Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Runoff Tuesday Thread

Early Election Results:

County Attorney

Anna Laura Cavazos Ramirez      39 %
Marco Montemayor               61%

County Commissioner Pct. 1

Mike Montemayor        48%
Frank Sciaraffa             52%

Webb County Democratic Chairman

Silverio Martinez          54%
Alberto Torres              46%

Constable Pct. 2

Ricardo Rodriguez           45%
Miguel Villarreal               55%

Constable Pct. 3

Salvador Johnson Jr.          43%
Adrian Cortez                    57%

Constable Pct. 4

Harold Devally           54%
Wayo Ruiz                  46%

The LMT has a snazzy election guide.

The Past Revisited

On the eve of what would've been J.C. Martin's 99th birthday, I want to give you a glimpse into what council proceedings looked like back in the day.  From the book "Patron Democracy":
A talkative person by nature, Aldo was used to open discussions, particularly when the decisions to be made affect the public interest.  In the city council meetings, there was little, if any, discussions.  Ayes and nayes were automatic and always unanimous, either way.  The meetings were little more than Mayor Martin directing and the city council accepting. 
All were guided by an agenda which highlighted events without any explanation, and all reacted to the approval or rejection of items which had been probably discussed prior to the meeting.
 
No one in the council questioned, probed, suggested alternative courses of action, asked for delays for further study.  It all was done automatic, as an orchestra whose members react to the direction of the director - even at the slightest cue.
It sounds like what goes on sometimes during current city council meetings.
J.C. Martin Jr. left a lasting legacy.  A corrupt one at that, but a legacy nonetheless.  Locals think the patron system of politics is still alive and well today, but I don't think it matches the level of those who came before us.  If you needed help, and went to Mayor Raul Salinas now, I doubt que te podria sacar de ulgun apuro

I don't discount the fact that corruption still exists, but the corruption of yesteryear was such a work of art.  It was all so tightly connected.  To go up against the Old Party was a futile attempt by those seeking change.  What has remained constant, however, is voter apathy.  People don't think that their vote counts, or are turned off by politics for different reasons, so they stay home.  But at the same time, we have a small group of concerned citizens who challenge those in power, as Voices In Democratic Action (VIDA) is doing today.  If we have that, then we can tamp down the patronismo that tries to rear its ugly head once again.

I'll be watching the election results tonight.  Stay tuned.  

The Burden Of Power



Carlos Luna, LISD Fine Arts Director.  (courtesy photo)

About three weeks ago, I wrote about the personnel changes made at the LISD high school band level.  As the new Fine Arts Director, Mr. Carlos Luna saw it fit to install a new head band director at Martin High School, and name his own successor at Nixon High School.  Easy enough, no?  Switch people around and everybody is happy.  Well, not quite.

Sources tell me that Mr. Rudy Montalvo was so bothered by his removal from Martin H.S. that he declined to take the assistant job at Cigarroa.  Instead he made the move to United South H.S. to be an assistant to Francisco Sosa.  (Montalvo was replaced as head director at Martin by Robert Castro.)  So not only is Cigarroa now lacking a percussion instructor, as Mr. Montalvo was going to fill that position, but apparently, nobody wants to be head director there too. 

Mr. John Spillane, head director at Cigarroa up until last year, was moved to Nixon to take over Mr. Luna's old job.  Four people have been asked to be head director at Cigarroa, but all have supposedly declined the offer.  With four weeks to go before classes start, the south side school program faces the probability of being in complete disarray.

Meanwhile, over at Christen Middle School, the band director there decided to move over to United South Middle as an assistant than to have to work under the direction of Carlos Luna.

So far a bad start for Mr. Luna, and the LISD band programs.  When each band should be getting ready to train its incoming freshman class, and putting together a halftime show that'll eventually be used in UIL competition, uncertainty reigns.  It's going to be a shaky situation over at LISD.  Apart from each program having to get its proverbial act together, directors are going to have to deal with Mr. Luna's scurrilous outbreaks. 

