bloggin' all things brownsville

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Atkinson: Charter Review Committee Not a Strong Committee

I received this pleasant response from Commissioner Charlie Atkinson about my comments concerning the Charter Review Committee. Atkinson pretty much validated my concerns.

The charter view(SIC) committee isn't a strong committee.

At the end of the day, everything will have to be approved by the commission. I respect Melissa's beliefs that the committee should be independent of the city but that is plain stupid. I think if one wants mote(SIC) authority they should run for office.

Melissa, don't let your mouth overload your hardware. Sit tight and serve your community fairly. The real diarrea is the way you want that committee to be more than what it is.

Settle down and do your civic duty and maybe later you can serve on a board with real teeth and that makes real change for Brownsville.


You better believe I want this committee to be more than what it is or has been in the past. Brownsville deserves better.

City Attorney Jim Goza already gave us the OK to review all aspects of the charter if we wished. All I asked for was the ability to select a chairman, vice chairman, secretary (for minutes) and a timeline so to better make use of the committee's time and organization. Is that really so much to ask for?

And, an agenda and minutes allow for transparency. Otherwise, any recommendations this committee makes, even those suggested by the City Commission, will likely fail.

18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't spin the issue guys. This committee is an advisory committee and not a board that makes decisions that effect the community. The committee makes suggestions and reccommendations. They knew this when accepting to be part of the team. No one is telling them to think a certain way. Melissa, it is no secret that you like having power. That is why you left Carlos Cascos because you couldn't control everyone. When you didn't get that control, you quit. Moving to another job was an excuse in my book. You didn't like other peers having more or equal power to what you had. I know this because I have talked to staff there. Do you want to be chairman of this committee or what? Everyone is there equally and that is the way it should stay. Every committee member should have his/her suggestions heard and no chairman or Vice chairman should say otherwise. You all are equal. Get it through your head. Now, if you want it set up a different way, then set it up for the next committee in four years to have that option. So what if there are items on review that were voted on four years ago. We have a different Mayor, different commission. One item I was told you were making reference to was compensating the Mayor and commissioners like they do in the county. I am for that. It is a lot of work but I would state that the current city commission should not benefit from this referendum unless they win their next election. I am for that. The voters have to decide that not Melissa Zamora and her blogger haters.

Charlie

Saturday, August 16, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melly,
We Support you girl,
you go try your best. Is well known that in Brownsville your or anyone's best is never enough.

If a man is agressive he is macho, if he is gentle he is macho-menos.

If a woman is agressive she is a power hungry machine, if she motherly she is label as a mensa. So much for labeling......

Saturday, August 16, 2008  
Blogger Mr. Shrimp said...

Preserve the Brownsville City Charter. Do not change it. Just change leadership to a more effective leadership. Un-thread the puppets in public office and in journalism.



Robert Sanchez

Saturday, August 16, 2008  
Blogger BobbyWC said...

Hey Sorry Charlie - you say you are gay friendly - is this why your so called gay friends have not been able to get you to put on the city agenda funding for HIV awareness in Brownsville?

We both know you know about the issue - why have you refused to place the issue on the agenda?

Closeted married gay men in this town are a dime a dozen - they are spreading HIV to their wives and unborn children. Many of these men also tend to be abusers of their wives or outsiders as a way to conceal their homosexuality. They are most at risk of contracting HIV when then are drunk as their medicine of choice for dealing with their denial.

Why are you so opposed to the people being educated on HIV awareness? You may be able to save a wife from needless infection. Place it on the agenda and stop making excuses.

Bobby WC

Saturday, August 16, 2008  
Blogger Melissa Zamora said...

Since you brought Cameron County up, I was hired at about a $65,000 annual salary. The others were at 50-something and under. I was tasked to be Chief of Staff, but I was only allowed to direct certain staff members. There were other very serious issues, but I won't go into detail, because those are personnel issues. I understand, from recent discussions with county staff, those issues still exist.

Back to the issue at-hand. No, I don't want to be in charge. I don't know how to be any clearer. I simply felt we need some organization, a timeline and transparency, because we are accountable to the voters. Nothing more.

I don't recall ever discussing compensation.

Saturday, August 16, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respect Melissa's beliefs that the committee should be independent of the city but that is plain stupid...maybe later you can serve on a board with real teeth and that makes real change for Brownsville.

Commissioner Atkinson,

The city charter is the governing document of our local government, why shouldn't a committee that was put together to recommend changes to it not have any teeth? Are your comments an expression of how you believe things should be, or are they a blunt assessment of how you think they are? If it's the latter, you have a choice in changing that. If it's the former,then your claim that you're not a typical politician is falling short.

Next Tuesday you have the opportunity to not be a typical politician by sticking up for the charter review committee, and urging your fellow commissioners to do so as well.

If you don't value and respect the mission of this committee, why appoint your brother, who you describe as a "sharp individual" with a masters degree, who is "fair" and that you "trust to do the right thing"?

Will you value his commitment, or will you dismiss it by imposing restrictions on the committee's ability to deliberate freely?

Patricia A.

