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Bond elections rules discussed Brownsville City Commission hears presentation, but no action is taken

Brownsville Deputy City Manager Pete Gonzalez reads the schedule of events that must be followed if a bond election takes place this year. Gonzalez made the presentation during Tuesday’s first city commission meeting of 2016. MARIO GONZALEZ/THE RIDER

City of Brownsville officials have explained the schedule of events that must be followed should the commission decide to conduct a bond election for either May or November of this year.

“This is just a presentation,” Deputy City Manager Pete Gonzalez said during Tuesday’s city commission meeting. “We’re not asking for any action to be taken, but so we can have an idea in case we want to move forward.”

Bond elections can be held twice each year to raise money for construction and other vital projects. At these elections, taxpayers are asked to approve obligations that can last for years, according to texastransparency.org.

Cesar De Leon, city commissioner at-large “A,” said that not many people vote in May, but more people vote during the November election.

Gonzalez said there might not be enough time to prepare for a bond election in May.

If the commission decides to hold a bond election, it must submit the order at least 78 days prior to the election. Following that, the city must publish a notice in the newspaper and in three other public places in the city 21 days prior to the election.

Election days are May 7 and Nov. 8.

In other business, the city commission:

–approved a second update to the Cross Border Contingency Plan originally signed in 1997 to add the City of Harlingen and Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

The plan states that in case of a disaster of serious proportions, these cities will share resources and manpower essential to the safety, care and welfare of all people, property and environment within the two affected federal boundaries.

A signing ceremony will be held at a later time.

–approved a written mutual aid agreement between the Brownsville Police Department and the Brownsville Independent School District.

After the meeting, Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez was asked what aid the department provides.

“Anything that they don’t have,” Rodriguez replied.“For example, they handle their own investigative issues, but they don’t have a tactical team. They don’t have a bomb squad. They don’t have a major investigative team that we do.”

Rodriguez told the city commission that Police Department already assists BISD with these issues, but would simply like it in writing.

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