Whether more people jump ship remains to be seen.  And the success that LISD bands have experienced in the past may be a ways off.  Good luck to them.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Make It Quick



Besides not having an ethics committee looking into the business of the city, agenda items are rushed into during council meetings, leaving the door open for inefficiency, graft, and a lack of transparency. 
These Council procedures to rush to adjournment are the reasons why media usually overlook such matters when they report on Council actions.  There are instances when microphones are dead.  People don't know who makes the motion and who seconds.  All you hear is the mayor announcing, "All those in favor?  All those opposed?  Motion passes." 
The only time council proceedings slow down is when the mayor speaks.  He rambles, pontificates, and bores us to death, but you best not interrupt him, or talk whilst he's talking, because he's all too ready to use the gavel to keep people focused on him. 

Neglected Zacate Creek.


Yesterday I noticed that water was still slowly moving southward on the Zacate Creek, even though we got a significant downpour three days ago.  As you can see by the grass color, the recent rain covered quite a bit of the creek bed.  North of Saunders, I noticed that city crews were working on a water main break.  This flow could be attributed to that municipal water source.  What made this interesting is that the water was almost completely stagnant. 

Small islands have formed on the cement canal, making it difficult for the water to flow steadily towards the Rio Grande.  And pockets of water have formed on the uneven grassy areas, making for more breeding grounds for mosquitoes. 

As I looked over the fencing, I noticed some constant bubbling arising from the cement.  Gas leak perhaps?

Driving by the creek, everything looks fine, but it's not until you get up close that you see hazards that need to be addressed.  I'm talking to you, city council.  Nevermind that a tree hasn't been planted in the area in some time, the maintenance of the creek itself hasn't been taken into account.  No bueno.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Weekend Thread

Topics of interest on the last weekend of July 2012:
  • We were taken by surprise by the rain early yesterday morning
  • Roque Vela Jr. will face Pat Campos for a city council seat
  • And early voting ended yesterday
I voted this time around, not because of the new voting campaign, but because I just can't stay away.  This morning, the Keyrose household has been watching some Olympics coverage.  And I also checked out a little C-SPAN where Henry Cuellar had a sit-down to talk about U.S./Mexico relations.  At the 28-minute mark, a caller referred to him a Mexican.

Rest up, Laredo. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Laredo Is Safe But...


Mr. Humberto Garza allegedly benefitted from leasing airport property.  His attorney, Joe Rubio, sees it otherwise. 
"Once all the evidence is brought to light, it will be determined that the city is not out a single penny and in fact income producing properties have been provided to the city,"  he said.
City Manager Carlos Villarreal acknowledged that a conflict of interest existed, one that "we obviously couldn't condone."  Couldn't condone?  Oh, that's rich.

I first read about this story in the new issue of LareDOS.  Yesterday I posted part of the editorial dealing with the ethics commission currently in the works.  In it Meg Guerra brought up the case of Mr. Garza.
...Humberto Garza and his alleged longtime scheme to contract and to lease to himself some of the city's airport properties through dummy entities and corporations. 
Garza was indicted by a 111th District Court Grand Jury on May 9, 2012 for misuse of information and misapplication of fiduciary property.  In his capacity as operations manager, Garza was privy to information not made public about lease opportunities, negotiation tactics, and potential lessors' interests and needs in city property.
 
We'll definitely hear more about this story through other outlets.   

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Mayor And Mindy

The mayor may not be attending every ribbon cutting nowadays, as Maximiliano lamented.  But Mr. Salinas will always make time for the cool comforts of a t.v. studio.  In his most recent guayabera interview, the mayor talks about Laredo's unemployment numbers, and the effort to bring more jobs to town. 


The mayor mentions the benefits that the Eagle Ford Shale has afforded our community.  He does that a lot.  I'm almost tempted to take a page from Joe Biden and say that there are only three things Raul Salinas mentions in a sentence:  a noun, a verb, and the Eagle Ford Shale.

