bloggin' all things brownsville

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gone A-stray? Mayor's E-mail Pet Plea Sparks Debate

I've been witness to an interesting exchange of e-mails today. I'm part of a mass e-mail list that Mayor Pat Ahumada uses to distribute info on pet adoptions, strays, etc. He doesn't e-mail often, but an e-mail he sent today sparked a couple responses. Below is the exchange.


First e-mail sent by Mayor Ahumada:

You can help by distributing the attached educational flyer within your network. We need help to reduce the numbers of pets being put down at the animal shelter, pets roaming streets, pets unvaccinated and the over population of pets, we must change the mind set and culture in our city by promoting responsible pet care. This email is not intended to offend anyone or be part of a spam mail out. This email is intended to educate citizens to help us address Brownsville's problems with domestic animals. Your help is welcome and appreciated, but if you prefer to be removed from my email list, please notify me and I will do so at once. Thanks,Pat

First response to the Mayor from Brownsville resident Joe Zavaletta Jr.:

Mayor Ahumada, I trust this finds you well. I appreciate the information and I don't disagree that stray animals are a problem.

However, most respectfully, Brownsville's citizens, taxpayers, and business owners, have much more pressing issues that require a united deliberate effort by our leaders to solve. Among them are:

1. POVERTY: more and more of our citizens and families are living below the poverty line each year, especially our children. For example, 76% of single-mom households with minor children live below the poverty line.

2. DROPOUTS: too many students are dropping out of school. Statistics range from 25% to 40%. The impact that continued illiteracy will have on future economic development is staggering.

3. OBESITY and DIABETES. Statistics show that we are triple the national average. This does not include the new generation of Type2 diabetic kids. How many hospitals/beds will we need to take care of all these future patients?

These issues are a matter of justice for all of us. If these issues are not addressed soon (in other words we continue with 'business as usual'), demographic forecasts indicate that in 20 years the majority of Brownsville's population will be poor, uneducated, and unhealthy.

A population with these characteristics will negatively impact the quality of life, taxes, and ability to maintain infrastructure and services. And that is certainly not a Brownsville I want to imagine.

Joe Zavaletta, Jr.
Taxpayer, Activist, Voter, and Concerned Citizen

Second response to the Mayor from an Anonymous e-mail address:

Why don't you worry about all the stray humans that stand at the intersections and solicit all the cars for money. Why don't you send Animal Control to the Woods Subdivision and get the strays that roam the streets all day and night.Why don't you get the Police to ticket speeders in The Woods on Stagecoach where they drive 50-60 mph. Why don't you get the traffic signals synchronized all through town.

There are way too many things that need our attention.

First response from the Mayor to the Anonymous e-mailer:

I certainly feel sorry for you, because if you do not know that I dedicate my full time to the city and all of the issues and concerns you have mentioned at no cost to the city, then you are a very shallow person. I gladly do my job as mayor at an enormous sacrifice to my family and myself, and then some, but that will never be enough for you. The problem of pet overpopulation is a problem that I cannot address alone and it will take the community as a whole to address this serious problem and the unnecessary killing of pets to make room for more at the animal shelter, which is why I do my part to raise awareness and money to bring solutions to the problem. What do you do, besides complain that I do not do enough?

Response from the Mayor forwarding his exchange to the group on his e-mail exchange with the Anonymous e-mailer:

This is in response to one who prefers to criticize than to be part of the solution. I hope and pray that there is enough of us who care to be part of the solution and not the problem, as the person who is complaining. Read the response and his complaint to know the overwhelming challenge we face as a city to address this and other problems that have been ignored for so long. Some would prefer I be a part time mayor who did nothing, than someone who is working on Brownsville's issues and needs, including the over population of pets. God Bless,Pat


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why the mayor's passion for this issue is always interpreted to be a lack of interest or attention to the other issues in our community. I in particular am glad to see someone who is not afraid to voice his compassion for animals (being a pet owner myself). The responses are legitimate concerns to have about our community problems but solving those problems are not mutually exclusive. Just because he does not outline in this email his comprehensive plan to solve all of Brownsville's problems, does not mean that he isn't addressing them in some other fashion.

All of that being said, I disagree with the mayor's response to the individuals questioning his motives and priorities. It is their right to do so and he could have responded in a much more respectful way.

Thursday, October 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mayor Pat Ahumada is a Compasionate man, the fact that he brings attention to ONE OF THE MANY PROBLEMS BROWNSVILLE FACES is no reason for all the haters to automatically question ONE of his many concerns.

We (ALL OF US)instead of questioning the Mayor's intentions
should ask ourselves how we AS A COMMUNITY make Brownsville Better.

My 3 cents...........

Thursday, October 23, 2008  
Blogger MsGibby said...

And what is so wrong with the mayor encouraging people to be responsible pet owners? Concern for the plight of animals and concern for people are not mutually exclusive; they should, in fact, go hand in hand. A population educated enough and responsible enough to care for the plight of its animals would certainly be more likely to demonstrate more care and concern for the problems of its citizens as well.

