Saturday, May 7, 2016

City embarks on "New" Master Planning without ever revealing "Old", $400,000 Master Plan

Laredo (LT) - The Laredo Morning Times, also known to some as El Empty, is reporting this morning that the City of Laredo is embarking on a brand new "Master Plan", uninspiringly entitled "Viva Laredo".  I wonder how much thought went into that branding process.

Disturbingly, there seems to be a full-court press on the taxpayers to dredge up all sorts of initiatives from the same old names in the private architectural and engineering sector in town.  Just a couple of months ago, we found out of the 4 plazas plan. Now, If you look at the names of those involved, it might seem like a "who's who" of recent contract awardees. Yes, some even donated to the city's recent trip to Washington DC as our friends at Our Laredo have been diligently reporting.

Even more disturbing is the fact that the citizens who paid for the last fiasco entitled the Downtown Revitilization Master Plan never got to see the end product of what their tax dollars were seemingly wasted on.

Are we about to go down the same path?  It's very possible. Remember that, last time around, the big bucks went to a San Antonio firm by the name of Kell-Munoz. This time around, although some non-Laredo firms have been "invited", the major forces behind this effort are clearly local architects and engineers. Maybe they figured it's their turn for a bite at the proverbial apple.

What I would suggest is this: Let's take a look at the last "Master Plan" before any further talk of this brand spanking new "Viva Laredo" initiative. Is there  any overlap? Can anything be salvaged from our previous squandering of tax payer dollars?

For the record, Mayor Pete Saenz did ask for a full report to the public on the Kell-Munoz plan from the city manager. Nonetheless, the Mayor's instructions were somehow completely ignored and here we stand again, on the brink of perhaps another round of corporate welfare without ever getting to see the results of the last one.



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