Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CISNERSOS, CAMARILLO, AND GARZA ON PROBLEM SOLVING IN PUBLIC WORKS

IT IS TIME TO ADDRESS THE FAILURES IN CITY MANAGEMENT THROUGH CHARTER REVIEW

BUT FIRST THE MAYOR AND BISD UPDATE

My sources with knowledge of the evidence DA Villalobos is keeping from the grand jury in the mayor’s check scam tell me that the mayor’s checking account was overdrawn on the day he deposited the subject check, and that he immediately paid $6,000.00 worth of bills with the money. My sources are telling me that DA Villalobos has ordered silence by his staff as to why the grand jury review was cancelled. It is my understanding it will not be heard until February.

As of Monday it appears Antonio Juarez had abandoned his lawsuit against BISD. Ben Neece has taken no action to obtain a TRO to prevent BISD from firing Juarez. You see, in federal court rules tend to matter a bit more than in state court. In the case of Judge Euresti Ben Neece knew Judge Euresti would sign his own death warrant - but the same cannot be said for federal Judge Andrew Hanen who will hear Juarez’s case.

On Monday we learned that two city employees were arrested and fired for abuse of the city purchasing cards. We learned that City Manager Cabler lied to the Herald about how their system of auditing caught the problems. I have asked the City Commissioners to comment on this, not a word from the town clowns.

The following are the questions the City Commissioners are refusing to answer:

When will this city commission deal with the mismanagement in Public Works?
When will this city commission call for an independent audit of city credit cards?
When will this city commission make education a factor

Those seeking the offices currently held by Camarillo, Garza, and Cisneros need to answer these questions as part of their respective campaigns against this trio.

As I reported yesterday, I verified with the BPD Cabler is a liar. The only reason they caught the problem is because I threatened an open records request of the credit card statements if they did not take action. In fact the city filed an objection to my request with the Office of the Attorney General. In fact the city is late on an Open Records request related to phone bills for the commissioners’ cell phones. Apparently another suit is the only way I am going to get the phone bills, which Pete Gonzalez stated to me in an e-mail were subject to an open records request.

You see this city commission is prepared to spend a million dollars defending lawsuits rather than simply comply with the law. Pete Gonzalez has refused to respond to my request as to the status of the phone bills. It is sad they will pay an attorney to respond to my request. Your tax dollars being wasted to keep the corruption under wraps.

Charlie Cabler is the epitome of corruption and nothing will change so long as he has a job with the City of Brownsville. This brings me to management.

Santana Torres oversees Public Works. This includes the Greens Department. Monday’s revelations about corruption in the Greens Department was only the tip of the iceberg. There is still the case of the $14,000.00 stolen from the safe at the landfill. Because I cannot trace the money to a specific person and cannot prove my claims with an open records request - the thieve has been told - no worry - no investigation - Charlie Cabler has your back.

Everyone who works in Public Works knows they can go into any storage facility and take anything they want and sell it at a pawn shop, the flee market or in Mexico. There is absolutely nothing in place to track who is checking out high dollar equipment and who is bringing it back.

When David Ivory left Public Works he had two secretaries. When it was realized Santana Torres was in way over his head, according to my source, Lydia Gonzales at Cabler’s request authorized 5 additional secretaries to be hired to help Santana Torres to do his job.
In real cities where competence matters, the Director over Public Works would have an engineering license or an MBA. In Brownsville all it requires is a high school diploma.

So what ever happened to the Charter Review Committee? Originally we were told we would be told about their recommendations in November. Then we were to be told about their recommendations during a City Commission Workshop, about two weeks ago. Still nothing - what is the cover-up?

The City Charter belongs to the people. Why are Charter Review Committee members being prohibited by the city commission from revealing their recommendations? What is the delay? What is the cover-up? Where is the infighting?

One thing I called for was a mandate that all City Directors have a professional licence, or a masters in their field. The City Manager should be required to have a Masters in Public Administration. The one thing I know about the City of Brownsville, the Abyss by the Gulf, is its city commission will always be opposed to educated people holding key positions. They need ignorant people who could not get jobs as ass wipes so that they become 100% dependent on a hopelessly corrupt and inept city commission.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

These three could not run a piss up in a brewery or a stag night in a strip joint so how can they clean anything up when they still owe the City money for illegal incentives that they took.

Clean your own house first then start with others.

Kaptan Midnight

BobbyWC said...

Troiani responds to e-mail -

You will note he goes on about documents I never requested, in terms of the e-mail - and totally avoids the entire general issue about education levels and being a Director.

You see he needs an investigation to determine whether or not a high school graduate is qualified ot be the Director over Public Works -

Mr. Wrightman:

It is my understanding that the Public Works issue is being investigated and that we are pending findings from the police department. As you know documents considered the basis of an ongoing criminal investigation are not subject to disclosure through an open records request. Once the investigation is completed and the prosecution is finalized those records are to be made available to the extent allowed by law. Obviously, if the parties are acquitted they would be entitled to the expunction of the records surrounding their arrest and prosecution.