P.S. Spinning is when someone gives their interpretation of the facts in a way that will favor their argument. Yes, there is always some spinning going on when discussing issues, but you have to realize that a lot of what you call spinning is simply quoting you word for word. You need to think and revise before you type if you want to avoid being misunderstood.

Saturday, August 16, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who actually voted for this guy??? i like his professionalism when he refers to people that are against him or his decisions as "haters". that sounds like some gossip being spoke by high school kids. i do agree though, why are they setting parameters?? what are they trying to hide or what are they trying to influence the committee to change on behalf of their interest???

David

Saturday, August 16, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did they get WI-FI at Whataburger? This guy is all over the blogs.

Saturday, August 16, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My two cents into this issue is that the Charter Review Committee needs to be allowed to review the entire charter or those items they choose to review, hence the name of the committee.

I know that the City has some things they'd like to change. That's only normal. After all, they are the ones that created the committee to begin with.

But in addition to those changes the City is interested in, the residents sitting on the Charter Review Committee should have the right to review other changes they feel need to be made in addition to those the City is interested in.

I think Commissioner Atkinson is way out of line for throwing around his weight in reminding everyone that the Commission has the final say. Why appoint a Charter Review Committee if that's how you feel? You voted to create it so why do that if you really feel that way? The truth is that Commissioner Atkinson or any other City official didn't anticipate that any of the committee members would be outspoken. They thought that the committee members would just rubberstamp everything.

You couldn't be more wrong. To you, Melissa, I say, echale ganas y no se dejen.

Sunday, August 17, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Commissioner Atkinson:

Instead of fiddling around this Charter Reveiw issue, why not concentrate on employee health insurance? You all voted and agreed with management to have employees pay more for our health insurance. There are smaller cities with way less budgets than us that pay 100% of the health insurance.

- Son of 18 year Public Works employee

Sunday, August 17, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real problem we have is not idiots like Atkinson. It's people like Ben Medina running departments who do not have the requisite credentials or education for their jobs. (Isn't that why we hired Carlos Marin at $900k to help us "imagine" Brownsville?) They're all over City Hall, starting with Cabler, to Public Works, Traffic, etc. Consultants are bleeding us to death. Atkinson will be gone the next election, but city department directers are "lifers" that our children will inherit - if they're dumb enough to stay. More important than a charter review, how about a "city department director review" committee to compare qualifications of our directors with other cities our size? And then make recommendations as to what positions should be advertised for new hires?

Sunday, August 17, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think if one wants mote(SIC) authority they should run for office. "

so he ran for office to have authority not necessarily to serve. The truth comes out one way or another.

Sunday, August 17, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, a Department Director Review. That would be a great step for our City!!!! We are a broke town because we waste a lot of money. That results from incompetents working at high levels of our City. As was stated, they rely on high paid consultants to tell them how to do their jobs. That is our problem.....along with our elected leaders!

Sunday, August 17, 2008  
Blogger Melissa Zamora said...

This committee is an advisory committee and not a board that makes decisions that effect the community.

Commissioner, when the Capital Improvements Advisory Committee was established last year, it was clearly stated that the committee "serves in an advisory capacity."

This advisory-designated committee also has a chairman, vice-chairman and a secretary. Their agendas are posted and state they are posted as per the Texas Open Meetings Act. The meetings also allow for public comment, and minutes are taken. So, my suggestions shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. They are basic elements of the process.

Why should the Charter Review Committee be any different?

Or, was there a conspiracy to take over the CIAC, too, by some overzealous, ego-inflated committee member who became chairman?

Sunday, August 17, 2008  
Blogger BobbyWC said...

I am no supporter of Ben Medina, but I have been told by several people in Planning he has a Masters in Public Administration - which only goes to prove an education mean nothing in the hands of someone like Medina. It angers me how the COmmission knows he is winging it most of the time and they seem to not care.

I am also told his primary hiring standard or promotion standard would make Al Bundy proud.

I do believe the new charter must state that any all directors must have a Masters in their field or a professional license - such as a CPA, Engineer.

I also believe that the majority of all appointments to any and all committees must have a significant background in the subject matter of the committee, with the remainder ebing communitee activists.

I will never support compensation. This was tried in Dallas and nothing got better. I do support health insurance for the commissioners. The people can understand everyone is entitled to health insueance

Bobby WC

Monday, August 18, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say is how much we know enjoy the view. Thank you Melissa.

Monday, August 18, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i dont know what to think. i know both melissa and charlie. having a board member and commissioner go at each other about an issue on a blog is not how i would like to conduct business. do things the right and old fashioned way, face to face.


I agree that the board is an advisory committee and makes recommendations to the city coucil.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008  
Blogger BobbyWC said...

According to MZ Medina said "Medina explained that it was the decision of the City Secretary, City Attorney and Commissioners to place the item on the agenda so to provide our committee with "some direction" and to let us know what "their expectations" are. "

According to Jim Goza at the City Commission meeting the request came from Committee members - their stories are complete opposites.

The city commission acted like they were shocked to see the item on the Agenda - who is lying?

This is all the more reason for a Committee Chair and Vice- Chair and minutes - the people should be allowed to attend the meetings.

Bobby WC

Tuesday, August 19, 2008  

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