Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Newly elected official struggles to meet half million-dollar requirement



Sylvia Garza-Perez was set to take office during early January, like other elected officials did, but she did not.

The problem is she could not get a bond required for county clerk across Texas to take office.
After several days of reading her name in headlines, she wants to set the record straight and serve the people of Cameron County.
Cameron County Clerk-Elect Sylvia Garza-Perez had been waiting to get the bond for several days.
"We did get word today that we did get a bond and they're processing the paperwork," Sylvia Garza-Perez, the Cameron County Clerk-Elect said.
Perez said that based on her credit, she only qualified for a $100,000 bond.
However, to take office as the Cameron County Clerk, the state requires a bond five times that amount.
"Just like every individual here in the county, in the United States, everybody has a hard time with credit and that was the problem,” she explained. “Based on my income, based on myself, I'm not the richest person in the world, it's pretty hard to qualify for half a million dollars.”
Salazar Insurance Agency in McAllen is now working with Garza-Perez in her effort to take the seat after the election.
"I knew about the bond, but I didn't know the amount of the bonds," said Perez.
According to Texas statues, before performing official duties, county clerks across the state must execute a bond ranging from $5,000 to $500,000.
In Cameron County, the bond required is $500,000.
Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos says this is the first time he's ever seen anything like this.
"If someone is going to run for office they should know what the responsibilities are. What the duties are. What the qualifications are. Obviously this one got by her and her team," said Judge Carlos Cascos, Cameron County. 
Cascos says Perez’s situation opens the door to possible discussion on the legislative level.
Cascos was recently appointed to as Secretary of State by incoming Governor-Elect Greg Abbott.
He says legislators should look into the matter.
"That's got to be a statewide initiative something that I may pursue once I get to Austin," Cascos said.
He said they should look into the issue to make sure anyone who runs for office knows all the rules.
"I've heard rumblings over the last several days that some people were going to file a suit to remove her," Cascos explained.
Perez said all the bond issue was blown out of proportion, and she is glad she finally overcame the obstacle.
"I was elected to do this job, and I'm going to do the best I can with my abilities and I know and I feel in my heart that I'm going to do a good job," said Perez.
Perez has asked county officials for a special hearing this week to finalize the process in order for her to officially take office.


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