By Melissa McCaghren
The City of Slaton Commissioners set election dates for four of the five seats that will be open for election Monday evening (Feb. 8) during a regular meeting at City Hall.
The City also made a statement regarding issues stemming from recent concerns regarding the City, such as finances, Home Rule laws and alleged nepotism.
Mayor Lynn Nowlin read a statement prior to the meeting.
“As your elected officials, our first priority and responsibility is to you, Slaton,” she read from the statement, adding the state law provides for Home Rule and General Law.
Slaton is a Home Rule city, which means per the Texas Municipal League, it may do anything authorized by its charter that is not prohibited or pre-empted by Texas Constitution, State or Federal law.
For example, the City charter states that a person must be a resident of Slaton for at least two years before running for the Mayor’s office, but the State requires only six months. “So that’s what we go with… our City charter,” Nowlin said.
Finances were addressed after discussion of last year’s audit showing the City adding to its deficit, and reports of its credit rating.
“As far as our financial challenges, the City of Slaton has steadily improved our ratings since the audit report in 2020, so much that we were able this last year to refinance some of our Bond – or Certificates of Obligation, moneys for a savings – reduction of payments – of approximately $43,000 a year over a period of the next 10 years,” said Nowlin from the statement, adding this would add up to nearly a half million in savings.
“This is not moneys to spend freely of course, as Commissioners, we see every financial transaction monthly, all in-going and out-going and fund balances.”
She added they approve all bids and awarding of such bids, promoting doing business locally first if at all possible, following all local, state and charter guidelines, laws and regulations, including full disclosure and conflict of interest.”
This issue was a concern after reports of the sale of guns from Smokin Chief Firearms, owned and operated by City Administrator Mike Lamberson.
For more information, please read the Thursday edition of The Slatonite.