MARLIN, TX — A Marlin City Council member is charging the mayor with pocketing some profit off a city project. It's a charge the Mayor denies.
It's no secret Marlin has had its troubles with its budget and more recently with it's city manager.
Marlin City Council members walked out of a meeting Thursday night in which the mayor wanted to explain the recent renovation of this downtown building.
Bids to renovate the so-called "Tourism Building" had come $150,000 dollars or more.
Keefer believed he could do it cheaper.
"I asked the city manager, which eventually went to the council for approval, to allow me to supervise the project with a $40,000 budget," Keefer said.
Troubles started months ago when council member Susan Byrd accused Mayor Keefer of profiting from the renovation of the tourism building.
Byrd accused the mayor at a public meeting and on the city's website.
"At any rate, what he was trying to do, was to get a financial gain, at the cost of the city," Byrd said on the website.
Central Texas News Now wanted to ask councilwoman Byrd about her charges, but she didn't come to the door at her home. A business that she owns was also locked, and no one answered.
Keffer says he did not profit from the renovation, or the lien issue.
"I do not own any part of the businesses, I'm not related to any of the parties who did the work," said Keefer.
As Byrd told "Marlin Pride," she wants everything in Marlin "above board."
"I believe that the citizens of Marlin need strong role models and leaders in the position of mayor and the city council,” she said.
With the renovation of the tourism building almost complete, Mayor Keefer says the final cost will come at $28,000, well below the $40,000 he predicted.
"Besides being in my position as mayor, which is an unpaid position, I decided to take an extra step and utilize my resources and my knowledge to see if we can save the money save the city more than $120,000," said Keefer.
Keefer also said he got push back from council members as he sought to temporarily take over the job of the recently fired city manger, and for several days bills went unpaid.
Keefer and the city attorney consulted the charter, which gives the mayor authority, and now, Keefer says Marlin stands current on all its bills.