Mr. Ray Garner.
The city council meeting tonight was important because a new police chief was going to be selected from a pool of three final candidates. At the start of the meeting, however, Mayor Raul Salinas voiced his displeasure at a story that appeared in the Laredo Times today. The piece basically took city staff, council, and the mayor to task for spending thousands of dollars on legislative trips taken each year to Austin.
The mayor defended the city's actions by saying that it's important to go meet face-to-face with legislators to bring home the bacon. He got quite hot under the collar.
Councilman Mike Garza said that, at first, he was critical of the city spending so much on legislative trips yearly. But after he got into office, he saw the importance of such work. That's funny. Jorge Vera said the same thing on the Jay St. John radio show this morning. Kudos to them for getting their stories straight.
The mayor said that their yearly trips have netted big bucks for the likes of the Cuatro Vientos project. But they've been using the Cuatro Vientos card since four years ago. When the mayor, Mike Garza, Danny Valdez, Henry Cuellar and everybody's mother was running for re-election, they all mentioned getting Cuatro Vientos funding. Isn't it about time they let it go?
The mayor also brought up the COPS funding as justification for going to Washington and Austin on a yearly basis. Credit for COPS funding has been talked about since two years ago. Henry Cuellar has been taking credit for it since more than two years ago.
The reason we take everyone at city hall to task is because, when they go to D.C. or Austin, they stay in swanky hotels, they take family members up with them, they repeat the same old lines as justification for going, and they never really disclose what was gained from the trips. And to top it all off, they never say the word party -- instead it's a reception they host for legislators.
Mayor, tell me about all the money that you've helped bring to Laredo and I'll show you Henry Cuellar posing with a big, vinyl check taking credit for it.