|City Secretary Michael L. Lopez|
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.
Eight days later we received this response from the City Secretary:
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.