bloggin' all things brownsville

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mayor Comments on Monday's City Commission Agenda

Below are two separate comments submitted by Mayor Pat Ahumada on Monday's City Commission agenda concerning his right to vote at meetings and the city attorney agenda items.



Comment submitted on the mayor's voting power at meetings:

It has always been my opinion that the City Commission over stepped its bounds when they passed Robert's Rules of Order with the intent to silence the mayor and remove his ability to make motions and vote. This was a vindictive way to control the mayor's position, because they all want to be mayor's.

Sometime back, I had asked the City Attorney to draft letter requesting an Attorney General Opinion on the matter, because I felt then and do now that the commisison was violating my civil rights and denying the citizens of Brownsville their voice on the commission table, along with disenfranchising those citizens who voted for the mayor to represent their best interest.

Politics has and is the norm, which has lost its way as seen by the commissioner's past and present actions. They have no respect for the office of mayor and constantly are trying to remove me as the presiding officer and / or constantly going against everything and anything that is proposed by the mayor for the betterment of this community.

This commisison says one thing and does another, they claim to be against the wall, but do everything to undermine the mayor's efforts to stop the wall.
All the mayors and commissioners from El Paso and Brownsville are united, with the exception of the Brownsville City Commisison to fight the Wall and sue the federal government, but this city commisison has opted to go on their own and hire Willette as the attorney to represent the city on the Wall, when the TBC has an attorney that filed the law suit and is not charing the city any money, but they prefer to spend tax payers money then to do what all the other cities along the border are doing in a united way to fight the fence.

They threaten to kill the weir project by returning $18 million dollars to the federal government granted to the City of Brownsville. Who has ever returned money to the federal government? By 2040 Brownsville will run out of water. Why kill a project that is going to provide additiional water to meet our future growth and needs?

Another example of their refusal to listen is the Baseball Stadium they tentatively approved against the advice I gave them, which was not to do so due to the fact that the local and national economy is in a recession, Brownsville has dipped into its' reserves for the past two years to balance the budget, property evaluations will be most likely dropping next year, which will result in less revenue to the city, sales taxes are dropping causing the same affect and bridge crossings are also dropping, along with the peso devaluing. What does all this mean? Brownsville cannot afford to partner up with private entities on risky ventures such as a baseball stadium that we will most likely have to pay for due to economic forecasts.

There is more that I can say where the commission has cost the city enormous amounts of money because they will not listen, but hopefully this next election cycle the voters will elect people who will make the city the agenda and are willing to work with the mayor for the benefit of our community.


Concerning the city attorney agenda item on his future employment:

All this is smoke for good old boy deals. In this instance, the city commission had been sending legal work to Sossi for a long time and now they want to reward him with Goza's head and making him the replacement.

They wanted to do this a year ago, but I would not go along with it. At that time, they wanted to hire Moises Salas as pay back to another close friend to the commisisoners and now it is Sossi.

Firing and replacing Goza is up to the City Commisison, but for cutting deals to satisfy cronies is not the right reason.


Blogger BobbyWC said...

If this is true, Sossi needs a reality check. Change is coming - he could find the commission in May changes hands and he will be the first to go -

It is never good when a City COmmission decides they need a city attorney who will provide them cover for every illegal and stupid act they will on the people.

The only realy question is, is Sossi so stupid that he will play along and thereby sink into the history books of incompetence.

I do not believe for one second any current City Commissioner could win reelection. Who would want to join that club?

Bobby WC

Sunday, November 02, 2008  
Anonymous the shadow said...

The mayor brought all of this upon himself. He has a way of galvanizing issues and people. He brings people together if only to unite against him.

I do believe he is a visionary and has some really good ideas but he is a terrible leader and usually acts like a spoiled brat. His favorite thing to say is "if you don't like it run for mayor". That is childish! The man had the majority in the palm of his hand and single handedly screwed it up. He loves his militant role.

Sunday, November 02, 2008  
Anonymous Mark Sossi said...

