Friday, April 21, 2017

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: GOWEN, VILLARREAL MUST GO. CITY HAS SPENT $543,898.70 FOR THEIR CYCLOBIAS AND FOR WHAT?

By Juan Montoya
We have not made it a secret that we have echoed the sentiments of downtown merchants who fret over the closing of streets and lost commerce because customers cant get to their businesses downtown.
Image result for rose gowenWhether it's dollar stores, segundas, nightclubs and bars, etc., the shutting off of access to the heart of downtown by the city to stage so-called Cyclobias and give local gentrified cyclists a chance to pedal around in circles is costing them business and money.

How would they feel if they knew that over the last five years, $543,898.70 of their tax dollars have been spent to put on these senseless extravaganzas championed by City of Brownsville Commissioner Rose Gowen and supported by the rest of the city commission? (Click on graphic to enlarge.)

If you notice, $316,981.05 is recorded as total expenses and there is deficiency of $228,917.65 that had to be made up from somewhere, the general fund, perhaps?

Gowen is running for re-election this year as is John Villarreal, the other incumbent. Deborah Portillo, seeing the writing on the wall, opted not to run for re-election and also quit as chair of United Brownsville, another unabashed city budget blood sucker.

Image result for john villarreal, brownsvilleWe've often wondered what it cost to have city laborers and Brownsville Police Dept. officers en masse on overtime overseeing these events.
Well, now we know.

Over the past five years, the public has paid police and city workers $122,824 alone in overtime to provide labor and security to these events. And after an hour or two of cycling around the empty (but guarded) streets and sporting their high-end cycling apparel, they leave. The city, in its dire condition, remains the same, if not worse for the lost commerce that downtown businesses endured.

And guess who foots the bill? Rose and John and their nattily dressed friends? No, You and me.

This city is lacking in the basic infrastructure such as drainage to prevent the chronic flooding that occurs every time we have a sudden downpour, sidewalks for pedestrians, bus shelters for the poor who have to endure the hot sun and inclement weather to ride the limping mass transit system called Metro, and do something about the city that has the appearance of a weedy junkyard. The city can barely keep the grass cut on its right-of-ways, but still has the bucks to stage these feigned quality-of-life charades.

Truman said that the buck stops here. That also applies to local government. While Da Mayor aTony Martinez is not running for reelection this year, Gowen and Villarreal are. They are the darlings of the bike-and-hike crowd who delight in telling the resident sof the poorest community in the United States that they must continue enduring the meager urban amenities the city provides them, and continue funding their pet projects such as these so-called cyclobias.

The bike advocates have given Villarreal and Gowen their quid pro quo. They have organized and paid for a mass mailing endorsing them against their opponents Ben Neece and Erasmos Castro. Neither Neece or Castro have spoken out against cycling. So why are the bikers against them? Could they be supporting Gowen and Villarreal because they are in debt to them for allowing this obscene waste of the public dollar?

They should have learned a lesson from their political support for Eddie TreviƱo as Cameron County Judge. He found out that he could not deliver the commissioners court to "adopt" the so-called Lower Rio Grande Valley Active Transportation and Tourism Plan. Cooler heads precvaield and saw through the smoke and mirrors of  the Gowen-Villareal "vision."

Enough is enough. We have to put  stop to this hemorrhaging of the people's money wasted so that Gowen can receive the accolades of the New York and Austin bike advocates and Villarreal can continue rubber stamping these initiatives. It's been five years of this huge waste of the community resources and where are the millions that were supposed to have been spent by the tourism seeking "active" destinations such as we label Brownsville.
We have to start somewhere and we have to do it now. Voting out Gowen and Villarreal in this election would be a good place to start.

30 comments:

joe torrez said...

The bikes belong on the bike trails not on the street's of Brownsville. That's why we the tax payers spend a lot of money on buildings the bike trails. Our city streets are in need of repairs and reconstruction, some of the roads that were reconstructed with the 80's Bond's need attention. Wake up people. The bikes don't begin money to this city of Brownsville vehicle traffic and people that drive though our city do. It's time we make some changes, this city is lacking vision. We are so far behind the city's of Mcallen and Edinburgh that it's not funny anymore.

