On January 14, 2016, the Sandy Oaks City Council unanimously decided to take over the CPS energy bills of the Waterwood Park Property Owner’s Association (WPPOA). The city will take on the WPPOA’s CPS accounts and will also pay money currently owed to CPS.
The City Council claimed that Jim Clement, as WPPOA president, could no longer pay the bills because not enough people had paid their assessment fees earlier in the year.
Clement had announced early in 2015 that he would be ending the assessment fee, but announced in August of 2015 that only half of the people who paid their fees in the past paid in 2015.
Multiple people in the Waterwood subdivision have contacted Clement demanding to see evidence that he was elected to be the WPPOA president. However, Clement, and other board members such as Pedro Orduno and Charlotte Rabe, have refused to show evidence of how and when they were elected board members.
The CPS bills belonging to the WPPOA include street lights throughout the Waterwood subdivision, which includes approximately 90% of the City of Sandy Oaks.
Texas Law Violated
Texas Local Government Code 102.009 (b)states
After final approval of the budget, the governing body may spend municipal funds only in strict compliance with the budget, except in an emergency.
The budget of the City of Sandy Oaks does not include expenses for lighting, CPS bills, or for payments of WPPOA’s bills.
The budget proposed on September 2, 2015 had $24,000 allocated to street lighting. However, the City Council decided to remove the expense from the city budget at the second budget hearing on September 8, 2015.
Mayor Micki Ball knowingly violated Texas Local Government Code 102. On September 8, 2015 she responded to a citizen who was concerned about the City Council strictly following the budget. The citizen told the Council “Once this budget is approved, according to Local Government Code, you guys have to stick with the budget unless there is, what the government code calls, a dire emergency.”
Ball, who was an Alderman at the time, responded with “We’re aware of that.”