Monday, January 13, 2014


By Juan Montoya
Ever wonder why the City of Brownsville insists on exporting its assets to vendors and providers from out of town when there are people who can do the job just as well who live here, pay taxes here and do their shopping here?
That's what came to mind this weekend when we visited the City Central Library and saw that a Harlingen company had been hired to do some glass work at the main facility. Unless they're getting a cut-rate price from that company, why not shop locally?
We remember some time back when there was some road resurfacing being done by the Old City Cemetery and we heard some markedly southern accents among the work crew. When we inquired, we found out that they had come all the way from Hope, Arkansas to do the work. Surely there were local companies and workers who could do a simple patching of the notoriously bad streets characteristic of this town.
The same goes for a whole lot of other public work projects that are being done here. It seems that we would rather give the work to someone from the outside than to hire our own people. A loose tongue suggested that since the Public Information Director – who is over the library system – was Jerry Hedgecock, who coincidentally lives in Harlingen, that might be one of the reasons that the Harlingen company was picked.
We hesitate to believe that, but will take it with a grain of salt.
Still, it is discouraging to think that many of our directors and department heads – including a handful of executives at the Public Utility Board – don't call Brownsville their home, but ride in every day, pick us clean, and then go home. Perhaps a residency requirement is necessary for municipal employees. Otherwise, get used to taxpayer money continuing to hemorrhage out of the city.


Joaquin said...

You're absolutely correct on this. I know in some areas, the city pays police officers "extra" for living in town instead of a suburb. Perhaps this is the solution here. When I lived in the valley I did know an elected official from Brownsville that lived in Harlingen. When I asked him why, he said because he couldn't go anywhere in Browsville without people being nosey. For example, he'd go out to eat with a few friends and people were "parando oreja" hoping to hear city business being conducted. So he never went anywhere in Brownsville to avoid uncomfortable situations.

Anonymous said...

Could be no under the table money for work anymore.

Anonymous said...

most of these contracts are advertised for competitive bids. the city and pub require bonding and liability insurance when awarding contracts. Brownsville firms have the same chance that anyone has to get the job. many of them just tend to bid higher. who knows why? how can a company come from out of state with all of their travel and per diem expanses and still underbid local firms? nothing underhanded here, lowest responsible bidder wins the contract. that's it.

southmost kid said...

folks lets not beat around the bush, lets be honest local politicos dont want local companies and why because the locals dont want to pay to play. period. La pura verdad. sk

County Watch Dog 2014 said...

But was it put out for Bids?There are jobs that;are under so much; that they can be awarded;without going out for bids;depends on the amount;but yes we need to buy local(Brownsville;jobs)need to be awarded to the Brownsville area;Let the money stay here;maybe there was a trip to Las Vegas/Dallas, Cowboys/S.A.Spurs;then I can see why the Harlingen Co. got the Job;We got to understand that the County Hires Brownsville's Rejects
or convicted felons;

Anonymous said...

It is stupid to hire local firms just because they are local. Too many local businesses are not bonded and many prove daily that their quality of work is less than out of town businesses. I hired a local firm for some work and at contract, with half the money down, they contractor said 11 days to complete the job. Eleven weeks later we came to a welcomed end....and weather was not a factor. In another contract we contracted for some tile work. Four workers were assigned. One day they didn't show up. When we asked the contractor, he said one had a tooth ache, so all were given the day off. This is why we look to businesses in Harlingen and the upper valley for local jobs.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:54

You are correct but pendejos like to take photos and place them out of context with their own theories just to get praised by the public for pointing something out. Oh, sort of like the fatass from Cheezmeh.