Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Closer look at the Cold Storage Shenanigans by the City

City up to it's old bag of tricks again

The Laredo Morning Times is reporting this morning:

Months after bids were first sought for the item, City of Laredo staff will recommend Monday that the management and operation of two refrigerated inspection facilities be awarded to Garros Services.

The firm is a partnership among custom brokers Eduardo Garza Robles, Raquel San Miguel and Jose Salvador Rosas Quintanilla.

Garros received the high score in a staff evaluation over a firm headed by former Councilman Jose Valdez and a firm based in Pharr.

“They’ve got (more than) 100 years of experience,” said Assistant City Manager Jesus Olivares, who rakes in about $140,000 a year of taxpayer's money. Olivares continued

“They have very strong financial backing. The management plan that was presented by them was very professionally done and basically within line with the industry.”

Olivares sat on a staff scoring committee with Finance Director Rosario Cabello, Bridge Director Mario Maldonado and Purchasing Director Francisco Meza.

OK, Let's review that:

Olivares claims that Garros has 100 years experience? How's that? Does it consist of 10 employees with 10 years experience in the import/export industry?  How many years, if any, do they have in managing a cold-storage center at an international bridge?

Olivares claims that they have very strong financial backing.  Well, if the city is going to let them manage a multi-million dollar facility that was paid for with tax-payer money, then- yes, that's very good financial backing.

Olivares claims that the plan presented by them was very professionally done and basically within line with the industry.  This means nothing at all. It's only Olivare's opinion of  "professionally done". The same goes with "It was within line with the industry"; that means nothing either.

The scoring committee was made up of Olivares, and three other city department directors. What do they all have in common, the only one who can fire them is the city manager. What are the chances that any of them will actually recommend anything other than what the city manager wants?

The city council should table this item and send it back to the drawing board. This is a blatant mis-use of taxpayer money for the purposes of rewarding a privileged few.


  1. The brokers association opposition to this is right on the money. Forget the shady deal that has been brewing for years between UniTrade and city officials, now knowing SR Forwarding is involved should raise enormous concern in the industry as this man is notorious for poaching clients offering fees well below market standards with his sales pitch being nothing more than trashing fellow brokers. Guess that works if you're being subsidized with cronyism courtesy of of exemplary local officials. If that doesn't scream shady business practices, I don't what does.

  2. Wow you seem to know a lot on the subject. Who Would you recommend? And so what if the man makes a good living. Losers like you always try to beat people down for what they earn. How much should he make? What's a number you can work with? You bloggers are so into negativity. If your saying the man is not qualified then prove it. Innuendo and sarcasm don't fly here bro.

  3. The real question should be what is the process for this facility. Are they "only" going to house product that is flagged for inspection by USDA? If that is the case, why even have a private company run the facility? Why not use the same process that is used at the non-frozen product unloading area? Utilize CBP approved stevedores to unload and reload the trucks. No profit is made, and no un-neccesary charges a applied to the inspection.

    The problem, as best as I can tell from the paper is that the city wants to lease the facility. USDA (really US GAO) does not want to lease it, so the city sets up a deal with a private operator.

    The problem here is "sweetheart" dealing, or at least the impression of special favors enters into the problem.

    The city should have built and donated the facility to CBP and USDA for operation. The money that the city makes on bridge operations could pay the $2 million easily. And with the increased usage of the bridge, more revenue will come through Laredo.

  4. The truth comes out - apparently you don't think he's qualified since you brought it up. All I did was point out what it's costing tax payers. I usually do that with overpaid city county employees. IT's for the taxpayers to know exactly who's on their payroll. So it does fly bro, it does fly.


  5. Why dont you Cross reference the awardees with how many times the participants are highlighted in the UISD newsletters (go back a year or two) for their "donations" to the migrant program.....

  6. Chuy Olivares belongs in federal prison.

  7. Well, well, the hits just keep on coming....The group who landed the deal is associated with Eduardo Garza, a Mexican broker who flies the city council back and fourth to Central America.

    The idea that there will be a "non-competition" clause preventing the operators from seeking business from those whose frieght they unload is out the window. Eduardo will not be a signatory to that and hence, can steal all the business he wants. He himself wants in the cold storage business, which the city is building for him at the airport. Go figure.

  8. sounds like that old saying "Le das ride y quiere manejar". I give credit to Rangel for making a motion to table the whole deal but it only got 3 votes. So, is the boycott still on? Or will the broker association work with Garros after all?