"Yes, let the joyous news be spread. The wicked Old Witch at last is dead!"
From "The Wizard of Oz"
|Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez|
Mayor Tony Martinez, the evil witch, tormenting, harassing and controlling the City Commission, may not be actually dead, but he is wounded, neutered, exposed, no longer a threat. He was always powerless in Brownsville's so-called weak mayoral form of government. It's just that the City Commissioners did not know it. They have the votes. He doesn't(unless there is a tie). They are free to discuss any issue, publicly and thoroughly, without submitting to his stifling, stymieing and squelching of free thought. They just didn't know it. Until last night, that is.
It wasn't about the new city logo so much as a youthful City Commission recognizing their power, opportunity and responsibility to correct mistakes, actually represent their constituents and do what's right. Commissioners John Villarreal and Rick Longoria co-sponsored an Action Item to "reconsider the new city logo," presenting it at yesterday evening's City Commission meeting.
While both John Villarreal and Rick Longoria, along with Debbie Portillo, spoke about "negative" comments they'd received recently about the new, industrial style logo, that citizen opposition was actually well known BEFORE the 9/15/15 City Commission meeting where it was adopted. 80% of those responding to the Hahn Communications survey either "did not like" or were "unsure" of the new logo. Despite the poll results, the advertising agency pressed forward with the ugly, industrial new logo they sold the city, making it obvious that soliciting taxpayer opinion was just a phony "for show" exercise, not real or sincere.
As Martinez realized the votes were stacked against him last night, he reached out to City Attorney Mark Sossi for a lifeline, hoping Sossi would find something legally untoward in the wording of the Action Item. "No," paraphrasing the City Attorney, "the commission understands that approving this item removes the new logo and restores the former logo."
Where will the City Commission, once docile, subservient and fearful of Martinez, go from here? Who knows? Could they undo the proposed gifting of the city's precious holding, Lincoln Park, to one of the world's richest university systems? Certainly, just as easily as they restored the old city logo, but even more protective of taxpayer interests.
Commissioner Rose "Ugh!" Gowen, if not a witch, at least a goblin in the collective eyes of city management, meekly joined the chorus of "ayes" in approving the restoration of the old logo. Her disparagement of the taxpayers via email, her conflict of interest in the Lincoln Park affair, her illegally chairing a meeting of the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation, well after the expiration of her 4 year term, to push an agenda, has been documented on this blog. With the vitalization of the other commissioners, she becomes what she should always have been, "one of the commissioners."
Martinez has choices. He can learn to actually "create consensus." He can leave office and run for County Judge. But, he can not put the City Commission "genies" back "into the bottle." They are empowered and like it.