Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Pictured above is the UT Board of Regents

The below letter has been sent to Mayor Martinez, the entire city commission and city Secretary Estela Von Hatten.

In working on this, no one in any position of authority even knows with whom Tony Martinez is negotiating the lease of City Plaza.  No one will commit that the negotiations are with Juliet Garcia - they simply do not know and Tony Martinez is refusing to discuss same with anyone.

In the event it is with Juliet Garcia and not the UT Board of Regents, I have sent this letter to the General Counsel for UT.

Francie Frederick
General Counsel UT Board of Regents
201 W. 7th Street, Ste 820
Austin, Texas 78701

Via Email:

Cc: Board of Regents bor@utsystem.edu

Re: Possible Unauthorized lease and or purchase discussions between UT Brownsville and the City of Brownsville.

Dear Ms. Frederick:

I ask that you have your staff take immediate action to stop all unauthorized action by UTB President Juliet Garcia in her efforts to lease or purchase City Plaza from the city of Brownsville, and displacing all of its employees.  Now, if the discussions are between the Board and the COB, it will be even more tragic given the violation of the Open Meetings Act.

Tonight’s meeting on the issue was cancelled under the guise the city had not completed its due diligence on the issue. The reality is, if you see the attached notice of postponement the notice as written violated the Open Meetings Act .

The current law concerning the leasing or purchasing of space limits authority to UT.


"(e) Until such time as the university created by this Act formally begins operation, the board of regents may provide for The University of Texas--Pan American or The University of Texas at Brownsville to use any facilities under the management and control of The University of Texas System, including facilities developed for the university created by this Act. In addition, the board may lease or purchase facilities owned by Texas Southmost College District or by other owners to the extent the board determines necessary and practical."

Section 5E, SB 24

The Open Meetings Act violation is also important in the event your office is the one doing the negotiating. This is not how business is done. The violation of the OMA was black and white and designed to keep the people in the dark.

I can assure you, if this nonsense continues lawyers in Brownsville will be seeking an injunction against UT. My group at this time is assuming UT and your office are just now learning of Juliet Garcia’s efforts to lease City Plaza from the city of Brownsville while displacing all of its employees.

From the Texas Supreme Court

Cox Enterprises v. Board of Trustees Austin ISD, 706 S.W.2d 956 (1986)


"The newspaper contends that the school district, by posting an agenda listing only general terms such as "personnel," "litigation," and "real estate matters," failed to give adequate notice of its executive sessions. The newspaper also contends that the Board failed to comply with the Act in convening various executive sessions and violated the Act's prohibition against taking final action on any matter in a closed session."

Further from the Texas Supreme Court

" The Act's purposes cannot be circumvented by mere reference to one of the section 2 exceptions. The advance notice given under section 3A(a) should specifically disclose the subjects to be considered at the upcoming meeting."

See above

"However, less than full disclosure is not substantial compliance. Our prior judgments should have served as notice to all public bodies that the Open Meetings Act requires a full disclosure of the subject matter of the meetings. The Act is intended to safeguard the public's interest in knowing the workings of its governmental bodies. A public body's willingness to comply with the Open Meetings Act should be such that the citizens of Texas will not be compelled to resort to the courts to assure that a public body has complied with its statutory duty.

We reverse the judgment of the court of appeals in part and declare that the Board violated the Open Meetings Act by providing inadequate notice of its executive sessions and by improperly convening its executive sessions without a quorum present. In all other respects, we affirm the judgment of the court of appeals."

The people of Brownsville are tired of UT milking some of the poorest people in the country. This nonsense must stop. The people of Brownsville have nothing, while UT is one of the wealthiest university systems in the world.



Bobby Wightman-Cervantes


Anonymous said...

Bravo ! Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Tonights meeting cancelled by Mayor because he did not have his votes. They will say for lack of quorum, but fact is there would have been one. Chavez was going to be a no show and the Mayor cancelled. Is it legal to do this?

Anonymous said...

"In addition, the board may lease or purchase facilities owned by Texas Southmost College District or by other owners to the extent the board determines necessary and practical."

The BOARD may lease, not the ex-President of UT Brownsville, soon to the director of UT whatever's satellite campus.

BobbyWC said...

My point exactly

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

I am at a loss . . . why are we fighting UTB? Seems like UTB is a good thing for Brownsville . . . . TSC is a cheap alternative to a real college education, and UTB is the real deal . . . . seems to me like Brownsville needs both.

BobbyWC said...

I think different people have different motivations on the issue - my sole issue is how it is being handled - like I posted - if it can be done at a profit I support it - but Tony Martinez is refusing to even give the commissioners the information they want

This is not how you run city government.

Some people are going to oppose everything Tony wants even when it is good - that is not the BV

Great question though - people need to understand that the opposition is not all based on the same thing.

My thing is the process being used by Tony Martinez

bobby WC

Anonymous said...

Responding to the above post:

First, TSC is not a "is a cheap alternative to a real college education". It is one of the oldest Community Colleges in the state and has always had good faculty for its size and a city with economic resources of Brownsville.

The problem is placing a four year UT institution in downtown Brownsville. It makes no sense, period. Brownsville alone does not have the demographics to support it. There should be a university half-way to Harlingen that is convenient to ALL of Cameron County as UT Edinburg is centrally located for Hidalgo county. Additionally, even people who live in Brownsville will for the most part find it easier and less expensive to travel out the expressway than go downtown.

Downtown only makes sense if you are behind a land grab. In either case, the decision should be made in the open with input from all parties. BV is doing an excellent job on this endeavor.

Anonymous said...

In addition to injunctive relief under OMA, it may also be a class c misdemeanor to violate the act....just saying