Monday, April 6, 2015

It is not for the BV to tell you to like or dislike the questions or answers.  I assume my readers are smart enough to know their own values and make up their own minds. I did this in two parts.  First I allowed David to just speak off the cuff.  I wanted my readers  to know what David thinks is important, not what I think is important. 
Part two is me seeking information about issues my readers have shown an interest in.  In the end vote your values.  Each candidate's policy statement and answer to questions is simply for your consideration  - nothing more - nothing less. 
The BV will not give a voice to candidates who only answer questions through select press releases.  Candidates who are not afraid to answer questions are the type candidates we need.  I am not looking for a candidate who agrees with me on every issue.  I am looking for candidates who can prove to me they have thought the issues out.  Whether David Belleperche has thought out the issues is your decision not mine.

What is your position on Lincoln Park?

My position on Lincoln Park is to see what UTRGV’s plans are for the area. If they don’t have any plans that show that they are ready to construct buildings then I ask why they need that area so soon. The people of Southmost and Downtown spoke clearly what their interest were about moving the park in front of a sewage treatment plant. My question to the city and PUB is if there are chemicals to reduce the odor emitting from the plant, why aren’t they currently using the chemicals? I have smelled that plant long enough and I do not want our community to have to smell raw sewage much longer. Also what are the true cost to construct a new park? Why can’t we incorporate the park into the campus? These are questions I would like answered before we relocate the park for the second time. I am all for higher education, but if elected I will be a representative of the people also.

 Where do you see Brownsville's strongest economic engine, and where can others be developed?

 Brownsville’s strongest economic engine in my opinion would have to be tourism. But many more can be developed. The port is thriving with the recycling of the aircraft carriers. Our Bridges are bringing over more and more cargo. The railroad is shipping fright in both directions, restaurants are on almost every corner, a new Walmart is opening soon on Ruben Torres, HEB expanded one of their stores to a HEB Plus, new roads are being constructed in and around Brownsville, Sunrise Mall is expanding, and lastly SpaceX. Brownsville is about to get national attention for the future of the space program. People will come from all over the country to watch rockets launch. Hotels will be filled up, planes will be full coming into and leaving Brownsville’s airport. But most of all we need to lure people for one or two days away from South Padre Island and show them what Brownsville is all about.

What is your position on Tenaska?  I ask that you address short term and long term benefits and negatives if any?

 This is a difficult question to answer. Yes we will need to increase our electrical capacity to accommodate for future growth. That is one reason why we have not been able to bring in some companies to the Port of Brownsville. They needed a certain amount of electricity and we couldn’t provide them with it, so they took their business and jobs else where. We also don’t want to grow faster than what our utilities can provide. Tenaska will help us do just that. However, most of, if not all of the Tenaska deal has been kept secretly away from the people who will be actually paying for the new power plant. If the current City Commissioners know more about the Natural Gas Power Plant I would like to hear what they have to say. Some people are worried about the natural gas pipeline from Edinburg to Brownsville. Others are worried about the emissions coming from the plant. However, natural gas is the cleanest burning of the fossil fuels. Also with the increase of natural gas we can start to convert the city buses over to CNG fuel. This will help the environment, lower cost of running the buses, and lower maintenance cost associated with diesel engines. The only thing I really ask is did we get a good deal, or did we give someone a great deal? 

What is your position on a water policy for Brownsville, and if you believe we need one, what should it be?

We absolutely need a plan. Benjamin Franklin once said “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Mexico’s debt of more than 400,000 acre-feet of water means many irrigation districts in the Lower Rio Grande Valley no longer have water to pump for farmers. Other cities which also depend on districts to pump their supplies are facing water emergencies. 1944 Water Treaty between Mexico and the United States needs to be followed by our neighbors. Our farmers and residents are suffering because irrigation districts cannot pump water to them. This increases cost to the consumer. I don’t think the consumer should have to pay more because the other party in the treaty is not holding up their end of the deal. Another option would be to give incentives to houses that use a WaterWise Landscape. This type of landscaping and gardening reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water from irrigation. I don’t think we should force anything on homeowners but give them an option.
What 4 most important things do you think new industry looks for in a community before relocating to that community, and does Brownsville have these things, and if not how would your leadership on the City Commission help bring about those variables which are lacking?
 I believe what any business/company looks for while scouting a new location is Location, Quality of Life, Educational Institutes, and a Qualified Workforce. Yes Brownsville has all of these. However, we could always improve. If you are not trying to advance yourself you are just stagnate and will be passed up by someone else. We need to improve our quality of live here. We have great weather and are lucky enough where we can be outside almost all year unlike other cities in the north. We need to get the community involved more. Look how many people come out for Charro Days and Sombrero Fest. We need to have more activities for families as well as individuals. Our Location is great. We have an airport that is just waiting to explode with cargo operations. We could be the entrance and exit for most cargo operations to Latin America. We need to improve our education system. I’m not running for BISD but something needs to change. Our children need a better education that they are receiving at BISD. We are throwing millions of dollars away to failed policies. TSC and UTRGV are a step in the right direction. But many people earn a degree here and we have nothing to offer them so they move to another city. We need to be able to offer those people an opportunity here so they can buy a house in Brownsville and pay local taxes. We have a workforce here but it is primarily labor based. I would use my leadership to bring quality careers here so our quality of life can increase and with that so will our cities. Take pride in Brownsville.


Anonymous said...

This guy said nothing. Typical we have to do better, but what? Give us a plan. What will you introduce to get things going?

BobbyWC said...

I debated approving this comment because it goes against my policy of safe haven on policy statements or answering questions - you may not like the policy but it gets candidates to tell you things you need to know.

While I do not like the tone of the comment I approved it - I think David does need to be more specific - so because the comment can ad to the discussion and campaign I decided to go against my safe haven rule.

Bobby WC

BobbyWC said...

The joke is you cannot read or understand the rules.

On Tenaska to date he has given the best answer of any candidate - it is needed to draw in new business, but the BPUB has been too secretive thereby allowing people to raise serious questions as to whether Brownsville got the short end of the stick.

This is how you argue against the Tenaska deal. You cannot deny it is needed and then claim you understand development.

But you can say BPUB gets an F for how it has been handled and the people need to know if they are getting the short end of the stick.

This is the proper approach to the question - and not just opposing it because it costs money.

Bobby WC

David Belleperche said...

What would you like to get going? I would like to first roll back the regulation on mobile food vendors.

BobbyWC said...

This is a must with proper oversight