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Mabton mayor circumvents council

MABTON - At its Oct. 10 meeting, Mabton City Council voted against a resolution agreeing to pay Granger $500 for goods and services pertaining to Interim Mabton Police Chief and current Granger Police Chief Robert Perales. What they voted against was a contract.

At last night's meeting, Mayor Velva Herrera introduced a written agreement between she and the Granger Mayor that allows the city to pay Granger $500 a month.

According to Perales, Washington Cities Insurance Authority, which provides insurance coverage for the city, initiated a discussion clarifying that contracts, like the one discussed last month, must be approved by council. Agreements between two mayors, however, do not.

Herrera described it as an agreement between two mayors regarding the sharing of Perales.

This prompted Council member Angel Reyna to ask if it could be done without council approval, as it's a budgetary issue.

At the Oct. 10 meeting, Reyna and council member Mario Martinez voted against the contract; Vera Zavala voted yes and Oping Hutson abstained from voting. Council member Shelly Mirales was absent, and the resolution failed.

Attorney Jack Maxwell was not present at the meeting last night to advise, nor was the issue on the agenda.

But, during the consent agenda, where financial matters are approved, it was noted that there was a two-month old bill from Granger for $500 for goods and services.

Council agreed to pay the past-due bill, but to table discussion on the agreement until Maxwell is present to answer questions.

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