Sunday, September 6, 2015
Update : Also, I just wanted to point out the Texas law that states that any proceeds from the sale of public property must be used for similar purpose. As a matter of fact, City of Laredo assistant attorney Ms. Hale read the following law aloud to the city council, verbatim during their September 11, 2013 special-called meeting. Texas local government code Chapter 253.D states as follows: The proceeds of the sale may be used only to acquire and improve property for the purposes for which the sold property was used.
A couple of years ago, the City of Laredo sold the Laredo Civic center to the Laredo Independent School District. The sale was for a figure of approximately $15 million. By state law, those funds had to be used for for a specific purpose. The proceeds had to go for essentially replacing the sold facilities. Anything the city did with the money had to be for the purpose of "community". That could be for building a place where the community could congregate and hold a wide range of activities.
The immediate promise coming from the city council was that the money was going to be used to build a convention center near the new outlet mall. Another idea was to build a sports complex which the entire community could use.
Fast forward a couple of years: The proposed TAMIU sports complex is being funded by a bond which the taxpayers voted to approve (this includes the natatorium). The idea of building a convention center near downtown was apparently completely dropped.
So, I ask once again: What ever happened to the millions of dollars that the City of Laredo received from the sale of the Civic Center?
Many Laredoans had a big problem with then-city manager Carlos Villarreal making $242,000 a year. After eight years on the job, he was able to get the city council to award him that kind of a very generous salary. That was nothing compared to the current city manager Jesus Olivares who came into office and immediately got what Carlos Villarreal took eight long years to reach- $242,000 a year.
Now, if that doesn't make you Laredo Proud, I don''t know what will. Incidentally, the city manager has already started dropping hints that our property taxes might need to raised again next year in order to continue paying for this type of reckless spending.