bloggin' all things brownsville

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Brownsville 'Weak Link' in Border Wall Fight

"Macho does not prove mucho." ~Zsa Zsa Gabor

I had to drink a big glass of cold water and silently stew over swallowing my pride before I could fess up. After backspacing, then typing, then backspacing, again, I came up with what follows: Mayor Ahumada, your editorial in today's Brownsville Herald was, well, quite frankly (*cough* *cough*), right on.

Although, might I suggest a nice, warm slice of humble pie with a cafecito before choosing to run with the usual "I did this" and "I did that" rants.

Still, the hypothetical you put forth begs a response: "How can all of the border cities be united against the border wall but not Brownsville?"

I'm sure we all know the answer.

Testosterone-filled, chest-pounding, yo-soy-el-hombre arrogance that saturates Deep South Texas politics, especially in this bordertown home of ours.

Look at the support UTB-TSC President Juliet Garcia is receiving in her fight against the border wall. I'm sure they've spent thousands in attorney fees, yet where's the criticism there?

In contrast, I'm annoyed at how our City Commission has volleyed the border wall issue at several meetings with no one taking the helm in this fight other than Mayor Ahumada. But, therein lies the problem. Because it is, the mayor, and it is a fight he vehemently supports, the Commissioners refuse or are hesitant to join the cause. Complacency is not a solution to the border wall dilemma.

Perhaps the manner in which the Mayor initially adopted this fight as his own fight left a bad taste. This is our fight, and it takes a collective approach by our City Commission to at least put on a decent fight.

Now, the Commissioners have adopted that same my fight approach they once criticized by building their own wall between themselves and any ideas/issues the Mayor supports. The fight that exists between our Commissioners and the Mayor has in fact deemed us the "weak link."

We should be joining UTB-TSC in its efforts and those of the TBC, Valley Interfaith, nature preserves, etc.

Water under the bridge, I say, at least for this fight, anyways. What's it going to take, a good 'ole fashioned spit handshake for you machos?

Like my dear friend, Emma Perez-Trevino, likes say, hijole!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mayor made some good points and I agree with your assessment of why things have come to be what they are, but this editorial raised the question--at least in my mind--of how much a public official can divulge about matters discussed in executive session.

I'm not a fan of executive session, but I understand its necessity in some legal circumstances, and if the relationship between the Mayor an the Commission continues to be sour, his indiscretion might complicate things further.

Patricia A.

Sunday, June 22, 2008  
Anonymous thezipper said...

I can't stand "the mayor". I think he is one if the least likeable persons I have ever met. I don't know many people who like him and those that did at one time are not his friends now. His approach to politics and negotiations could be compared to that of Attila the Hun. In a very real way I feel sorry for him. He must be a very lonely man.

Having said all that, I have said from the beginning that I agree with many of his messages and projects... The wall is one of the them. I very much understand why the commissioners are screwing with him on this issue but the time has passed to put the bad feelings aside and agree to fight the government on this issue. In the end it may not make a difference but we should at least try. TOGETHER!!!!!! No one from the Valley in their right mind wants this wall. Lets get together and put up the best fight we can.

Sunday, June 22, 2008  
Blogger NO BORDER WALL said...

The following information was passed along to the No Border Wall Coalition, and it appears that the Cameron County Commissioners want to not only sell off county lands to build the wall, they want to avoid their duty to work on behalf of Cameron County residents who are being sued by DHS:

A special meeting has been scheduled for tomorrow morning at 8:30 am. (Monday the 23rd) with executive session C to ‘deliberate regarding real property concerning: The possible sale of Cameron County owned properties to the US Department of the Army known as: (then there are 5 tracts listed that totals 7.53 acres). These same 5 tracts show up again on the regular Tuesday, June 24th 5pm meeting in executive session. The special meeting on Monday also includes in executive session item D. “confer with Commissioners’ Court legal counsel concerning waiver of service for the following cases in which Cameron County is an unnamed defendant:” (then there are 51 Federal Court cases cited where the Federal Govt. has filed against property owners for access and/or condemnation in order for the fence project to move forward).

I understand that the reason the County is an unnamed defendant is because when the Feds do a condemnation they also serve the local county government. We are being asked to waive the service of the lawsuits in order to expedite the process and save the Feds the cost of serving the County. These do not show up on the regular meeting of Tuesday at 5pm.

Sunday, June 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Still, the hypothetical you put forth begs a response: "How can all of the border cities be united against the border wall but not Brownsville?"

Apathy is one. The October public hearing on the wall/fence had many of outsiders not residing in Brownsville. Soem passed it off as being a regional issue, yet it was a hearing calling for public input from Brownsville residents and citizens.

With exception of one, our commissioners lacked numbers. The lack of public notice and communication probably led to the lack of attendence that did not even qualify enough to have minutes kept. Pure speculation but possibly they believed then the wall was not going to happen.

Second, we are a city of limited means. The City could be left holding the hiring attorneys, who themselves claim are not qualified to take it past a certain level in the appeals process.

Furthermore, the Commissioners fight "the Mayor" because of his constant concealing and one-upmanship (sounds like a word?). I believe the use of grandstanding is one word they use to describe "the Mayor." The commission prefers working with the Feds. Commissioner Troiani himself has made much in his "Commissioner's Report" on the fluid discussions with the Feds. What is wrong with that? You get more with honey than with, well, you know what.

Finally, I would concur with Patricia that executive session information is privy to a certain few. The Commission must be weary having discussion outside of executive session. I am reminded of one meeting in which Charlie Atkinson spoke on the lawsuit with Judge-elect Elia Cornejo-Lopez. Everyone holding their breath was palpable.


Sunday, June 22, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know many people who like him and those that did at one time are not his friends now.


Monday, June 23, 2008  

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