By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
The future of the Port Isabel chief of police is secure for the next three years after the Port Isabel City Commission voted to approve an employment contract agreement with him during Tuesday evening’s meeting. The contract was approved by a split vote — 3 for, and 1 against. Commissioner Martin Cantu, Jr. was not present at the meeting.
The contract is for a 3-year term and will maintain Chief Robert Lopez’s salary at $65,000 per year. The contract won’t go into effect until it is signed by Lopez and returned to the Commission for final approval, City attorney Gilberto Hinojosa said.
The decision came after the Commission retired to executive session for more than an hour, during which they were set to discuss the chief’s performance evaluation. Commissioner Martin C. Cantu motioned to approve the contract, and was seconded by Commissioner Jeffery Martinez. They, along with Mayor Juan Jose “J.J.” Zamora voted in favor of the motion. Commissioner Carmen Rios voted against.
But one resident had a question about the necessity of the City entering into an employment contract.
“Why are you getting involved with another contract?” said Port Isabel resident James Dickens, himself a retired chief of police from several different municipalities.
“Because we feel that’s the correct way to go for the betterment of the community and the betterment of the employees,” Mayor Zamora replied.
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