|Mayor Tony Martinez, Not A Consensus Builder|
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?