Saturday, October 10, 2015

Tony's Incessant Bullying of City Commission Encountering Resistance

Mayor Tony Martinez, Not A Consensus Builder
Calling the shots at a law office does not require the consensus building needed by a mayor in a weak-mayor form of government like Brownsville's.  In this system the mayor has no authority outside the city commission. He cannot appoint or remove officials or veto commission decisions.  He votes only in the case of a tie.  

The skill set needed for success in such a setup involves fostering consensus, reasoning and convincing colleagues of what's best for the city.

Mayor Martinez, from the outset of his administration has used a different approach;  bullying, clandestine use of city funds, controlling discussion of agenda items with misapplications of Robert's Rules of Order and the proverbial backdoor deals.  

Tony's Downtown Office, Remodeled and Leased
at Taxpayer Expense, But Never Used by the Mayor
In his first City Commission meeting as mayor in 2011, Martinez boorishly stripped two young commissioners, Villarreal and Chavez-Vasquez of the longstanding privilege of nominating two constituents from their districts to fill vacancies on city boards. Later, he would unethically tap into a $3,060,000 Texas AEP refund, bypassing the City Commission for his own personal pet projects.  A personal phone call between Martinez and an unnamed UT official(likely Juliet Garcia) resulted in the proposed gifting of precious Lincoln Park to one of the world's richest university systems.

Now, into his second city-damaging term, Martinez is allegedly pushing for one of his longtime assistants, Sandra A. Saenz, to be hired as his personal mayoral secretary.  Of course, by City Charter, neither hiring Mrs. Saenz or creating the new position is Tony's call. Martinez did sneak a $50,000 addendum into the budget to allow for Saenz' prospective salary.

What may be heartening is what we've heard is the reaction to yet another abuse of power by the Mayor.  Commissioners Longoria, Portillo, Villarreal and Tetreau have been reported as opposed to this heavy-handed move.  Only Commissioner Rose Gowen remains stoic in her unqualified support of the Mayor.  City Manager Charlie Cabler cites a need for "due process" and "the most qualified applicant,"according to someone within city administration.

Will the City Commission and City Manager muster the strength to reign in the reckless mayor?

11 comments:

  1. I hope they do muster the strength to keep him in check! This Tyrant wannabe is no leader!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hope they do muster the strength to keep him in check! This Tyrant wannabe is no leader!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The city doesn't follow Robert's Rules of Order, and there is no requirement for them to do so.But I wholeheartedly agree with the rest of your post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What I didn't express clearly is that Martinez has invoked Robert's Rules of Order numerous times to stifle discussion, particularly with Rick Longoria, and to a lesser extent, Jessica Tetreau. Typically, agenda items are listed as "Discussion and Action." Martinez tries to limit discussion, particularly when its going in a direction he opposes.

      On the other hand, Martinez frequently exceeds his role as moderator to insert his personal opinion.

      Jim

      Delete
  4. Tony Martinez follows the Julieta Garcia and Gilbert Hinojosa form of administration...dictatorial. All believe they were created with the ability to know what is best for the city, and find ways to exclude public debate and public input...they consider the citizens too dumb to participate in government. They take their ideas and then send out their loyalists to effect their spin of issues. Sort of like a pebble be dripped into standing water, all the concentric circles reflects the way they try to enforce their will on the public.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Son todos Una bolla De RATAS.

    ReplyDelete
  6. McAllen has good leaderinship. Harlingen has good leadership. Why can't Brownsville get someone who can lead, and move the city forward. Brownsville is the largest city in the Valley and consistently elects idiots or elitists to political office. Perhaps that means that we have an ignorant electorate.....or an electorate which is increasingly apathetic because the elected officials have us swirling down the toilet...grasping for things like SpaceX and LNG to slow the swirl.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because McAllen and Harlingen have a city government that works for their people, and Brownsville has a city government that works for themselves and their buddies. It's that simple!

      Delete
  7. Because people in Brownsville do not vote.

    ReplyDelete
  8. If you think McAllen and Harlingen are good, you should se what is past the check point. It is a whole different country.

    ReplyDelete

Revisiting the Cameron County Commissioners' Foolish Decision to Give $400 Million Tax Abatement to LNG Plant

Explosion at LNG Plant in Algeria Killing 26 There's a reason no LNG plant is located at Waikiki Beach near Honolulu or among the Do...