Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Seedy council : Let's see how I can make this better....for me!

The Laredo Morning Times continued to report on Monday's fun-filled seedy council meeting.  Specifically, on the ethics ordinance which was passed (first reading) and which is scheduled to be become effective upon publication after the third reading September 4th.

The LMT's article coinfirms how councilman Mike Garza took a scalpel to the proposed document and made it better-for himself and his fellow council members.

In the following excerpt is detailed how Garza succeeds in: 1) increasing the $$ value of gifts he can receive and 2) expands the possibility of free admission to local events.

From The Laredo Morning Times

The proposed code, which passed on first reading, covers conduct for current elected officials and employees; contractors; and former city officials and employees.

Officials and employees are prohibited from asking for or receiving gifts from persons with city business with certain exceptions.

Those exceptions included gifts with a nominal value up to $125 in the proposed ordinance.

Among the amendments council members agreed to Monday, the limit on nominal value of gifts was raised to $250, a number that appeared in earlier drafts of the ordinance.

Councilman Mike Garza said during discussions of the ordinance that he suggested the change to align the language with state law.

Officials and employees would be restricted to receiving no more than $500 in gifts in a calendar year from one source.

Council modified another exception to gift restrictions, which allowed for admission to community events at Laredo Energy Arena, expanding the exception to all city-owned facilities if the offer is unsolicited.

No tienen verguenza!


  1. Why is there a need for gifts?

  2. There is no need, but there is greed.


  3. There is a need for a "gift" clause. Say a city council person has been invited to attend a local function, say a breakfast held by any one of the many local groups in Laredo. The act of buying that council person breakfast is a gift.

    Where the gift receiving bothers me, is that gifts are allowed to be given by those that have personal or individual company business before the city. There is absolutely no reason that an elected, or paid city employee should be allowed to accept a gift, even it only involves a $5.00 breakfast, and have it paid for by someone else, who has direct business with the city, as a individual, or individual company. NONE.

    For that you are right in keeping this out in the open Max.

  4. So the council folk can get free tickets to "community events" at the arena? Does that also mean concerts and sports games?

  5. Actually the city has a suite at the ballpark and the arena...they are used sparingly. I for one wish they would use them by allowing well performing city employees to use the tickets.

  6. Thanks for the comments Tom Wade, I agree with you on the "no need for gifts" when it involves companies that have interests (contracts) with the city of laredo.


  7. Vote them out and bring in who? Aren't all politicians corrupt? That's the sense you get from these pointless blogs. All current politicos are corrupt hence future ones will be too. We should just let God Almighty run our business according to another reply from the author of this blog. To say vote them out shuts down all meaningful thought to a solution. But then again that's the easy way out. So I declare...Vote them out.. I love following the mindless crowd.

  8. I find it interesting how Seedy Council Member Mike Garza asks questions to make someone else lead to the answer he had in mind all along. For example, regarding the $125 maximum proposed gift amount (which may cramp his style - Rolex watches cost much more than that - don't believe me, ask Eddie!) set by the ad hoc ethics commission. Garza asked what limit was set by the San Antonio code? any guesses? yup, $250. Then he asked about the Texas statutory limits. Yup, again $250. and with his silver tongue hard at work.... abra-cadabra he proposed $250! As self-serving as the seedy council is, it was approved. bada-bing bada-boom!