McAllen's unemployment statistics are mentioned too.  But more importantly, the mayor wants to roll up his sleeves to get the work of bringing more high-paying jobs to Laredo done.  Oddly enough, he's wearing short sleeves.

Stay hydrated, my friends.

New LareDOS Issue Out


The new issue of LareDOS is available now.  Check it out to read Meg's opinion piece on the city's ethics ordinance delay.  It's no accident that it hasn't been instituted so far.
When the getting is so good, what's the rush to accept the groundwork that would lead to an Ethics Ordinance and Commission that could put the brakes on gifting of South Padre condo rentals, being jetted on vacations, trips to other countries, tickets to sporting events, travel and second row seats to high dollar boxing events, and perhaps touring the Napa wine country in guise of an official city business trip to look at buses for El Metro?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hints And Allegations


Election season wouldn't be complete without some Rick Flores/Martin Cuellar drama.  In the new chapter of the he said-he said saga, Flores claims that Cuellar's people have been approaching his supporters and urging them to vote in the runoff election in order to disqualify them from taking part in the general (November) election.
Under the election code, people who signed a petition to support Flores as an independent would have their name disqualified from the petition if they voted in the primary election in May or in the runoff.  
Flores said workers in Cuellar's campaign are contacting people, whose names appear on the petition, urging them to vote in the primary election to disqualify their name.
Sheriff Cuellar counters by saying that he and his campaign workers are just trying to get out the vote.

It's not unusual to have block walkers show up at your house asking for your vote.  It's happened to me on several occasions.  But far be it for me to disregard a candidate's supposed dubious activites.  Some people may know how to work the system.  However, you have to get up pretty early in the morning to pull off the old disqualify-an-opponents-supporters-by-having-them-vote-in-the-runoff scam on ol' Rick Flores. 
 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Opportunist


Anna Laura Cavazos Ramirez has to worry about a runoff race to keep her seat as county attorney.  Early voting started yesterday, and surely she's been out waving her campaign signs at busy intersections, as most candidates have been doing lately. 

For the last week or so, Ms. Ramirez has been regurgitating her campaign motto that goes something like, 'My goal is public service. Anything else is self service.'  What she's alluding to is her opponent's relationship to the firm that collects delinquent taxes for the county -- Marco Montemayor's brother works for the tax-collecting firm.  OK.  I can see how this poses a conflict of interest.  But she wasn't so worried about "self service" when she herself was collecting delinquent taxes for the county.


What's worse is that when Ms. Cavazos Ramirez took hold of the county attorney reins, she tried to deny the firm, which she used to work for, the contract to collect taxes for the county for a fee.  That's when she was really worried about the taxpayer.  Not really.  She's just made the most of her position to benefit politically and financially.

It's amazing this game of politics.  It'll make people say and do stupid things.  They must think nobody is paying attention. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

A New Week

I caught up on some local news when I got back from Brownsville yesterday.  One highlight was a neat cartoon featured in yesterday's LMT posted by Bordertown Blues.  The thing that caught my eye, however, was a quote by the city manager in a story Saturday entitled, "City Ethics Committee Reappointed."  The committee that will take charge of looking into the workings of the city is long overdue, and it is not yet officially up and running, but Carlos Villarreal saw it fit to gripe about its existence.
City Manager Carlos Villarreal pointed out that the city's annual reception in Washington, D.C. and legislative receptions in Austin are paid for through private donations.

"The same people that are concerned about us going out there and getting contributions ... will be the first ones to criticize us for spending money on a reception," he said.
 
Earlier this year the city collected over $100,000 to go to Washington.

You bet your ass we're going to criticize you.  That kind of money doesn't come without strings attached.  Favors will have to be returned.  And since when do we elect people to go have receptions in Washington?  Oh right, I forgot, it's a working trip; And it actually costs $319 to book a motel. 

