The pending approval of a contract to Garros Services, i.e. Eduardo Garza, seems like a done deal, and it would all appear to be kosher if it wasn't for the cozy relationship Mr. Garza has had with the mayor and city manager. At stake for Garros is a ten year lease to run a cold storage inspection facilty. The firm was judged as the most qualified for the job, and they've got the political donation receipts to prove it.
Apart from $1000 campaign donations, Mr. Garza has treated city officials to free private jet rides. Our representatives, of course, say it's all in the name of promoting the city, opening the door for trade opportunities, and saving on travel expenses.
Salinas said an opportunity to promote the city at no cost to the city is a difficult deal to pass up.
Any impression that there is a conflict with him traveling with Garza Robles is unmerited, Salinas said.
Sure, there's no conflict until contracts are awarded to those who footed the bill for the jet. And let's not forget that that same chauffeur service is getting naming rights to the new baseball stadium.
The mayor and city manager can easily say that it's the council who eventually votes on awarding the contract, but the presence of impropriety has been raised nonetheless.
Recently it's come to my attention that the city solicits donations from Laredo's wealthier citizens to help fund their excursions to Washington, D.C. Again, it's all done to promote the city while lessening the financial burden on its citizens. But at what expense do these favors come? I realize political donors are rewarded for their trouble. It happens at all levels of government, but I never realized the process could be so blatant.
I really would like city officials to respond to all this back-scratching that going on.