Dear Melissa,
I generally refrain from making public comments about local politics because my office is occasionally retained to represent local cities on various legal matters. However, this last letter which was posted on your website was so unfair and grossly inaccurate that I am left with no choice but to publicly respond to it.
First, there is no deal or agreement to make me the City Attorney. If Mr. Goza was to stop being the City Attorney for whatever reason, I would expect that the Mayor and the City Commission would either promote the Assistant City Attorney, appoint an interim City Attorney, or hire a replacement after following the proper legal process. There has been no deal, agreement or understanding made with me on this issue whatsoever. I also want to ensure my existing clients that I have absolutely no intention of closing my office or abandoning their legal matters, as was recklessly implied on this blog.
Second, my representation of the City of Brownsville on various matters predates the term of office of every member of the present City Commission by over a decade. Half of the City Commission, including Mayor Ahumada, have held office for three years or less. I have represented the City of Brownsville on various legal matters and/or through its insurance carriers, for nearly fifteen years. I have also, for that matter, represented most of the other cities, two counties and a number of school districts in the Valley during that same time period. My office is hired because of experience and quality of work and for no other reason.
Finally, neither the Mayor or the City Commission have ever asked for my professional opinion regarding whether or not the Mayor should vote. I would suggest that if anyone had a question on this issue, they could have simply called my office, instead of making assumptions.
Frankly, I believe, as a matter of principle, that all elected members of the City Commission, including the Mayor, should be required to publicly state their vote on all issues. Adopting such a policy would encourage publicly elected figures to lead from the front and be held accountable for their decisions. Two weeks ago I offered a friendly amendment to a Charter Review Committee resolution which supported this very position. This is readily available public information and a tape of the meeting has been posted on the Café Brownsville site for some time now.
I hope this letter alleviates the concerns of any clients of mine who may have been mislead or misinformed by the reckless comments which appeared on this blog.


Mark Sossi

Sunday, November 02, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is the Mayor and they are the Comissioners
Nuestra voz, Nuestro Voto).
So Far:
The "NO" to the Baseball Stadium has gone on deaf ears.

Sunday, November 02, 2008  
Blogger Mr. Shrimp said...

Well said Mr. Wightman-Cervantes on the first comment to this post.

Also, well said, Mrs Zamora, for speaking the obvious facts that all understand clearly. I know all the commissioners and knew most all of them before they were elected. They all are good humans, but it seems that money and influence seem to guide their thinking. They promised to all that that would never happen when they were running for office. They lied to all of us and to Valley Interfaith. Some of the commissioners are blatantly gavalanting and parading around town with the executives of the building company that was awarded the ridiculously expensive sports park construction contract. I can go on and on, but would rather see others step up and courageously voice the injustices that have been dealt to all of us by the greed controlled inexperienced city commissioners. Not all of them, but majority of them are GUILTY!!! I am in agreement with your post on this much respected website.

Robert "Captain Bob" Sanchez

P.S. Do you think Cris Davis will ever see the truth, or will he remain one of special interest's tool? Respect for him will completely disappear if he stays in the position of a Tool.

Sunday, November 02, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When is the commission going to put this item on the agenda:

"Consideration and ACTION to authorize the redesign and retooling of the City of Brownsville's homepage."

Who is in charge of this site? It's ugly, and it's the first page on the Internet which showcases our city. The BEDC's site is much, much better.

Note to Commission: FIX THE CITY'S WEB SITE.

Sunday, November 02, 2008  
Blogger Melissa Zamora said...

Mr. Sossi,

Thank you for your response to the Mayor's comments. I'm not familiar with much of the history involved with all that's been said. However, I do know that you've always conducted yourself professionally, respectfully and fairly on the Charter Review Committee.


Sunday, November 02, 2008  
Blogger Melissa Zamora said...

Mr. Shrimp,

The content on this post was submitted by the Mayor and do not necessarily reflect my opinion. I simply gave a couple of his comments posted elsewhere their own blog post. I am grateful that the Mayor took time to post to this blog, and I am also grateful that Mr. Sossi did the same in his defense.