If I could suggest something to the ethics committee as they draw up their charter is that a chaperone accompany city staff to Washington to take pictures of their every step.  Then maybe Mr. Villarreal would have reason to complain like some Scooby Doo villain about not having fun on account of meddling kids.


In my visit to South Padre, I noticed that they have their own scent for sale, South Padre Breeze.  Perhaps we need our own spray that can both refresh and disinfect things around here.  Submit suggestions in the comments section.
 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cloudy Sunday Thread

I should be working on my lats, but the drive just isn't there. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Vote Once Again

Early voting for the runoff election starts Monday, and a campaign is underway to get more people to show up at the polls.

I'll show up to vote next week, but not because the mayor had a fit due to the poor showing at the primary.  Frankly, I think the mayor is the worst person who should be speaking on the importance of getting out the vote.  Nevermind that he benefitted from the work of cañoneros (people who deliver votes for a fee) in his re-election bid, he's overseen a council that has neglected to install an ethics committee the last six years.  If there's a reason to go vote, it's to get rid of people like him.

Mayor Salinas wants us to vote in droves so our state, and federal representatives will take notice of our influence.  Little does he realize that it's his influence, and that of our local representatives, that discourage us from going to the polls. 

Early voting starts Monday, July 23, 2012, and election day is on the 31st. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How Does Our Garden Grow?


In the comments section of a previous post about what Laredo has to offer, an anonymous reader mentioned that the city doesn't have much in the way of curb appeal.  I couldn't agree more.  There are some pockets of pleasant scenery throughout the city, but more often than not, there is no consistency.  More and more I'm seeing examples of xeriscaping in the outdoor design plans of local retailers, but we still have a ways to go. 

Check out the video I've posted above.  El Paso has a native plant botanical garden and we don't.     

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July Showers

The More Things Change...

Kudos to VIDA (Voices In Democratic Action) for pressing city council to act on having an ethics commission in place.  What that means for our elected officials is that they have to be as transparent as they said they were going to be when they ran for office.
"It says, look, if you guys are going to expect Spurs tickets and trips to South Padre Island you need to disclose that."
There are ways around ethics commissions, and committees, and ordinances, but it's good to see people trying to keep our elders honest.

Here's a passage of the FOREWORD (written by Mike Herrera) found in Fernando Piñon's "Patron Democracy."  It's relevant as can be to our current state of affairs.
In effect, Piñon gives us an insight into why Laredo is the way it is,a town full of contradictions.  In Patron Democracy, we become aware of why there is so much poverty amidst affluence, why Laredo has so many unpaved streets, why it lags behind other cities of comparable size in municipal services, in economic development, and why its citizens have allowed all these things to take place.
Our current mayor has been outspoken on several subjects recently -- He's written about Laredo's assets; he's shot back at people who say that Laredo is unsafe; and he's on a mission to increase voter turnout.  What I want to see in his next media blitz is a demand for council to act on an ethics committee.  Watch out, Huffington Post.  The mayor is going to bring it.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Gaining Little Ground

If people think that Mami Chulas, and establishments like it, can be closed down, then it's because city leaders have done little to inform the public on exactly why they can't do that.  The mayor made two t.v. appearances last week explaining what the city is able to do against places that employ pasty-wearing teenagers.


The city can hand out tickets, and that's it.

Apparently the city is at the mercy of the state.  The city can't create an ordinance that'll please critics of the beer runs, only to be superseded by state law.  In talking to the city attorney, he was unable to cite the specific law that protects local beer run drive-thrus from the activity that has upset many here in town.  All the city can do is grant businesses beer licenses (without knowing what they are going to do with them) and ticket them for infractions -- in this case, penalize them for their showy displays.




Mami Chulas exists on South Meadow because the area is zoned as such that they can operate there legally.  The city can't rezone the land, according to the city attorney.  Even if the city did so, these establishments would be grandfathered in, so to speak.  And they can't condemn the establishment because then they would run into legal problems.  I was amused, however, by Mr. Casso's defense of Mami Chulas and its ilk.  He recognized that a lot of people don't like the drive-thrus, but he acknowledged that they're popular as well as evidenced by the long lines of cars waiting to go in.

