Thursday, December 31, 2015

City Secretary Michael Lopez Unable to Access GBIC Travel Records

City Secretary Michael L. Lopez
When BEDC President Jason Hilts mentioned at a City Commission workshop how much the economic development group benefited from the mayor tagging along on their global junkets to court business for Brownville, we wondered how much all this travel was costing the taxpayers.  

Hiltz, in the December 8 workshop, stated:  "In South America, a mayor is viewed like a governor or president. The meetings we set up are better attended if the mayor is with us."

This comment got us to wondering if other city commissioners or administrators were going with Hilts and gang on these international trips and what the cost has been to the taxpayers.  We sent an information request to City Secretary Michael L. Lopez, worded as follows:  

May I please have the travel expenses for 2015 charged to the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation, the destinations and the names of those traveling to each destination and the total cost of each trip. This would include members of the BEDC, GBIC, the Mayor, City Commission or COB administration, anyone who went on the trip paid for by the GBIC.


Jim Barton
Brownsville Observer

Eight days later we received this response from the City Secretary:

Good afternoon,

The City of Brownsville is not in possession of any records responsive to this request.

Michael L. Lopez, MPA
City Secretary/Local Registrar

In the past, former City Secretary Estela Von Hatten typically referred Public Information Requests to the appropriate city department or board.  

The GBIC's "Contact Us" icon on their website actually redirects to the BEDC.  We utilized that opportunity to resubmit our Public Information Request.


  1. Jim, come on man. Your are smarter than this. Why would you ask the City Secretary?

  2. They are playing games. The cover up is always worse than the crime. idiots

  3. Well, this explains where our missing mayor has been!



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