Thursday, May 19, 2016

Irv Downing Receives United Brownsville Baton from Outgoing Fred Rusteberg, Vows to "Refocus, Reset" Group

New United Brownsville President Irv Downing
"How many of you have ever run a medley race?" asked newly installed United Brownsville President Irv Downing at a meeting of the United Brownsville Coordinating Board, held at noon Wednesday at IBC Bank's plush meeting room?  When no hands from among coordinating board members shot up, Downing continued his analogy, explaining that each runner ran a different leg in a medley.  "Fred Rusteberg(newly retired IBC Bank President) has just run the longest leg, just as I did for my high school track team."

During Downing's pep talk, outgoing leader Rusteberg handed him a brass-colored baton, admonishing him "not to drop it."  Ceremoniously, the baton was passed to the other two newly installed tri-chairs, Debbie Portillo and Jorge de la Garza.  Neither officer dropped the baton.

Downing continued: "Some on this board are not certain of our mission.  United Brownsville has never paved a single street.  Our role as facilitators is to bring segments of the community together. We seek collaborative strategy, collective success."

Skillfully bringing board member Minerva Pena into the discussion, Downing asked:  "How long had it been since we collaborated with BISD, 6 years?"

"12 years," responded Mrs. Pena, who articulates a couple pay grades below Downing.

"You see?" Downing continued.  "Too long!"

Outgoing UB President Fred Rusteberg
Downing referred to a study done by Stanford University on the "collective impact of backbone organizations. "Traci has provided us each with some handouts on this study."  United Way Director of South Cameron County Traci Wickett was named the new secretary of United Brownsville and City of Brownsville's Finance Director Lupe Granado was named treasurer.

As Downing reiterated the accomplishments of United Brownsville since it's startup in 2010, incredibly including "the emergence of Texas Southmost College as a free-standing, fully accredited community college. Back in 2010 we had a partnership."  

None on the coordinating board seemed to wince at that revisionist history. Actually, one of the original UB tri-chairs, former UTB President Juliet Garcia, fought vehemently against TSC "separation" from the system agreement into its historical role as a "free-standing" entity. 

Downing did not explain that, in reality, United Brownsville is an imaginary board, with its board members not appointed by the city commission, but chosen by the board itself and certainly not elected by the taxpayers.  Still, the board draws taxpayer and ratepayer funds from 8 local entities to provide its $200,000 annual operating funds.  In other words, "taxation without representation."

Carlos "Viva Las Vegas!" Marin
Another one of the original tri-chairs, Ambiotec's Carlos Marin, arrived late, and did not take his normal spot at the horseshoe-arranged tables, sitting instead in one of the visitor chairs.  Marin, noticeably jet-lagged, was reported by El Rrun Rrun's Juan Montoya as spending some time recently on a gambling hiatus in Las Vegas. 

Downing, who mentioned that he works for a "regional educational institution," admonished the coordinating board to not be afraid of "thinking regionally."  He gave the board "at the very most" 90 days to identify at least three "major initiatives," several times cautioning against "working in silos." has this to say about "silo mentality:"   A mind-set present in some companies when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce the efficiency of the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.

Mayor Tony Martinez, addressing the group from a visitor's chair, told the board to keep their spirit's up, claiming that some in McAllen were astonished by "all that Brownsville is doing."


  1. What the fuck does United Brownsville do with taxpayer money?! The anti OP1033 movement needs to get a good whiff of this shit.

    1. It is an exercise in governing, one of thousands across the country. If you don't like it, go back to Mexico!

    2. "It is an exercise in governing, one of thousands across the country. If you don't like it, go back to Mexico!"

      So, United Brownsville is part of local government? How so?

    3. Fol, there is organized, established "governing," and then there is the powers-that-be in town that also call the shots. Don't be so fuckin' naive!!!

  2. They try to arrange the care and feeding of lil Oscar Garcia, blow sunshine up Debbie Portillo's skirt, and are generally pretty miserable imitation human beings. Calling them self serving scum gives scum a bad name. They are unindicted criminals. They deserve to be spat upon. They are the afterbirth of a sordid union of Eddie Treviño and Carlos Marin, with the stench of Juliet Garcia thrown in for good measure.

  3. Actually, McAllen is astonished that Brownsville is doing the same old thing and continuing to go nowhere, except to purchase downtown property for 5 times it's value. Of course all at taxpayer expense. And I undertand that at least a couple taxpying entities have discontinued their contribution of taxpayer money to this organization.

  4. PURO BULLSHIT AT ITS FINEST!!!! I knew Downing back when he was one of Duffy's little boys over at Texas Commerce Bank. My how people change or did he learn from the best? He should be ashamed of himself for pulling this fiasco phantom board that steals from the community tax base.

  5. Minerva sealed her fate. Stupid Minerva.

  6. The reason McAllen is astonished at what Brownsville is doing Mayor Martinez, is because they can not believe how inept out leaders are down here. PENDEJO!

  7. Stupid ,dumb-ass Martinez ! The more he talks, the more he comes off as a stupid clown. The people in Mcallen are "astonished " at the lack of indictments for our elected officials ; not for anything else they might think they have accomplished ! Ugh ! What an arrogant thief the Mayor turned out to be.

  8. Downing should have asked, "How many of you have meddled in a race?" if he wanted a show of hands.



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