Late last year, the city manager told council that the best legal minds in the state had been consulted in this matter, and that the city was basically out of luck.  He also discussed some of the things I mentioned above.

The city may be hamstrung in being able to deal with the local drive-thrus, but it could be more clear with the public as to why that is so.  If people make the time to go complain before city council, and start petitions to try to close the Mami Chulas of the world, they would be better served if somebody was more straightforward with them.  Frankly, they're wasting their time if they have to depend on the representation we have.

Mami Chulas isn't going anywhere.  The public should stop throwing its hands up in the air.  And it should stop asking, but what about our children?!  That refrain carries no weight when dealing with an opportunistic council that can't make up its mind on which way to go.  How can they give the public direction when they can't even stand up for what they believe in?    

Embrace Mami Chulas and their body paint.  There is no other choice.

City Ethics


The city has been lacking an ethics committee for some time now.  There have been more pressing matters at hand lately, such as the construction of a new golf course, a baseball stadium, and flights to Washington D.C., and south American countries that eventually led to op/ed pieces in the Huffington Post.  It's these activities that have precluded council from keeping an ethics committee up and running.  Or perhaps it's because of this:
He said some of the language proposed could significantly curtail the activities of council members.
I wonder what Carlos Villarreal means.  Stay tuned for the meeting tonight at 5:30. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bobby!






La Sanbe wants to congratulate Robert Castro for being named Martin High School's new head band director.  Castro, a Martin alum, has been an assistant up to this point.  He will be leaving Cigarroa H.S. to take over 'La Banda del Animo.' 

Rudy Montalvo will now leave Martin and take over Castro's old position at Cigarroa.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Quirky Messaging






Pronto Insurance has a sense of humor in trying to target a key demographic -- any Hispanic who's ever been pelted with a projectile (chancla) flip flop.  How do you say 'bottom of the barrel' in Spanish?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Five Year Plan In The Works

I consider myself quite self-actualized even though I've never really had a plan.

Please excuse the scant posting the next couple of days as I take time to look inward.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Keyrose's Water Usage


Pictured here are my last four water bill statements.  I went back to compare the different fees collected by the city after a family member noticed a huge difference in the SW SEWER charge from one month to the next.  As you can see, my water usage has remained somewhat consistent, even though the weather has been warmer.  I would think that that item would see a larger increase since I've been watering a little more, or so I think.

My SW SEWER fee has gone up a little more than the WA WATER.

In talking to a couple of Utilities Dept. staff members this morning, I found out that the sewer charge will be more expensive than the water.  I also learned that sewer fees are increased each October.  What didn't make sense was that one fee rose more than the other.  If there's more water usage on my part, I would think that both the water and sewer fees would rise proportionately.  But apparently, that's not the case.

The way I understood it was that all water consumed indoors will be reflected in the SEWER section, whether it's water used to wash dishes, or water used to flush the toilet.  The water I use to water the lawn will appear in the WATER fee. 

Again, I still don't see how the 'indoor' water use fee isn't more consistent than the WATER charge.  Could it be we're taking more showers?

I'll keep an eye on my bill since these four examples don't reflect the full extent of my summer water use.  Look out for the Keyrose water graph this fall.  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Saturday, July 7, 2012

La "P"






I had to explain to my son what this billboard meant.  My wife didn't believe me, so we had to have it confirmed by my suegra.

"It's A Slap In The Face!"

KSAT's Jessie Degollado, a Laredo native, visited our neck of the woods recently to talk to the natives about the city's image problem.  The Laredoans who were interviewed did a fine job in front of the camera, but our mayor almost busted a vein in trying to dispel rumors about Laredo being unsafe.



