|Mayor Tony Martinez|
"Let the reader use discernment."
St. Matthew 24:15
Answering the question below the side-by-side pictures of Martinez and Madoff required the "reader" to have an understanding of Brownsville during the tenure of Mayor Martinez. Lacking that, a reader might be left in the dark, confused, bewildered, quizzical. That was not our intention, as the side-by-side pics were just a prelude, a precursor of the article to come, not a substitute for that article.
|Bernard L. Madoff|
Bernard L. "Bernie" Madoff took the money assets of friends, acquaintances and clients, billions of dollars, in a so-called ponzi scheme, misusing it to subsidize his lavish lifestyle. Arrested in 2008, convicted in 2009, he's serving a 150 year sentence. His brother Peter received a 10 year sentence for his role in the scam. His son Mark committed suicide in 2010, while his other son, Andrew, died from lymphoma in 2014.
|$270,000 in Taxpayer Dollars for "Paving"|
Mayor Tony Martinez, on a smaller, but not insignificant scale, did the same, misusing, squandering, wasting millions of tax dollars contributed by the hardworking citizens of Brownsville.
Illustrative of Martinez' failure to protect taxpayer assets is the deal he worked out with Juliet Garcia to rent El Cueto Building for administrative offices. The agreement was for 3 years at $270,000, $90,000 per year. Martinez allowed UTB to "pave" the parking lot in lieu of rent. Pictured above is the amateurish job for which the taxpayers forfeited $270,000. I suspect that is City of Brownsville gravel you see scattered over the surface.
|Casa del Nylon, Purchased in 2012 for $2.3|
Million, Still Unused by City. A Homeless
Couple Camped Under the Awning for A Year
Martinez never explained to the taxpayers why he needed to spend $3.5 million on 12 properties in 2012. 11 of those properties still sit idle, off the tax rolls, unused by the city. Taxpayers are on the hook for 20 years with a Certificate of Obligation to pay for Tony's unexplained, wasteful spending. Unethically, Martinez used his law partner, Horacio Barrera, to "negotiate" the purchase of Casa del Nylon from his friend, Abraham Galonsky, for $2,300,000, triple its actual value.
Despite the purchase of all of these buildings and unused office space at the city-owned City Plaza, Martinez saw a space he just HAD to have for a "Downtown Central Mayor's Office." Over the timid objection of City Manager Charlie Cabler, Martinez had the city lease the space at 1101-A E. Washington Street for his downtown office. City crews could be seen remodeling the space for several weeks at taxpayer expense. The lease began October 8, 2013 and expired October 7, 2014 without the spendthrift mayor using it a SINGLE time. Before the lease ran out, in a face saving move, the building was designated the Brownsville Downtown Revitalization Information Center, but was essentially unused.
|Former Mayor Pat Ahumada|
Former Mayor Pat Ahumada feels we're ignoring the biggest Martinez ripoff of all, the Tenaska Power Plant. Here is his comment to an earlier blog article:
"You are focused on the nickles, when millions are being negotiated for a Power Plant that should be on a voter Referendum. We have a utility monopoly, which prohibits the private sector like CPL, AEP, and others to compete against PUB. Now the mayor with others are allowing TENASKA to enter where no other private company could for all these past years. The rules were designed to protect PUB's monopoly and to keep rates down, but with this deal we will fund the upstart costs for Tenaska, guarantee loans at municipal rates and allow them to be in control of a plant that generates electricity for them to sell on the grid, when we do not need to spend $240 million for a plant that Tenaska wants. Someone needs to ask for information under the Open Records Act on anything related to this venture. i.e., private meetings/dinners, direct and indirect donations, paid trips for hunting or other excursions, calls to and from with TENASKA. Already we are seeing rates that are higher than other utility companies and this deal is tied to rate increases, which will make it even worse, but keep looking into the nickles, while the mayor is pushing for the Tenaska deal at our expense. The 800 megawatt plant will provide 200 megs for Brownsville at more than a million dollar per megawatt to construct, plus the cost of the water that we are obligated to furnish and other costs to burden the rate payers. Even your water is being hocked."
As we stated at the outset, Martinez has misused, squandered, wasted millions of tax dollars. He is the Bernie Madoff of Brownsville city government.