|Partying, Conferencing on Your Money|
At Fort Worth's bikefest, taxpayers footed the bill for representatives from the city's parks, planning, tourism and health departments. The taxpayers also sent City Commissioners Rose Gowen and Estela Chavez-Vasquez, Assistant City Manager Jeff Johnston. Brownsville Metro was represented by Norma Zamora(City buses do accommodate bikes on front bike racks.) All enjoyed the plush accommodations of the Sheraton Fort Worth Hotel & Spa and $56 per diem for meals if they didn't like the food served at the conference.
Below is the agenda item to be presented with a straight face by Finance Director/Assistant City Manager Pete Gonzalez:
13. Consideration and ACTION to approve travel request for the delegation of city employees to travel to Denver, Colorado, from June 13, 2014 through June 16, 2014, to attend the 2014 National Civic League All-America City Award. (Pete Gonzalez-Deputy City Manager)
Below we reprint our earlier article about the All-American City Award:
"No Thank You!" The Taxpayers of the Nation's "Poorest City" Can't Afford Any More Awards!
(republished from April 11, 2014)
|Charlie Cabler, David McCarthy|
The award, according to Community Showcase CEO David McCarthy, would "show the city of Brownsville's economic vitality and the support of the business community."
Variations of this scam are legendary, including upfront money to make your five year old a Hollywood star or get your invention patented and in production. "Flattery", whether directed at individuals or cities, according to the late actress Mae West, "will get you everywhere."
The City of Brownsville, increasingly recognized as the "poorest city in the United States," is in contention for another award, that of "All-American City." All-American cities aren't picked the same way as All-American football players.(Marshall is the other Texas city, along with Brownsville, still in the running, both city's "90 lb weaklings" as cities go.) It takes self-promotion andMONEY to get the nod. Fayetteville, NC estimates expenditures in excess of $170,000 to garner the honor in 2011.
Note this comment to the Fayetteville Observer:
"It would be interesting to know how many folks who have moved to Fayetteville recently did so because of the previous designation as an All-American city. Seems to me that the city could use that money for something more worthwhile."
The All-American City designation is like being in the "Who's Who in College" book. The benefit is psychological, appealing to municipalities with low self-esteem. What if for $39.95, a city can be listed in the book, "Great American Cities," and you get a copy of the book?
"City officials will head to Colorado this June to make their case for Brownsville to be named a member of the 2014 All-America City class now that the National Civic League has identified 25 finalists for the award."
Please don't tell us Ty that Brownsville taxpayers are
|Arturo Rodriguez, Pete Gonzalez|
We will be keeping an eye on travel requests made to the City of Brownsville. Oh, by the way, is there an award for conserving and protecting taxpayer assets? I didn't think so.