Laredo is a safe city.  The problem is that non-Laredoans don't know that Nuevo Laredo and Laredo are two different things.  The two cities are divided by a river.  What happens over there doesn't happen here.  Also, John Schneider once was here.  But I digress.

People, however, will always have their doubts about Laredo.  You can cite ignorance as the main culprit.  KSAT took a poll and it doesn't bode well for Laredo.




Friday, July 6, 2012

Dr. Alejo's License Suspended


Did You Hear About This?

Last night I came across a story that, once again, painted McAllen in a very good light: the city converted a former Wal-Mart into a 124,500 sq. ft. library.  My first thought was, if a property that size was dropped in our lap, we wouldn't automatically think library.  First the property would sit there for years, and then it would be bought up by an enterprising individual, only to have a Dollar General eventually appear amidst other franchises.

Now, I'm not knocking retail chains or any type of business that provides revenue for the city.  Without them, we wouldn't have an empty arena, and a baseball field with rough edges.  But to take pride in the fact that we have the best money-making Wal-Mart in the nation misses the point about where our priorities lie in terms of quality of life.

On a popular social media outlet, people made somewhat innocuous statements about the opening of the McAllen library.  One commenter vaguely pointed to Wal-Mart's dominance in the Gateway City, while another said that McAllen was "nicer" than Laredo; Definitely nothing in the realm of a Chris Rock 4th of July tweet.  But our city's Public Information Officer went on defense and chimed in to set the record straight.  Of course, I threw in my two cents to keep things real.  Check out our exchange below.




Laredo's main public library totals 60,000 sq. ft.  How ironic that Kell-Munoz had a hand in that.  (Recently they submitted a revitalization plan for downtown Laredo that has yet to see the light of day)  In south Laredo, a branch of the library had been closed for some time.  The site, located across the street from the fire station on Zacatecas, was small, but it served as a important resource for the people of the Santo Baby neighborhood and the rest of the south part of town.  It was a whole two years ago that construction for a new 20,000 sq. ft. facility started.  That project, however, is presently in limbo because the contractor was placed on default.  Money problems on the part of the contractor arose, and now the City of Laredo is looking to find somebody to finish the job, along with a northwest recreation center.

I'm in awe of what McAllen did with a former giant retail space, whether they needed a new library or not.  So what if Laredo has a lower unemployment rate than McAllen, or that we raise more tax revenue from sales.  We are looking at an $11 million budget deficit for the coming year.  And we have unfinished projects left and right.  To look at their progress and not be humbled by it is hard-headed and myopic, I think. 

Ms. Mora's comments are a reflection of the city's attitude.  We in the blogging community compare Laredo and McAllen as if it were some type of pissing contest, and local city officials are quick to take that sort of criticism personally.  They get defensive and are ready to point to Laredo's supposed superiority.  However, they ignore the blaring examples of ineptitude and poor planning.  Let's give McAllen props for a job well done, and then try to figure out how we can better our own situation.  Let's not be petty about the Joneses having a greener lawn.  Let's get inspired and put our best foot forward, if that's possible.  

Bordertown Blues posted his commentary last night.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Convention Not A BFD

Actually, the real reason Henry Cuellar is not going to the national convention is that he's not getting his mileage reimbursed.
“I went to the Texas state Democratic convention [in June],” Cuellar, a four-term congressman, said by phone from Laredo, Texas.  “As I get close to my election, I want to spend more time in my district and focus on my reelection. Right now, I have no plans to attend.”
Besides, Laredo in September is the place to be.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wednesday Open Thread

Neighborhoods always have needs.  One way to address 'em is to start a discussion.
People started putting up stickers all over town. There were some grumblings about the declarative vs. the subjunctive, but the grammar of the stickers was more primal than that sort of discussion could understand. People wanted stores, people wanted homes, people wanted tacos, people wanted buses, people wanted safety. Slowly, the empty canvasses of vacant storefronts became a blueprint for a healthier environment.
This could work anywhere, but I think downtown could benefit from an idea like this.  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"Vean Bien!"

