The Recent Appointment Of A Laguna Vista Municipal Judge Causes Political Unrest In The Community
POSTED: Sunday, November 20, 2011 - 10:47am
UPDATED: Sunday, November 20, 2011 - 5:38pm
The lower Valley community of Laguna Vista. On the surface, the picture of tranquility, but beneath....political turmoil, controversy and resentment.
Roberto Rodriguez was recently appointed from a pool of four applicants as a municipal judge. Problem? Rodriguez is not an attorney...and the city's Home Rule Charter clearly states that each municipal judge should be a duly licensed attorney when possible.
"Our citizens are concerned in how the Home Rule Charter was interpreted, and there after, how the only non-attorney in the pool of applicants who were selected when you had three duly licensed attorneys."
Bill Schnier stresses that he is speaking as a private citizen, and not as a Laguna Vista council member.
"The way T read that...'where possible' is if a duly, qualified licensed attorney applies...he or she would be appointed over any non attorney that applies."
There is a fine-print, catch-all escape clause in the Home Rule Charter, allowing the city council to...quote...waive all formalities. That was the council's apparent justification for appointing the only non-attorney who had sought the job.
The city council voted 5-2 to appoint Rodriguez...the only non-attorney applicant, as the city's new municipal judge. The majority claim they operated within the Home Rule Charter, but some Laguna Vista citizens think they were railroaded by smalltown Valley good 'ol boys.