Manager Sylvia Carrillo said the audit revealed that the City had more than $300,000 in unfunded liabilities and an estimated $265,000 in unrecorded liabilities.
Carrillo has been city manager since January. She said her predecessor, Reggie Winters, and his staff, namely Finance Director Sandy Roddel, were the ones who should have been aware and on top of the expenditures and the impact those expenditures would have on the budget.
The city manager has since fired Roddel, who was finance director for a decade.
Carrillo also said the revolving door of city managers in Aransas Pass in recent years has also been a contributing factor as to why there were not good financial controls in place. She said there were no checks and balances in place, and that the previous city manager and finance director did not give the city council the information they needed to make informed decisions.
"The city manager and the staff, City staff, should have been on top of it," Carrillo said. "I mean, because we have a part-time council -- they have full-time jobs -- they're relying on us to, you know, have the information. I would venture to say that's probably the truest picture, and there's been such turmoil in that chair, turnover after turnover after turnover after turnover."
"It's a hard thing because now we have to dip into our reserves to cover the, offset the expenses," Aransas Pass Councilman Phillip Hyatt said. "And it was kind of a shock, I think, to myself and the rest of the council, to have to discover this money in this fashion, and we were just not informed by previous city managers of this shortfall."
Carrillo said everything that is expended requires formal council action, but that somehow, formal council action never took place. She said that is a violation of the city charter and local government code.