Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Response From Roque Vela Jr.

Statement (courtesy of the City of Laredo) from Roque Vela Jr. on proposed changes:

In the matter of at large districts and giving more power to the mayor I could not disagree more.  This is simply a power play to take government from the people and give to the upperclass.  By opening up districts to city wide elections unfair advantage is given to people of higher median incomes and abilities to raise money for more expense campaigns.  As for the attempt to give the mayor more power it is simply a throw back to the past. As it stands now the mayor can and does add items to the agenda and has the ability to review beforehand.  Maybe what he really wants is unilateral power to remove items and other council members items?  

As for the ability to make motions the words "may i entertain a motion to x" will suffice.   At that point a fellow council member says so moved and the motion hits the floor.  It is simply a matter of understanding Roberts Rules of Order.  I am also highly concerned with the chamber of Commerce involvement in this power play giving the perception that the business community is in support.   I find it highly hypocritical that this group uses words like democracy and says they want the people to make the ultimate decision when they have done the exact opposite.   

As a business owner I am a member of the chamber of Commerce and as of yet have not been given an opportunity to voice my opinion on this matter.  Instead the decision of the chamber to support this matter was made by a few in an obscure room by many of whom (to my knowledge) do not own a business. I ask that the chamber send mail out ballots to the more than 600 members before they continue their involvement. 


  1. One of the proposed changes allows the Mayor to meet with the City Manager before any City Council Meeting. I think that is appropriate and when citizens have raised concerns with contracts the city has awarded, they are dismissed often times. I think it's time to put a system in place, where citizens aren't just going to 1 city council member (5 reps instead under proposed changes), who may or may not listen to them.

  2. I'm a resident of Dist. 3. I have reached out to Alex Perez a couple of times. He's been somewhat quick to concede to the majority of the council, or to the will of the city manager. I could easily lobby the rest of the members of council to give them a different view on issues. Some are receptive and some not. If we go to a hybrid system, I don't think that the four at-large members would be that much better at addressing matters. Both systems go either way.