Thursday, October 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A larger North Korean population here in B'town could help. Perhaps would could sister city with Pyongyang. You know, share ideas, ... What would Scruffy do?

When is his term up?

Thursday, October 23, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Several things to note:

1. I think that the mayor is doing a fine job. He stands up for what he believes in and is giving the city admin what they need to do their job. No dobut there is need for more, but these problems will be there after Ahumada and were there before Ahumada

2. I know LOTS of people who want to help out the pet cause.

3. Everyone will always be unhappy with something. I agree that people should become pro-active and stop bitchin. Bring solutions to the table...all ideas are welcomed and there are no stupid questions.

4. I wonder what your motive is (MZ) by posting those emails. Are you trying to make someone look silly? The people or the mayor? I would have published the mayor's email and not the responses. Thats just my 2 cents but i know you don't give a hoot.

5. The mayor cannot be the spokesman for all causes. I think he gladly advocates for all causes but sticks to his guns with the pets. Thats what most notible leaders do. I am not an Ahumadaite but i do respect his position.

Thursday, October 23, 2008  
Blogger Melissa Zamora said...

I wonder what your motive is (MZ) by posting those emails. Are you trying to make someone look silly? The people or the mayor? I would have published the mayor's email and not the responses. Thats just my 2 cents but i know you don't give a hoot.

No and No.

The concerned responses to the Mayor are a common belief by many.

And, many do believe in the pet cause.

The e-mails show both sides, and this post sparked a constructive discussion within the comments.

Must everything have a motive? Geez. Get off it.

Friday, October 24, 2008  
Blogger BobbyWC said...

While I think the Mayor puts too much into this issue, on balance to other issues, stray dogs are a public health issue which should concern everyone

Bobby Wc

Friday, October 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would add to this HIV Awareness / Prevention and teen pregnancy.
Lots of kids and young adults are getting pregnant here. Pregnancy at such an early age can lead to or keep people in generational poverty. This also tells me something else. A great number of people are having unprotected sex. There are almost no conversations here regarding HIV awareness or prevention with most sticking thier heads in the sand on this subject overall. I can assure you that HIV is a problem here and it won't be long until even the most stuborn of persons can no longer ignore. Get educated and do your part to try and reverse this trend.

Friday, October 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, i'll get off it.

Great job then, MZ.

Geez back to ya.

Friday, October 24, 2008  
Blogger Melissa Zamora said...

It was interesting that you questioned my motives in this post while insinuating I was trying to make "someone" look silly. However, when I defended that "someone's" right to vote at meetings in my previous blog post, nothing was mentioned there. And you question my motives? Please.

Friday, October 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are about 100 foreclosures in Brownsville to be auctioned off Nov. 4th, the streets are impossible to maneuver without losing a tire, companies who have received incentives to come to Brownsville, are now laying off employees, there are no new business' coming into this town, rumour on the news says Mervyn's and Circuit City are on their way out, and the mayor is worried about the pets! Give me a break!Why doesn't he send a mass email and have a benefit for the elderly who's grocery bill have skyrocketed? How about a benefit golf tournament for the abused children in Brownsville or for HIV awarness? Did he hear about the school up north where it's possible more than 32 kids have been exposed to HIV? Noooo..'cause he's worried about the pets.
Another fine example of a person with no clue how to prioritize. How many more years of this? ugh, and to think that so far our other choices might be the shrimper and the printer? Now that is depressing.
100 words or less

Friday, October 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was more than 100 words.

Friday, October 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey,100 words or less, you should worward your concerns to the Cameron Works, Inc. They are the Cameron county Workforce Development Board and mass lay-offs are within their purview. Good luck with Frank Castellanos.


Friday, October 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 100 words or -

I hear you man. I had the good fortune to work for one of B'town's finest prior to his passing. He too was saddened by the state of affairs and direction this community was heading.

I'm certain he'd approve of the positive forces that the local Blogs have brought to the table, but the negative powers are par for the course within this border- town caste syndrome. He was qualified to explain this, as his family once owned the local newspaper. He suggested to stay far away from local goings on and to try and leave this place a little better than how we found it.

Remember that this will always be a border town. We can call it home, but others will always try to exploit the good intentions of those who really want to make a difference. In the end, we all want a nice place to raise our families. Unfortunately, the carpetbaggers that see dollar signs in our growth will persuade decision makers to ultimately sell us down the river.

Our best and brightest will leave home and have fond memories of the RGV. Three generations from now will only perpetuate what we sow at the present.

