Wednesday, December 5, 2012


A VISION FOR BROWNSVILLE, GATEWAY TO LATIN AMERICA

There are two ways for a government to raise revenue. One is taxes. The other is profits from a government owned business. Brownsville actually makes money on its landfill, and the PUB. Both of these entities have proven a city can raise money through successful government owned businesses.

San Antonio Mayor JulĂ­an Castro while speaking at the London School of Economics this past week said cities must lead the way by investing in themselves. If Brownsville intends to move forward we must invest in Brownsville through new bonds.

A city cannot grow and move forward without an economic engine pushing the process. In May three members of the city commission will be up for reelection. It is time for candidates to start thinking about if they will or will not run. The only issue which matters to me is creating an economic engine.

No one on the city commission or mayor is urging any economic engine which will move Brownsville forward. In cities all over the world, the airport plays a major role as an economic engine which moves the city forward.

Boca Chica is all but a parking lot. The light when you get off the highway can take up to 5 times before you can turn on to Boca Chica. Coming from the airport and getting back on to the highway can also have you wait for 5 changes of the 3 lights which precede the highway. The bottom line is, Boca Chica cannot handle development of our airport. Without massive expansion of our airport Brownsville will not create the economic engine needed to move forward. If you believe service industry jobs in a redeveloped downtown is going to provide you or your children meaningful economic opportunity, then I am happy for you.

Money is cheap right now. Now is the time for the city to sell bonds for the development of a new airport. The airport must be moved to 511. This will provide everyone easy access to the airport from SPI to Brownsville. Its current location serves no one, and cannot be sustained.

Modern cargo airports are building 12,000 foot runways. Ours is under 8,000. I have documented back to 2003, promises to build a 10,000 foot runway. Nine years later and we have nothing. When Boeing was looking at Brownsville for possible expansion, Brownsville’s lack of a modern runway was cited for Boeing looking elsewhere for a new manufacturing plant.

When Bill Hedrick came to Brownsville with his plans for Pan Am and South American cargo, everyone from Governor Perry to locals became excited over the business plan. The business plan remains solid. Bill Hedrick was clearly not the man to carry out the business plan. Countries like Peru lodge complaints with the US on a regular basis over our inability to process its perishables on a timely basis. Other South American countries complain their flowers go bad waiting for clearance is US customs. Bill Hedrick new this which is why he started his company. Brownsville with its history, location, port, and rail was the logical location for a new port of entry for South American produce and flowers arriving by air cargo.

The city of Brownsville needs to create its own import business to lure the air cargo from South America to Brownsville. Why should Brownsville give the profits to a private corporation when it can use the profits to pay off the bonds for a modern airport? A modern airport becomes an economic engine which brings jobs and more revenue to the area.

Brownsville needs leaders who understand service industry jobs downtown will never move Brownsville forward. We need leaders who understand how to develop industry and the role of a modern airport as an economic engine. A modern airport with a 12,000 foot runway will bring industry to Brownsville.

This should be the issue candidates are forced to discuss and support if they want our vote come May. We can either accept a fate of mediocrity for our city, or have a real vision for a real economic engine which makes Brownsville the gateway to the Americas such a when Pan Am first came to Brownsville in the thirties.

The other day I was watching an old black and white "The Saint" movie. At the end of the movie the ticket agent hands him his ticket and says, Washington, Dallas, Brownsville and then Rio. You see there was a time because of refueling issues, a lot of flights landed in Brownsville before their final leg on to South America. Our slogan should not be "Brownsville, a city by the sea." It should be "Brownsville, Gateway to Latin America"

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not until the corruption and compadrismo that is Brownsville is controlled will this ever be a good idea.

BobbyWC said...

I agree because all that matters to most, not all, elected officials is their chump change for friends and families - keep the masses in masa y grasa and they will be happy

If I know how to use photo shop I would do one of Tony Martinez throwing tamales at the people saying "BE HAPPY"

I have actually been looking for someone to pay to do my logo but cannot find anyone

Bobby WC

Patricia A. said...

While owning it fully would be ideal, if taking out too much in bonds is not palatable, maybe a private-public partnership to build a cargo-only airport would be more feasible? I don't, however, know the logistics of airports, so that may be duplicating maintance work.