At this time the budget committee is pending the results of the annual report to be performed by our independent auditor. This task is currently being handled by the accounting firm of Long Chilton. Given the timing of this event I am sure the independent auditor will address this issue extensively. Long Chiltons findings from last year are public record and their findings for this year will be made public and should be available to you either on the website or through the finance department once the audit is completed.

Any given employees' education, training and experience are essential components for placement at any position. Until we (the City Commission) have all the facts and have been briefed on all aspects of this investigation it is irresponsible to comment on the conduct of the accused employees or the Public Works department in general. As you know the accused are shielded by a presumption of innocence.

Should you have any questions or require additional information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Anthony P. Troiani

Anonymous said...

The Evil-doers must go!!!

Get'em Bobby

Anonymous said...

In spite of all the rhetoric being hurled, individuals who seek and procure public office are subject to innumerable factors once in that position; They no longer have a public life and all they do, regardless of motivation, will come under scrutiny. As a result, they will be subject to public opinion. I knew little of this traffic incident with Mr. Atkinson but listening to him now,if in deed it is he which is posting, I seem to understand more of his character and have this to say. One does not need be convicted of a crime to be guilty of it. Beyond the transgression of it being a misdemeanor I do not believe endangering the public safety is any less a crime than abuse of a public position. It is not naive to expect public officials to uphold laws no matter how trivial it may seem to the individual. If anything elected officials should serve the public by leading through example and not delaying the business of city meetings or attempting to sabotage the mayor as he tries, in vain to lead this city. I said it before, I say it now, and in all liklihood, I'll say it again. REELECT NO ONE! The residents of Brownsville have a duty to clean house and they need to start with the 2009 elections by eliminating Camarillo and Atkinson from the comission.

Anonymous said...

If you want to review the whole story and have a good laugh, visit Cafe Brownsville' blog.

If it wasn't too sad and corrupted, it would be funny.

BobbyWC said...

Longoria responds to BV e-mail.

What you will note in his response is he comes up with a new lie and abandon's Cabler's lie. (It is llike the mayor - he reported the check after getting caught) If Santana Torres reported this to the police it was only because Pete Gonzales brough the evidence to him based on my complaint.

Again, I spoke with a BPD investigator yesterday and he verified the only reason the theft was discovered was because of my complaint.

My issue remains simple - if first Cabler and now Longoria are unwilling to admit the system is broken, how do they intend to fix it?

Longoria's response.

Robert,
1. Santana Torres followed procedure and reported the incident to the city manager and the chief of police. In the last year during David Ivory's and Santana Torres' watch: more than nine public works employees were terminated for drugs in their random drug test, the P Card issue at hand and the restructuring of employees in positions of trust have already been addressed.

2. City Manager Cabler asks our internal auditor for audits of different accounts to include credit cards (including Cabler's own) so that he and Pete Gonzalez may be abreast of any wrong doings or discrepencies that are in need of a more thorough audit.

3. Education is a factor in the hiring process. Depending on the position being advertised the application will state the level of education required to perform that duty. I know that for any starting position there is a minimum of a high school diploma or GED required.

I hope that my answers are of some use to you and your readers. If I may ever be of further assistance to you please feel free to contact me. Until then I remain yours. Yours In Service,
Ricardo Longoria, Jr.

Stan said...

You're doing an excellent piece of work here, Mr. Wightman, and I'm impressed that some of our city leaders have found it important to weigh in at last.

I do not understand their reticence about the need to professionalize their administration. Public Works, as you observed elsewhere (as have I) needs to be under a professional. I think an engineer should run it because so much of it's work needs to meet engineering standards, roads and drainage in particular. You've suggested a business major could do it and I suppose that is so.

In any case, as long as we keep such work in the hands of amateurs, no matter their level of experience, we're going to have the results we're having.

You go, guy. Keep on keepin' on, as we used to say.

Anonymous said...

Results. Results. Results. The City has saved thousands upon thousands of dollars by Public Works expanding an excellent building maintenance/construction crew. They renovated Duffey Plaza. They renovated City Hall. They renovated the MIS Department. They renovated Parks offices. And so on.

There is an "engineer" Assistant Director at Public Works. There is a city engineer and an assistant city engineer. I am a city employee (not at Public Works)and I am proud of the accomplishments of all of our departments.

We have great people that work for the city and we are sick of blogs and editorials that focus on negatives.

BISD has employee theft. Child porn teachers. Teachers with DWI's. Corrupt board members. Cameron County has cartel sheriffs, corrupt jailers, employee theft. Just because someone doesn't like Santana Torres or Cabler, it shouldn't taint the rest of us.

Thanks for having such a Great American blogspot and for allowing us to be able to speak freely. Great site!

BobbyWC said...

I agree that the people need to know what is being done by Public Works - but this is not a personal matter with Santana Torres - even commissions have complained about how roads get repaired and then public works comes in and tears them up.

he is not qualified for the job - plain and simple - it does not mean he is not a nice guy -

the corruption in his department is second to none within city hall - he is clueless - for a year Llamas and Rodriguez were robbing the city blind right under his nose - how is this simple fact defensible

this is not about whether or not he is a nice guy - we can assume he is a great guy - but would you let him do brain surgery on you -

it is abour competence

Bobby WC