Tuesday, March 17, 2009


First, my hats off to everyone who worked hard on the American Airlines deal. In my opinion AA’s offer is very generous. People who may oppose this type deal need to remember the impact the business has on Brownsville. It means more jobs, it means AA housing a flight crew in Brownsville every night - could be an apartment or hotel. It means more people using Brownsville’s hotels and car rentals. It means more restaurant business. This is good for Brownsville.

The other day I thought it odd when I saw an AA jet on the Fly Brownsville ad in the Herald.


Over the years I have read so much garbage on impact fees posted by people with zero knowledge of the process. The presentation was very helpful. I finally understand how the money can be used.

So here is the vote as I saw it last night - Mayor Ahumada and Charlie Atkinson for the fees - Anthony Troiani and Carlos Cisneros for the developers. Did anyone see any clear indication how the other commissioners will vote?

I will say Cisneros has it all wrong. It will not put electricians out of work. Higher impact fees will promote the hiring of electricians and plumbers. The new construction housing market in Brownsville is nearly dead. With the cost of an old construction home at nearly 50% cheaper than a new construction home, people are just not going to be buying new construction homes for a while. I admit higher impact fees will delay the recovery of the new construction homes.

But here is the kicker - the more people who buy older homes the more people will need to hire electricians, and plumbers, and more for remodeling. Today I called on a foreclosed house for a friend. It is a fixer-upper. It was on the market for 6 days. It sold today. Had my friend bought this house he would have spent a lot of money at Home Depot or Lowes. Every fixer-upper means money for Home Depot or Lowes. Some of these foreclosures need new air conditioners. Someone has to do the work.

Brownsville is at a cross roads wherein it can use the economic down turn in housing to promote the revitalization of its older neighborhoods. In the process it will promote business for Home Depot, Lowes and everyone in the business of remodeling.

Charlie Atkinson said something real true - the cameras are rolling. It is up to each commissioner to convince the people why higher impact fees are good or bad. This is a great election issue. I hope we will see a clear difference between the various candidates on the issue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Will they house the Crews at Economico?