Anonymous said...

Villarreal is just a puppet

Anonymous said...

JUAN - STOP POSTING THE FOTO OF THAT MAN WHO SITS AT THE BUS STOPS.

HE DRIVES AN SUV, PARKS IT ON PRICE RD AND PULLS OUT HIS WALKER AND HEADS TO THE CORNER.

JUST SO YOU KNOW.

TE TRAE COMO PENDEJO.

Anonymous said...

Who complains?

The piedreros y las putas?

Anonymous said...

People need to stop crying about these two commissioners we no already they need to GO GO GO.,BUT VOTERS IN BROWNSVILLE NEED TO GET OFF THIER FKING ASSES AND GO VOTE!!

Anonymous said...

Can't believe Ben Neece is against Cyclobia, juan. Get real, bro.

Diego Lee Rot said...

Dude. It only rains twice a year barely enough to wash the excrement into the drainage ditches. If people really want to go somewhere they should scrape up their money together and buy a Ford focus. Long live the bicycle in Brownsville!

Anonymous said...

You got to really think you are a Minor Deity to believe the whole city oughta fund yo fucking hobby.

Anonymous said...

Hey, pendejo, bite the pinche bullet, buey. I took up riding and my health is better, carbon. Don't be such an envious estupidlo, juan!

Anonymous said...

Good story Juan, lets just see if the voters of this city have had enough but only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

I agreed, boot both of them out.

Anonymous said...

You don't own a bike, Juan?

Anonymous said...

Shut the fuck up, Diego! You're such an idiot, your parents are embarrassed by your dumb-ass comments . Why don't you post on your dad's blog?

Anonymous said...

HEY CARBON, DON'T BE AN ENVIOUS ESTUPIDO!

WHAT A PENDEJO!
HAHAHA!

Anonymous said...

Not against it, against the disruption of business it causes for the business owners downtown and the ridiculous amount of money spent on that stupid project. We need bus stops more than a few people riding around downtown on their fancy bikes in their fancy attire. Downtown needs a major overhaul in more ways than one that do not include Cyclobia.

Anonymous said...

Yip the none voters are the first to complain.

Anonymous said...

it's cabron before it's cooked and carbon after it's cooked

dumbass white guy trying spanish defintely will vote gowen no surprise there

Anonymous said...

These are normal expenses for a city, is good they are doing something for the community which in deed is one of the poorest in the country but that's not an excuse to stay unhealthy.

Anonymous said...

What is a "carbon"???? A bike might have benefited health, but hasn't improved spelling or grammar.....so, you are still just as dumb as before you got a bike.

Anonymous said...

The sitting city commissioners running for re-election need to go. Rose Gowen refuses to meet her opponent in a public forum, as has John Villareal. If only Tony Martinez was running so we can get rid of him too. Tony and his puppets have sent shiny bikes out to the public, but have brought in no jobs. More businesses are leaving that moving in. And, the city has wasted money on real estate that is sitting empty downtown. All the bike riders enjoy the security of downtown during Rose Gowen's events, but then leave and leave no money behind and never go downtown to shop. Time to elect those who care about the community and don't avoid public debate.

Anonymous said...

Don't be so stupid, we know biking is good for our health, just go biking on the already established bike trails. You can start at the federal courthouse and go all the way to FM 511. We need for the seating commissioners to stop wasting tax payers monies on hardly used bike lanes downtown which, by the way, cost thousands of dollars to maintain and create traffic jams .These bike lines get repainted every two months for nothing, just to make them look good. Great article on the cylovias expenditures, they need to get canceled as its costing hundreds of thousands of dollars for nothing. On top of costs, it really hurt downtown merchants due to street closures. The city should also consider providing assistance to the weekly farmers market, city workers are utilized every Saturday to help set up adding up to overtime costs. Besides, the city doesn't benefit at all from this event, they don't pay a penny to use city property to sell their products. Enough is enough, we need new leaders.

