|Latest Cryptic Billboard from Car Dealer Mike Hernandez|
In March 2014 a resolution sponsored by Rose Gowen and Debbie Portillo was easily passed by the docile and inexperienced City Commission yielding control of the industrial corridor to United Brownsville, Imagina Matamoros and the City of Harlingen to "promote a Bi-Ned zone in the FM 550 industrial corridor." This resolution elevated United Brownsville from a mere "informal board" to a controlling entity in the development of the industrial corridor.
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Plan to the Publisher of the Brownsville Observer
Recent developments are tugging Brownsville to plan development regionally, not as a smallish civic entity at the southern tip of the Rio Grande Valley. Even County Judge Candidate Dan Sanchez hints that creating a regional Metropolitan Planning Organization could solicit not $1 million in TxDot dollars, but $50 million.
This raises the obvious question: Do we even need United Brownsville when the focus should be on a united Rio Grande Valley? There have been mumbles from some of the entities contributing their annual $25,000 stipend to United Brownsville.
A TSC official explained: "How can we justify contributing tax dollars to an entity promoting only Brownsville when so many of our students live in Port Isabel, South Padre Island, Los Fresnos, Harlingen, etc.?" Of course, the Cameron County Commissioners Court could say the same thing.
As for yielding control to a regional oversight, such as a regional MPO, count Mayor Tony Martinez as opposed to that idea. The mayor's off-again, on-again bromance with Matamoros businessman Carlos Marin aside, Tony would like for his minions to control development in the FM 550 industrial corridor. But going at economic development and planning alone looks sillier by the minute.
Even when United Brownsville Director Mike Gonzalez bragged about the San Diego/Tijuana Bi-Ned development in 2012 as a model for Brownsville/Matamoros, that plan seemed to dwarf Brownsville. You could superimpose a map of the San Diego/Tijuana region over south Texas/northern Mexico and it would easily cover the entire RGV, Matamoros and Reynosa, not simply B&M. Uniting for simply Brownsville no longer seems current.
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