Sunday, November 02, 2008  
Blogger Melissa Zamora said...

... and I am also grateful that Mr. Sossi did the same in his defense.


... and I am also grateful that Mr. Sossi did the same in his own defense.

Sunday, November 02, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's call a spade a spade! I never had majority, because I would not play by their rules. The rules given to me in exchange for majority was to let soemone else govern from the side lines, which I refused to do. No one friend, supporter or even financial contributor to my campaign is going to tell me how to govern, which was the issue at the time.

On another note, Mr. Sossi is not an employee of the city, therefore, I have no business going to him for legal advice, as he suggests. Although, Mr. Sossi has represented commissioners during their legal woes, which has resulted in him being subcontracted to do work for the city that the city should and could be doing. It is also no secret Mr. Sossi goes requesting for his check before the city is ready to pay its bills.

I do not fault MR. Sossi, I fault the ctiy commission for being weak. According to Commissioner Garza, Mr. Sossi was being considered as Goza's replacement, which I again do not fault Mr. Sossi. Whether Mr. Sossi would accept this posisition or not is a different issue. The fact is that Commissioner Garza did mention this to me at VICC, which he now denies.

It is also a very well known fact that some of the commissioners have stated that they plan to run for mayor, which is fine, but they want to be mayors and lack the respect for the office I hold, which shows their interst is not the city, but in my opinin their personal agendas when they threaten to kill the weir project or try to remove me as Emergency Director, or even oppose balancing the budget responsibly instead of dipping into reserves and taking a path that is going to break the city.

I am not interested in scoring Brownie points by telling citizens what they want to hear, I try to do what is best for the city, even if it means standing alone. The wall and the weir are good examples.

I stand by what I say and always sign my name, because that is the way people of conviction and honor are suppose to be able to stand on and not thru annonymous or aliases. No one should fear speaking or standing for what they feel is right, even when people disagree with you.

Pat Ahumada

Monday, November 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Pat,

I don't want P.U.B. to give back the 18 million. I just don't want the PUB rate payer to keep paying towards a project that had no light at the end of the tunnel. Why not mention that taxpayer money and ratepayer money has accounted for over 7 million dollars in consultant fees, lawyer fees, and studies. It is like the bridge fiasco. You know as well as I do that this project will not happen until maybe after 2040 if and when we run out of water. And with the desalination plant, we may never run out of water. We need to put those 18 million dollars toward expanding our desalination plant. Thats a for sure thing. No politics, just the plain truth. As far as the border wall, you are seriously mistaken. No one wants the wall but even El Paso, where the border coalition started, has agreed to construct the wall. They lost their lawsuit. Stop spinning the issues. Stop being a rogue mayor who thinks he can do it all by himself. Lastly, it wasn't until recently that it was brought up to our attention that the city charter superceded the Roberts rules of order. The city attorney or you claim has always been there for you, and knows the city charter, could of stood up for you but didn't. He never told me that it was wrong to envoke the Roberts rules of order and keep you from voting. You should vote so people know exactly how you stand. You discuss and speeak out on the issues anyway and yet you are able to tell people you dont have a position because you are unable to vote. You are able to waffle your stance and that is wrong. "The baseball stadium is a good idea and the city would benefit" as said by Jim Goza. The problem now is that the contract was not read right and if it weren't for Mr. Sossi, who stepped in to interpret the contract for the commission, we wouldn't have caught the flaws that the contract has. Mr. Sossi stepped up and showed us the discrepancies the contract had. Jim didn't catch those discrepancies. It looks now that based on our new findings, it maybe isn't a good idea to put the ball stadium on alton gloor. I read your comments and it is you that is blinded by your beliefs that we are against you. Its the way you present things with your rough tactics that make everyone run from you. Its kinda like all the republican candidates, to include McCain, running from Bush and telling him to stay away from endorsing their elections. If you want to work with me, be humble and sincere. You once told me that you were the quarterback and I would have to be a blocker and that you will make us look good. Well, you never stopped to realize that I had my own goals for a better Brownsville and had great ideas myself which you were unwilling to hear. When you argued with Comm. Garza and I tried to get you all together you told me never to get you together with any one because you were not willing to change, you weren't willing to work with commissioners, and that you didn't need anyone. Those were your words and it has caused the mess you are in. I respect the position of Mayor. You disrespect the position of a commissioner. This isn't Mexico where commissioners are not put in a higher regard. You are one vote just like me. Get over your power trip and start being humble. It is never too late. Fight the special interests and not me. I still think you were the better choice than Ernie. Its not saying much but its something.

Commissioner Atkinson

Monday, November 03, 2008  
Anonymous Mark Sossi said...

Dear Melissa,

I am going to respond to this once more. I am not interested in going back and forth on this issue.

Mr. Goza is the City Attorney. There is currently no job opening for the position of City Attorney. Mayor Ahumada has nevertheless chosen to publicly attack me before there is a job opening, or even a possible solicitation of job applications. It is usually good form to wait for someone to at least apply for a job before publicly attacking them on the internet for doing so.

I am not aware that there is currently a job opening at City Hall. However, if the Mayor was curious about whether or not I intended on applying for a job opening with the City which does not yet exist, he should have provided me the courtesy of calling and asking me. He admits that he did not do so.

The Mayor's story is that he heard from Commissioner Leo Garza at VICC that I intended on applying for a job which does not yet exist. I find this story to be even more incredible given the fact that Commissioner Leo Garza and I have not had a private conversation about any issue, much less the one being alleged to have taken place by the Mayor.

Finally, the statement that I owe my representation of the City to "representing Commissioners during their private legal woes" to be offensive and another obvious falsehood. The truth is that I have been representing Brownsville and other governmental entities for over fifteen years, long before any member of the City Commission was even an elected public official.

I do freely admit to having represented Mrs. Elena Cisneros ( who incidentally, is not a City Commissioner) about two years ago in a defamation case against an anonymous blogger who need not be named here. I accepted that case because I believed in the justice of Mrs. Cisneros cause. I make absolutely no apology for doing so. If I had to make the same choice, I would do so again without reservation.

Mark Sossi

Monday, November 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, so you state above that you were contracted and/or an employee of the city of Brownsville for 15 years, yet you sued a PUB Board Member for defamation for comments made by anonymous commenters on the PUB Board Members Website Forum. And Commissioner Carlos Cisneros's name is on lawsuit with his wife's name against the PUB Board Member. That is a obvious conflict of interest and you and the City of Brownsville should be sued, because it is obvious the city and attorney caused injustices by spins falsehoods and other team workings to bring down business integrity and community standings of the PUB Board Member, by their partnered act of involving themselves with lawsuit between elected official and spouse against a PUB Board Member at the time. Attorney now states he has been involved all the time and had voiced constant reminders to defense legal teams that he did nothing contractual for the city at the time he represented a Commissioner and his spouse. Wow. This was an obvious Injustice by the city of Brownsville, and the attorney towards Brownsville's entity, The Brownsville Public Utilities Board's member of that Board.

Monday, November 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" am not interested in scoring Brownie points by telling citizens what they want to hear, I try to do what is best for the city, even if it means standing alone. The wall and the weir are good examples."

Mayor, you do not stand alone. When deals like these are made, there would be tons of people behind you.

Monday, November 03, 2008  
Anonymous Mauricio Piña said...

Hi Melissa, you finally followed me on Twitter :)

I am loving the blog, it's a good way for me to keep up with Brownsville politics. I see the Mayor and Capt. Bob are still actively posting around the internets. I would like to think that I helped them "get connected". ;)

And for the guy asking about the city of Brownsville me I've tried. It is going to be a while before Brownsville decides to update their site. It is horrible and unprofessional and could definitely use us.

Shout out to Capt. Bob!

Monday, November 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahumada, Atkinson and Sossi blogging???

Bola de mensos. Only in Brownsville.

I support Texans for Lawsuit Reform!!

Monday, November 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is America and we all have freedom of Speech that is why I voted TODAY!!!!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008  

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