Anonymous said...

You are totally wrong

Anonymous said...

Can't believe Ben Neece is against Cyclobia, juan. Get real, bro.

I doubt Ben is, at the Crescent Moon and Half Moon always saw groups of bikers who would hang out and party there at his place, especially after Cyclobia.

Also the bike trail near my house is always full of kids. They use it to walk home from school and to go to the grocery. How ignorant to say the paint used on them is wasteful spending. Erasmo spends more at the all you can eat buffets than to complain about the pennies spent on paint. He will get one of these young kids killed if the bike lanes are not brightly marked where cars can see them! Too stupid! Whether you like Gowen or not I am glad to see the young kids have their own clearly marked path. Don't agree with her on PUB but I will vote for her again. Have seen many positive benefits to the trails.

Pat Ahumada said...

Anonymous 3:15 PM, obviously you have no respect for those who disagree with you or express an opinion different from yous. To qutoe Neil Strauss, "Most attacks come from fear", you feel threaten so you feel the need to attack me with irrelevant points that does not focus on the issue. You attack me for things I was not convicted of and even if had been, it has nothing to do with the subject matter.

Learn to read, I clearly stated and believe a lot of people will agree that the designated bicycle paths or trails away from automobile traffic is the best and safest place for bicyclist. No one is against this, but to spend the enormous amount in the hundreds of thousands on bicycle lanes and pet projects for a select group that does not even use the bicyle lanes enough to justify squandering taxpayers monies when the city needs streets to be paved or other priorities address is selfish and irresponsible. Elected representatives have a fiduciary duty to utilize taxpayers monies wisely, which Gowen clealy does not understand, could care less as noted by her voting record and spending.

Gowen will most likely be re-elected, but this does not mean she is their to represent the people, because clearly she does not. What it does mean is that voters no longer care and feel defeated by the elite individuals who conttrol our city government to rape the taxpayers coffers.

i just read that the Guitierrez warehouse on Rigold and 6th that the city purchased and did not need may be converted to the Farmers Market for the elite, which is safe to assume the occupants will most likely pay little or nothing to use it and will discriminate against outside vendors that do not belong to the elite group. Government is not there to subsidize private business and undermine free market competition. It is not fair to the Flea Market vendors on the Expressway to deny them the same access as the elites have with the Rose Gowen programs that favor a select few.

Anonymous, I sign my name, but obviously you fear me, which is why you attack and do not sign your name. Mark my words your support for corruption will catch up with this city and eventually the price is going to be high to pay. And yes, the mayor and present corrupt individuals on the commission will walk away with no accountability, but in the end they will be held accountable. To use their position for self serving needs and wants does not go unnotice and we all know these people not to be public servants.

Keep your attacks coming at me, but it changes nothing. You are the problem. I am not in office, do not seek a position and can say that the people's voice, needs, and priorities were heard and addressed as best I could.

Anonymous said...

We are taking about wasteful spending on bike lines on city streets not the bike trails, which by the way, are in dire need of repaintaing. As you can see the bike trails get overlooked for maintenance but the bike lines on the city streets are repainted every couple of months to make them look good, hardly anyone uses them. I'm all for the bike/walking trails which are extensively utilized but I'm against bike lines on downtown city streets. They cause traffic jams and very expensive too maintain. Hopefully, the city can take measures to repaint the bike trails, especially the one that starts on the federal courthouse and ends on FM 511.

Anonymous said...

Good story Juan

Anonymous said...

Anony April 21, 2017 at 7:40 PM

Where do you ride?

Anonymous said...

Ben is not against cyclobia, but against using taxpayers money for private use. Gowen is arrogant and feels entitled, making her the worst and most dangerous commissioner

AT said...

I use the historic bike trail. That's the only good one and the only place where bike Lanes belong. All other places with bike Lanes are a waste of money.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at Diabetes numbers and complain about that...or better yet, come up with a SOLUTION to the health issues in our city and become involved in making a difference. That would be a great way to spend your time.

rita