Friday, July 15, 2016

Brownsville's Left Hand Does Not Know What Its Right Hand Is Doing in Terms of Regional Control

The City of Brownsville is sending mixed messages with respect to promoting the Rio Grande Valley as a region or going it alone while the surrounding cities group together and promote themselves with McAllen as their hub.

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?

While the mayor wants to put a moat and drawbridge around the city with respect to transportation issues, the City Commission keeps approving an annual $17,500 stipend or "dues" as Debbie Portillo expresses it, to pay its share to the Rio South Texas Economic Council, essentially a lame, seldom-updated website that promotes the RGV as "the largest border region in the country" and the "nexus of international trade." Illustrating the "diversified economy" in the region the RSTEC site shows a picture of a Radio Shack outlet, yes Radio Shack, a company that went into chapter 11 bankruptcy a year and a half ago after enduring 11 straight quarterly losses.

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?


  1. Yes I smell one! We need to get rid of him. Construction in my area was said to take 2 months for a road. Now the road is closed and it'll be 8 months now! Small businesses are hurting in our area because of 511 being closed down.

  2. Recall!
    I voted for Pat!

  3. Tony main shortcoming, and it may be intentional, is that he never involves the taxpayers in decisions. Why did he buy Casa del Nylon, way overpaying at that? Why did he add $7,000,000 in Certificates of Obligation to our tax burden? Tony acts like the taxpayers don't need to know what he's doing, just trust that he knows best. I call bull shit!

  4. He's an elitist like his hero Obama.



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