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City of Socorro looks for resolutions

By Denise Olivas
Published On: Feb 01 2013 02:10:46 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 14 2014 09:53:27 PM CST
Socorro -

The City of Socorro is looking for solutions to make sure three of its council members do not violate the Texas Constitution.

The problem unraveled Tuesday after the opinion from the Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott, said some decisions they made were against the law.

County Commissioner Vince Perez also questioned the terms of Jesse Gandara, Jr. and Willie Madrid, who are slated to serve three and a half years.

An election for their seats is coming up this November. It turns out, it is the other representatives who could be in hot water.

Gloria Rodriguez, Maria Reyes and Mary Garcia are set to serve four and a half years because back in 2010, council voted to extend their terms that far ahead.

Socorro spokesman Dave Garcia tells ABC-7 they thought a new state law authorized them to do that, but the Attorney General said no.

The three council members could potentially be in violation of the State Constitution if they serve their entire term.

There are some potential resolutions for the city.

Socorro could hold an election in May, but Rodriguez, Reyes and Garcia could lose 18 months of their term.

If those seats are included in the November election, it would go against a voter-approved charter amendment that states council members are to run in staggered years.

The city can also hold a special election, but that would be more expensive with an estimated cost of $30,000, according to Dave Garcia.

Garcia told ABC-7 city officials and council members know the clock is ticking.

"We're not only trying to fix what now may be a problem, but what could be a problem in the future as well. So to say that any idea isn't a good solution is incorrect. We're looking at every single possible solution to not only fix it now and immediately but in the future for everyone," said Garcia.

Two special meetings will be held Saturday where resolutions will be discussed.

One will be at 5 p-m at Socorro City Hall and the second one takes place at 7pm at the 'El Campanario Ballroom' located on the 600 block of Apodaca in Socorro.



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