Thursday, April 2, 2015


By Juan Montoya
We have on hand the Long and Chilton auditor's report of the United Brownsville Coordinating Board, Inc. and we have good news and bad news.
The good news is that from now on, the annual "membership" dues it extorts from the eight publicly-funded entities will be lowered from $25,000 to only $20,000 per head.
The bad news?
There's plenty. Where should we start?
United Brownsville is a domestic nonprofit corporation whose Coordinating Board made up of three non-elected members. They are IBC President Fred Rusteberg, former University of Texas at Brownsville (now Institute of the Americas) President Juliet Garcia and her UTB vice-president Irv Downing. This self-styled "coordinating board" directs how the pie is cut using – not their money – but the money they have managed to hoodwink elected bodies and other publicly-funded entities to fork over as their "membership" to be part of United Brownsville.
These entities – as we have pointed out before – are: the City of Brownsville, the Greater Brownsville Incentives Corporation (GBIC), the Brownsville Independent School District, the Brownsville Navigation District, the Brownsville Public Utilities Board, the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC) and the University of Texas-Brownsville/Texas Southmost College."
Since 2009, this group and their willingly co-opted public officials have gone to the public-treasury well to strong-arm eight public entities for their $25,000 "annual membership" payment.
From 2009 to 2012 the public had shelled out $810,000. That doesn't include the $200,00 from 2013 and the $200,000 to be collected for 2014.  All told, the taxpayers of Brownsville will have shelled out $1,210,000 to United Brownsville for the privilege of having a troika accountable to no one "implement" their dubious "plan.
The aim is for this cadre of players to decide how they want the area to develop and to move the public assets to achieve their goals. Being astute (and scheming) business types, it is not surprising that the direction the area's assets are being moved will ultimately profit them and their friends.
The Long and Chilton audit indicates that United Brownsville has done very well, indeed living off the public's largess.
The audit lists their cash and money market "value" at $102,610. That's a nice little nest egg compliments of the poorest community in the United States.Their "accounts receivable" consists of the $200,000 in annual memberships they collect on their annual trek for alms from the various entities.
We were taught in school that the people elected public officials to act on their behalf in the various levels of government. These officials, in turn, were held accountable for their acts.
You cannot fire Rusteberg, Garcia or Downing. Ultimately, this trio and their supportive players on the board of United Brownsville that includes a select number of hand-picked, like-minded social climbers who are members of the city commission, the port, PUB, the university and college, and the economic development entities shuffle the cards and deal themselves a wining hand every time.
The nonprofit shadow government of United Brownsville has as its purpose "to provide a forum for local governmental officials to communicate regarding public projects, and public-private partnerships in the greater Brownsville area, thereby promoting the effectiveness of said projects and thereby lessening the burdens of government..."
The last time we looked, there had been no government officials asking to be unburdened of their governmental duties and seeking succor from the likes of Rusteberg, Garcia and Downing. This invention of theirs to hijack the assets of local governments and their publicly-funded entities so they can "seat at the table" amounts to nothing more than strong-arm extortion and a protection racket worthy of the Cosa Nostra. But at least the Cosa Nostra provided some service in return. 


Anonymous said...

Corruption,Where is the investigation.

Anonymous said...

The tax payers in the poorest place in the country are getting hit seven times by this elitist scam. Any candidate for city commission supporting these expenditures can go jump in the river.

Anonymous said...

What's Saddam doing in this picture ?

Anonymous said...

Change your sorry -ass line please!

I'm not a robot! said...

According to United Brownsville IRS FROM 990, Schedule "O" is supposed to show their most significant activities. However, it is just a carbon copy of their "MISSION".

When these amount of tax-payer money, $200,000 per year, is doled out by city government, it should be accompanied with a "CONTRACT" identifying what deliverables or accomplishments are expected in return.

Show Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer what you, United Brownsville, have done for the taxpayers of Brownsville.

Anonymous said...

O.K. He doesn't look like Sadam. He looks like Saddam's twin brother. This will make you happy as a lark.

Anonymous said...

Pat was the only one on the commission to oppose them, turns out he was right. When will they ever get enough, it is always at our expense. Well the citizens of Brownsville as my family and I have moved away. But still we read up on the blogs and paper and love our hometown. Good luck a Brownsville, you're going to need it.

el southmost kid said...

Speaking of fraud? what does United Brownsville really do? Lets see dont we already have a chamber of commerce, vistors bureau, Brownville EDC, etc etc etc that promote the City? SO THEN WHY DO WE NEED UNITED BROWNSVILLE? Oh i forgot so a compadre and a few chosen friends can have some nice HUGE Salaries compliments of the city's tax payers. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Saddam is going to catch you !

Anonymous said...

Ayeeeeee, Saddam is back from the dead again! Ayeeeeee, Saddam likes to hang out with Mehicanos in rich and highly educated Browntown! Via Saddam!

Anonymous said...

So stupid .

Red Fusteberg said...

Speaking of pigs feeding at the trough, why don't we mention the CCWCP??? Looks like they got a little TOOO greedy!!

Check out who their board members are!!

Anonymous said...

B.I.A. Bandits In Action. Legal extortion.