Benton comments on the state of the city

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following commentary is from local citizen and apparent candidate for mayor Kenneth Benton, come the next election in 2016.
Some of you remember old Jim Springfield, who was elected to princely heights as the CEO of our former community hospital. His way or the highway, everyone was too afraid to speak up until it was too late.
Lesson learned? Harlingen. Now we have Prince Goober “El Rotund One” Chris Boswell leading for the charge to destroy freedom and fun, first by giving free reign to oppress to the Police Department, and now by taking away your rights to make an ADULT decision of whether or not to smoke (I confess, my 14 year old grandson threw away my last pack away …. so)
Thankfully, with (former Police Chief) Whitten gone, the police aren’t harassing everyone,even though the streets are mostly still empty at night.
Boswell has been chastened by the negative response to the Bass Prto give away and his handling of the “Boswell” Tower.
Hey Chris, I know you hate me, but I can help you fix that one. R.K. doesn’tknow everything. In fact, I submit he doesn’t know anything. Hey the attached article should make us think. But Obama isn’t Harlingen’s problem. Chris Boswell and the Old Guard are.

(With this message is an attachment What_I_am_about_to_tell_you_is_somehing_you_dont_know. Or Google Kitty Werthmann and you will see the article and videos.

46 comments for “Benton comments on the state of the city

  1. Kenneth J. Benton
    July 1, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    there are those who tell me planning – thinking about the future and trying to marshal resources, public and or private – is wrong.

    I think not.

  2. Joe Rubio 956-536-6515
    July 1, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Ken is the next mayoral election in 2015 or 2016? Have you asked for the blessing of the “Establishment?” Have you paid your property taxes so as this issue cannot be used against you? Remember that one of the Texas Secretary of State attorneys overseeing elections issued an opinion that you don’t have to be current with your taxes in order to run. I would wait for a challenge on the tax issue because you need to draw out the opposing players and see who they paid or volunteered to file a formal complaint. But watch out for the “Affidavit” as perjury is a felony. Best of LUCK! You will need it!

  3. jjr
    July 1, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    The BP deal was a mistake to begin with. Doling out that much money to an already rich retail business is just plain ol’ welfare for the rich and it does not take much to see this. I take Rubio’s word when he states that it now will end up costing taxpayers 52 million. What a shame and a sham,only in harlinJOKE folks,only in.

    The BT deal screams favoritism and how bad the corruption is in this town. This deal makes it painfully obvious.

    The whole city government needs a makeover period.

  4. jjr
    July 1, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    “But Obama isn’t Harlingen’s problem.”

    You’re right,the POS is the Nation’s problem.

    D.C. fast-food diners completely ignore Obama

  5. The Real Dennis
    July 2, 2014 at 7:37 am

    I see that that Powers to Be gave a San Benitan an FOB and with money out of taxpayers coffers to the tune of 170,000.00 plus. Pat Kornegay is riding that high horse right now since his buddy, former San Benito resident Mayor Chris Boswell got him into the airport. The Powers to Be hope that this new FOB will force out Gulf Aviation who is owned by a Hispanic and whose pockets have been lined for over 30 years. I guess the Powers to Be just got tired of it and hope their new selective buddy will get the majority of the business. I am sure that the Powers to Be will make every effort to get that Federal money to their new boy. I just wonder who are the other partners in this new FOB?

    • jjr
      July 2, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      I had read this last night and was wondering how are two FOBs gonna’ operate when their is just barely enough business for one?

      Was there not a study done that concluded that there is indeed not enough commerce for two to operate?
      Jerry Decl comments. That was my argument when this first came up more than a year ago, plus the connection between Mayor Boswell and the owner of the new facility. Check that one out.

    • VIA Custodian
      July 6, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      I here that our Boss will retire soon. Mr. Browning’s days are limited because he no show progress at our airport. Mr. Browning have no respect for employees especially females. Big Macho Man Browning harassed plenty of females and Rick Ledesma protect him. It is time that we clean up airport and this custodian was screwed by him.