It's good to see people reminding city council that they should be mindful of their responsibilities.  To sum up what a lady told our leaders at yesterday's meeting, 'think about what you're doing.'


Also, having an ethics committee in place would be a good thing.


Legitimate concerns from the public.  I'm sure the council and the mayor will ponder those things as they go into the 4th of July holiday.

Immediately after the public comments, the mayor went on and on about how great Don Francisco is.  For that, the Sabado Gigante host will get a key to the city.  Priorities, people, priorities.

A New Blog!!!


Via the City of Laredo

"On the eve of our nation’s celebration of independence, Laredo too reinforces the ideals of freedom by bringing forth a new community voice that challenges the ill-informed and ill-meaning noise that has been made about our city being characterized as a ‘war zone.’  So many things have been said about Laredo, including that it is downtrodden, unsafe, dilapidated, and crime-riddled, to name a few.  Nothing could be more ridiculous and untrue,” stated Mayor Salinas during the media announcement at City Hall. “The website, www.laredoissafe.com, was launched with the purpose to offer facts in the face of hysteria, and to ensure that in the battle of HYPE vs. TRUTH, the people of Laredo are given a voice.”

"There are so many factors that lead to the misperception suffered by our community in recent years and we need to do more to dispel these wide-spread views.  This billboard and website effort is a start in the right direction,” stated Villarreal.  “Mayor Salinas and I cannot do this alone; we are going to need Laredo as a whole to remake that image and bring about change so that this community can continue to grow and progress.”

"The platform to assist in creating traffic to the website was a partnership found in the corporate citizenship offered by Lamar Outdoor Advertising and its executives, Norma Solis and David Paez, who had a vision for improving their community,” stated Mayor Salinas. “I applaud their efforts to help improve Laredo’s image, by helping us and joining the private and public sectors in this effort to show that our city really is safe.”



I hope we in the blogging community don't sabotage the city's mission of propping up Laredo's image with our posts about trash, dumped tires, stray dogs, graffiti, etc, etc.
Visit the new blog (link above) and let the mayor and the elders know that you stand with them.



Requirements

In detailing what qualifications the new police chief should have, members of city council, and the mayor spoke at length about experience.  According to them, a college education wasn't as important as having somebody who was going to engage the community, be familiar with the area, and be bilingual (the mayor made that point).  Police union members, however, made it clear to council that anyone vying for the department's top spot should have a degree so as not to lower standards.

Mike Garza didn't forget the union's plea.  But now, in an act of spite it seems, he thinks captains, and others in charge of the troops should have some schooling too.  Don't get me wrong, I'm all for having a more well-rounded police force, but why push for more education for captains when the concensus was for less than that for a new police chief?  At yesterday's meeting, Councilmember Liendo spoke up.
"A lot of you were just going on and on about how wonderful experience is and how you don't need it to be the chief of police. Now your saying, since now you need it for your chief, we're going to use your words against you and say you have to have it for your Lieutenants , Sergeants and I just think it's unfair."
Sass!

We won't see who the new chief will be for another several months, but the drama surely will keep us tuned in.  Gawd help us.


   

Monday, July 2, 2012

New Image Campaign


I hope and pray that no mascot is used for the new campaign.

Fleet Surplus


The city has about ten of these trucks parked at the Health Dept.  What will they do with them now that they're not picking up all the stray dogs in town?  Council will discuss pet adoption at tonight's meeting.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Don't Jump To Conclusions


Courtesy Photo

The shot above shows a female beer run "attendant" getting closer to the driver's seat of a cop car than most of us will ever know.  What exactly happened outside the Mami Chulas on Zapata Hwy is yet to be determined.  Authorities are investigating the matter.  

In a statement released to KGNS tonight, PD doesn't want the public to automatically think that some nefarious act took place.  In other words, don't believe your lying eyes.  There has to be a perfectly simple explanation for this.  City staff will surely put it all into context for us.