Thanks for the forum to vent and for taking the high road.

and thank you HH

Friday, October 24, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are about 100 foreclosures in Brownsville to be auctioned off Nov. 4th, the streets are impossible to maneuver without losing a tire, companies who have received incentives to come to Brownsville, are now laying off employees, there are no new business' coming into this town, rumour on the news says Mervyn's and Circuit City are on their way out...
to 100 word or less,
The whole economy is hurting,

Have you not heard!!!
The Stock Market in 1 wk went down almost 5 times, we are in a recession close to almost to a depression, Global Stock market is hurting,,,,,
When times are tuff we get with the program & we became pro ACTIVE...
we must stat with something,
how about a bumper sticker:

Saturday, October 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the problem..the excuse that this is a border town. So because it is we should accept the bs of our commissioners and mayor? We should accept that politics as usual is okay(Limas/de la garza), and that well we are a border town, so our childrens education is going to be poor? I had a horrible counselor at Hanna, who told me I should just go to community college here in Brownsville, because students from the valley always stay here, and there was no point in going away to college and incurring alot of debt to come back and earn the ave.medium income of $22,000. The largest employers in this sad town is BISD, Federal, County and City. All of which it's impossible to get a good paying job at unless you are related to someone or you have dirt on someone, and when that's the case you can be a secretary and earn 56k.(sound familar from BISD?) In the end, I am disheartened by the common attitude that well..we are a border town, what do you expect?
I for one am a tax paying citizen, I employ a handful of people, I pay my tax's, and participate as much as I can in community goings on. I also expect that when I drive down the street, that I won't loose a tire, or have to stop at every light because some flunkie can't figure out how to manage the timing at the intersections, I also expect when I call a city office, that I not get transfered 8 times before someone finally picks up the phone and doesn't push the buck, I also expect my children to get a quality education, without having to beg the teacher and principal for face time to discuss my childrens progress! Maybe that is asking alot, but I pay alot and I want answers, not an excuse, and that is what Ahumada and the rest of the politicos in Brownsville do. It's always someone elses fault!
a little more than 100 words

Saturday, October 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and after all of this ..the mayors major concern is the pets!

It's laughable!

Saturday, October 25, 2008  
Blogger MsGibby said...

As the first comment asked, why is the mayor's interest in pet issues interpreted as lack of interest in all others? You have a full-time mayor who devotes nearly all his time and effort to the city and its problems for a mere pittance. If he has a personal passion for ONE issue, fine. Pet overpopulation is not something he can address alone and the same can be said for ALL the city's problems. Don't just complain. Join in and do something to help, whatever the issue.

Saturday, October 25, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well let me pick up the phone and call the mayor and ask him what he suggests I do to improve the city? Oh wait, I have, and he doesn't listen! The mayor does not want to hear from anyone that does not see things his way, and in his order. He is not receptive, the only words that come out of his mouth are, well if you don't see things like he me, you are wrong and don't get it! He does not know how to communicate with anyone, when you disagree with him, he pouts, and blames anyone and everyone. In the end, this applies to individuals and people as a whole. You cannot help someone that doesn't want to help themselves, and the sad truth is the brownsvillians are complacent. Just because we are a border town, makes us act and expect behavior for a border town. Who in their right mind and truly good faith, would run for public office? No one! Each person who I have seen run for office, has had either an ulterior motive, or once in office, learned that you have to play with the kids in the playground, and get dirty every once in a while! Just look at how the same people always seem to run for every office in town? Look at how others are on 3 or 4 city appointed boards? It's insane! I should know, I sit on one!

Sunday, October 26, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MZ, as much as i'd like to read all of your blog posts, i don't have the time.

You want kuddos for defending someone's right to vote? you got it.

pat yourself on the back.

get off it.

Monday, October 27, 2008  
Blogger Melissa Zamora said...

What's that saying?

Damn if I do, damn if I don't.


Moving on ...

Monday, October 27, 2008  
Anonymous laurita said...

When Ahumada says the words 'animal shelter' Brownsville collectively cringes.

The fact remains that Ahumada dug himself into this hole in his first 3 months in office. He ran for Mayor on a platform of fixing streets, raising the impact fees, lowering taxes, teamwork, and generally improving Brownsville's state of affairs, then BAM! As soon as he's elected it's pets, pets, pets. Despite promising to lower taxes, one of his first initiatives was raising PUB taxes for an animal shelter... remember that?

Surely he must realize the pet thing is a political landmine at this point. My family adopted all three of our dogs, I truly respect his dedication but after the PUB tax hike for pets fiasco, just, wow. Anything he says on the subject hits a raw nerve with the public.

Monday, October 27, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't blame me I voted for Ernie!

Just Saying

Tuesday, October 28, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Just Saying,
you are forgiven mijito,
thank you Jesus,
Ernie did not win!
He would have already:
--Gotten his printing contracts with the city with out a bid.
--His candy/Soda Machines will be all over the city and blgs without a contract.
--Our Auto will be towed, and guess whos tow truck will be doing the job at Tax payers expense.
--He will ................I can go on with this one ...
don't get me started....................

Wednesday, October 29, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't blame me i voted for Ernie too! Trust me...I will vote for hime again in May 2011!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008  

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