  6. erlkonig
    July 2, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Aviation education leader Embry Riddle for Valley International airport to help develop aerotropolis and attract Space X and ULA investment. Together with TSTC, the workforce needs of many corporations could be met at the Harlingen airport. Embry Riddle offers associates, bachelors and masters of aviation science, management, logistics, and maintenance to name a few.

    • Kenneth J. Benton
      July 3, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      We are still working on the Harlingen Aerotropolis. The airport board said they loved the idea but not enough to provide seed resources to help fund the rail or other preliminary needs. So I have enlisted the help of some folks to raise the seed $.

      I think that had something to do with the fact that I am involved.

      Hey wanted to share, Rick Morales had a great idea to seek designation of the Arroyo Colorado as a state park. We made an effort today to get the regional planning folks to at least run the idea up a flag pole. Many Boswell supporters like the idea as it would further some long delayed goals they have as well.

      I’ll be nice but can we stop with all of the substandard ugly developments?

  7. Joe Rubio 956-536-6515
    July 2, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Kenneth you state that Boswell hates you. Hate is such a strong word and I don’t think you could prove it. What Boswell does have you for is disdain, simply put is a lack of respect. “No te da la mano porques es puro cabron!”

    All posts are being collected by the opposition;so get ready to defend what you write. I will tell you something, you made an issue of lack of a comprehensive plan that Boswell finally gave it to you. And then what happens, you failed to actively participate in all of the meetings and this shows your lack of respect on the issue that you complained about for years. It ain’t to late Kenneth but you, not I or Boswell, have to reach out to Halff & Associates and participate in the last part of the plan.

    Me,I would have kept the $180,000 spent on the plan and put it towards parks projects. That money buys a lot of benches, bar-b-cue pits, etc. where people spend money and you get a sales tax return. Look at the Splash Park and see the amount of people that are coming from out of town and the locals that are spending their money locally.

    Ken you have a vision but you have to ensure your supporters support your vision. Your platform should be on the good and bad of Harlingen and give the credit to the individuals who have at least tried.

    I don’t like what Boswell did on Blashka Towers but in his defense, as part of the Harlingen 100 Plan, was the desire of the folks attending the multiple meetings asking that something needed to be done with the ugliness of Blashka Towers. He complied with the desires of the group but we, the community of Harlingen, inherited now a big problem where I don’t believe people will support another $3 million give away.

    Kenneth you want to be Mayor? You have to reach out to the community NOW and work on a platform with a few positive objectives that people in this community will accept. I don’t think Boswell will run again so pay the Establishment/Old Guard a visit. You know the players. But always remember when one long time Establishment member told me and I told you, “You really think that we will let a N….. be the Mayor.” And when Humberto Zamora ran for Mayor, another Establishment member said, “I guess we will have to change the menu for our morning Mayoral talks. We will have to start serving “tacos” to the constituents.” And always remember the “watermelon and taco” left at the wheel base of your van when you ran for Mayor. Was that an innocent message? This my friend is the reality of this town! Another Chapter of the H-Files Chronicles as “The Truth is Out There.”

    PS: Go ask the Red Baron and Dan Fernandez for help in your campaign.

    • jjr
      July 2, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      “I don’t like what Boswell did on Blashka Towers but in his defense, as part of the Harlingen 100 Plan, was the desire of the folks attending the multiple meetings asking that something needed to be done with the ugliness of Blashka Towers. He complied with the desires of the group but we, the community of Harlingen, inherited now a big problem where I don’t believe people will support another $3 million give away.”

      So why was Eminent Domain not utilized? The owner was warned and fined but still did not comply and what about all the safety hazards as well. If the structure poses a threat to the community,Eminent Domain should have been an option? Shouldn’t it have?

    • erlkonig
      July 3, 2014 at 8:00 am

      Four words. Hot Air Balloon Festival.

  8. Booker Lee Davis
    July 2, 2014 at 11:45 am

    If Benton is going to run for Mayor, I will vote for him. But he needs to get aggressive and start exposing the people in the commission.

  9. Kenneth J. Benton
    July 3, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    The goal, Joe, is to move the community to a place where all have a right to believe, work hard, and achieve. You and everyone in town knows the score. Yeah I remember the watermelon. Haters gotta hate, I guess. (Personally, I thought it was funny.)

