The City of Mathis is Experiencing Financial Problems - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

The City of Mathis is Experiencing Financial Problems

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MATHIS (Kiii News) -

The small community of Mathis is currently going through some financial troubles that are said to be so bad, a number of Mathis police officers have resigned in protest.

"That's why we are leaving, because it's an unstable atmosphere," said John Butler, former Mathis police officer. "We don't know what's going to happen next."

Butler is one of three police officers who have resigned over the financial issues in Mathis. He said that he and his fellow resigning officers have had several issues with the city -- among them, the paying of child support payments.

Some employees would have the money taken out of their checks by the City, but the City was making payments to the child support office late.

Another issue was the use of gas cards. When officers or EMS crews tried to fill up their units, their cards would be declined.

The City's budget problems have hit various departments in different ways.

"Haven't gotten supplies in the last month. Last month, they had to actually take one of the ambulances out of service," Paramedic Supervisor Daniel Sem said. "The numbers that they are reporting on what we are spending are heavily inflated."

According to Mayor Ciri Villareal, both the previous finance director and the previous city manager were allowing the City to spend money that was not in the budget. He said the City found out after they had both resigned earlier this year.

The mayor also said that the City did not have the money to hire a new finance director, so the city secretary had to step in. Now, she does three jobs, including that of the city manager and the finance director.

"Myself and our other secretary had to step in and try to learn a lot of the process just to keep things going," City Secretary Mary Acosta Gonzalez said.

The mayor added that the City had not completed an audit in three years. He even started getting calls from the USDA.
     
"We would ask for various reports and we wouldn't get them," Mayor Villareal said.

As a result, the City has raised taxes from 84-cents up to 90-cents. They have started an internal audit to see where they stand financially, and they have made cuts to all of their departments.
   
"I love the city and love the job, and it just hurts me, the effect it's having on the city, on the people and especially on the employees," Daniel Sem said.

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