Brownsville's Mayor Martinez has chosen the route of isolationism in the most illogical of focuses, the planning for roads, highways and other transportation. If any focus would benefit from a regional approach, it would be transportation. Perhaps, Martinez harkens back to those days of yesteryear when railroad tracks were made of varying gauges.
At last month's meeting of the Brownsville Metropolitan Organization, Martinez bristled, hardening his heart at the very mention of moving into a regional MPO that would encompass the entire valley. Perhaps, Martinez hates the idea that he would be at the table of such a regional MPO, but not at the head of the table. The prevailing thinking that the valley's population as a united entity would put them into "big boy" range for TxDot grants with Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Houston is lost on Martinez for some reason. Perhaps, he is so philosophically and financially tied to certain local projects that he is not willing to risk losing them to a regional decision. The West Rail Road?
Even the long-running scam organization, United Brownsville, has been making noises about regional development. The 2013 BiNed conference held at the Gran Salon salivated over an "8 $Billion dollar opportunity in binational manufacturing.
In a resolution passed March 4, 2014, the City of Brownsville yielded development of such a "BiNed Zone" along FM 550 corridor and the Port of Brownsville to several out-of-Brownsville entities:
Consideration and ACTION on Resolution Number 2014-034, in support of the creation of a Bioned(sic) Coordinating Board to be made up by Equal Representation from United Brownsville, Imagina Matamoros, and the City of Harlingen in order to promote and plan the development of the Bi-Ned Zone. (Commissioners D. Portillo/R. Gowen)
At a recent United Brownsville meeting, the newly installed UB board president, Irv Downing, cautioned against "working in silos," that is, independently, as opposed to striving for cooperation.
It seems the City of Brownsville, represented by the mayor, is talking out of both sides of its mouth. They want regionalization in terms of industry, manufacturing and trading, but want to isolate themselves on transportation issues.
Do you smell a rat?