TEXAS – Tracking the Dough
McAllen – The money is collected through water bills, but city officials say they are not following their own guidelines for tracking the cash. The city of McAllen collects money from certain homeowners and deposits those funds into the accounts of neighborhood associations. It’s a practice that has been in place for more than 10 years. The money is supposed to be used for improvements, but the city maintains no formal controls into how those associations spend those funds. The city has never done a single audit.
One of the most striking aspects of the issue is the difficulty in getting answers to simple questions. Almost on one wanted to talk about it. The only ones willing to speak about the issue are homeowners who paid into the system and who say they got nothing for their money. “I have no clue as to where the money ends at,” Claudette Guerrero said. “The facade, the landscaping and so on, we just see it as a win-win for the city and that subdivision,” Guerrero said. Guerrero has lived in the same house in the Ponderosa neighborhood of McAllen for 10 years. For almost that entire time $10 a month was added to her water bill.
The city collects the money and then hands it over to that neighborhood’s association. “I would like the city of McAllen to tell me why they’re not checking into this,” Guerrero said. Guerrero has paid $1,200 in 10 years. Read more: