|Pat Ahumada, right about United Brownsville|
But, now, a half decade later, we have the United Brownsville Coordinating Board beginning to flex its muscles as a player in the development of the extremely lucrative industrial corridor, including the Port of Brownsville. It was bad enough to see United Brownsville as a $200,000 annual Chamber of Commerce-like cheerleader, taking pictures, inventing slogans and "promoting" Brownsville. That was tax money down a rat hole, to be sure, but things changed dramatically at the March 4, 2014 City Commission meeting when City Attorney Mark Sossi strode to the podium to introduce agenda item 17: 17. 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)
This subtle move officially put members of the United Brownsville Coordinating Board, yes, unelected, unaccountable individuals in charge of Cameron County's most lucrative area, the industrial corridor including the Port of Brownsville. The binational plan was presented at BiNed 2014 seminar December 6th at UTB with most of Cameron County's elected leaders NOT invited. Payment for the plan, $454,592.08, had been approved earlier by the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation, the expense to be shared by GBIC, the Port of Brownsville and P.U.B.
|Tony Martinez, United Brownsville's mayor|
Actually, the Wysk Company Profile lists the physical address of the United Brownsville Coordinating Board as 1001 E. Elizabeth Street, the actual City Commission building. That may not be too far-fetched as this scam, much like an insidious computer virus penetrates vital areas of control, including the region's development.
Now, back to the $454,592.08 plan paid for by the taxpayers: The Greater Brownsville Infrastructure & Development Plan designates where manufacturing, light and heavy industry, etc. can be located, both at the Port of Brownsville and in the so-called industrial corridor along FM 550. Power and water usage requirements factor in to where certain types of enterprises will be placed. Obviously, the relative value of land in this area will be greatly affected by decisions made relative to the implementation of this plan.
Agenda item 17, cited above and passed by the City Commission without discussion, puts those decisions in the hands of individuals, not elected or accountable to the taxpayers. That was the United Brownsville Master Plan all along.