Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How the City of Brownsville Squanders Tax Dollars to Enhance City's Image

The City of Brownsville is an insecure town with collective low
self-esteem, eager to pay for the acclaim or recognition of others. The new logo above is a $90,000 attempt to "rebrand" the city, moving away from "On the Border, By the Sea;" to "Igniting the Future of Texas" a subliminal reference to the anticipated polluting liquefied natural gas plants and an unneeded 800 megawatt Tenaska Power Plant that will negatively effect the city's bond rating.

In 2014 the All-America City award, sought by second and third tier cities, likely cost Brownsville taxpayers about $200,000 including the sending of a a giddy delegation of 40 to Denver to receive the award and a contingent of 15 to make the original case for it.  Brownsville, after duking it out with the other Texas finalist, the metropolis of Marshal, eventually became one of ten "winners" allowed to put up "2014 All-America City" signs throughout town.  San Francisco, Seattle, Miami and New York eat your hearts out!

In 2012, David McCarthy, CEO of Community Showcase, searched through the crowd at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Orlando,
Cabler, McCarthy During "Bannergate"
 Florida, to finally locate Mayor Tony Martinez of Brownsville.  McCarthy convinced Martinez that Brownsville was being "honored" as one of only 15 cities in the U.S. to receive the Community Showcase Award.

McCarthy later showed up at the office of City Manager Charlie Cabler to pick up a support letter from the City of Brownsville, then proceeded to dun local businessmen for the purchase of banner packages to "support Tony."

With the contract letter in hand from the City of Brownsville, clearly indicating the award would be at "no cost to the city," McCarthy and a buxom companion, identified as Itza Pena, began visiting Brownsville businessmen to sell banner packages ranging from $600 to $4,000. It was emphasized that the meager $600 package was only for "churches and non-profits. Upstanding businessmen, who "supported Tony" were expected to cough up four grand.

Eduardo Campirano, Board Member of
Rio South Texas Economic Council
Another scam organization to which Brownsville contributes heavily for image control is the Rio South Texas Economic Council, essentially a website designed to counteract the "image of border violence" that is said to negatively effect the Rio Grande Valley's economy.  The City Commission gladly hands over $17,500 annually, as does the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation, the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation and the Port of Brownsville.  ALL of that is taxpayer money spent for image control.

For one year, passengers disembarking at Harlingen's Valley International Airport might have noticed the postcard at the left announcing Brownsville as the "Bicycle Capital of the Rio Grande Valley."  That advertisement cost the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation $7,000 in taxpayer monies.  Hopefully, those who saw the sign will remember to check their bicycles with their luggage on their next flight to the bike capital.


  1. Well, no matter what Brownsville does they are behind McAllen. McAllen is already getting the B-Cycle Program, which will set 8 bike rental stations around their city. While Brownsville the Bicycling Capital of the RGV doesn't have it, and I haven't heard of any plans to bring it. We may soon have to give the title to McAllen, if we don't get on the ball.

  2. We can have posters on every corner, but that doesn't make Brownsville the capital of anything. Our city commission believes that that sign will make it happen....while they muddle through on making real decisions. It is time that the city looks at what really needs to be down and stop trying to spend money promoting issues that are not relevant to the public.



"Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?  then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil." ...