    The purpose for requesting the comp plan was to get our community and economic development priorities straight and help direct budget planning. Much good work and progress was made. It was not 100% and we all know how team Boswell can manipulate. Hell just look at the new multifamily “development” on Hale near the nursing home. What kind of city permits that?

  10. Kenneth J. Benton
    July 3, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Well,I guess all of land, port facility, free trade zone, etc we have to offer in the aerotropolis weren’t enough….or we never made an effort.

  11. Tyrone Smith
    July 5, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Ken, my brother from another mother! I mean that literally! Are you going to raise campaign funds to buy some socks before you start your campaign?

    • Julano
      July 7, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      “Mexico has become a preferred spot for car makers because of low wages, its proximity to the United States and free trade agreements with 45 countries.” This is the quote from your article Mr. Benton. What makes you think Harlingen or any Valley city for that matter has what they need? You complained about wages in the other blog, but now what?

      We don’t have the electricity either. Puro pedo vato!

      • Kenneth J. Benton
        July 8, 2014 at 7:08 pm

        No electricity? Aren’t we building a new 700wm plant? (Did we get any direct benefit from, that?)

        Re-shoring is the term as companies realize cheap labor is offset by logistics and transportation. That and drug cartels y mana.

        Toyota is in San Antonio. And my point is we don’t even try.

      • erlkonig
        July 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm

        Energy supply won’t be an issue in Texas, water will be.

  12. Kenneth J Benton
    July 9, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Julano you asked “What makes you think Harlingen or any Valley city for that matter has what they need?”

    What makes you think it doesn’t?

    si se puede.

  13. julano
    July 10, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    if we had the right mix of workers and the right educational attainment levels, they would have been here. we dont have the density, the Quality of life, etc that these guys want. they want Austin, Queretaro, even SA. power plants take 3 yrs to build. and if you read the stories again, its going to the grid. do i need to spell that out too.? false hope is not good. Mexico will be the place for automotive production. we need to educate the masses. and to answer a question with a question is showing your inability to face reality. we have a long way to go before we get that type of company. rail service? no hay. por favor. so i answered your question. tell me why they would pick the Valley.

    • erlkonig
      July 11, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Density is not an issue. Cameron/Hidalgo County have 1.2 million residents with Harlingen smack dab in the middle. Worker mix and skills can be attained by the right training partners and outlets. San Antonio had no “experience” with auto manufacturing nor did Tennessee or Georgia before. The valley can’t be any less educated than Mexican maquila workers? Can they?

    • Kenneth J. Benton
      July 11, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      I cannot understand why Harlingen’s no growthers keep saying “false hopes”.

      Was it false hopes to build a 2nd FBO?

      So you are saying locals be stupid and all that deserve or can hope is to remain on the old guard’s corrupt plantation, huh?

      Podre de ti.

      • julano
        July 12, 2014 at 2:18 am

        @ Kenneth J. Benton: I can’t understand why YOU can’t answer the question. erlkonig gave his opinion. What’s yours? By false hope, I meant that you say that certain things can be done, when reality is that they won’t. I didn’t call anyone stupid, but you certainly are trying to make others believe I did. Again, what’s with the avoidance of the issue, and the misdirection? You throw stuff out there but it doesn’t stick because you are saying things without looking at the reality. And I don’t know jack about old guard or new guard or plantations. I know I don’t subscribe to any plantation or old guard ideology. I am who I am without the help of anyone but my family and my God. I don’t blame anyone for what I have or what I don’t have. Let’s move on, this conversation just went in too many different directions and I’m bored now.

  14. Joe Rubio 956-536-6515
    July 10, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Well Ken it happened again;my inner demons were unleashed today. My demons keep talking to me even in my sleep. They say, “Joe rest for a while. You can’t fight city hall.” And then I awake in a cold sweat and my nightmare is over. So what happened today?

    Well in what I call a strategic move, I delivered a letter to an “impotent” city official with what I call allegations of misconduct. The letter is actually addressed to Cameron County DA Luis Saenz and a carbon copy to the impotent city official. How will both individuals react is a test of faith on both of them doing their job? “Hey man, I am after “The Man” and the DAWG just left the dentist with a new set of teeth.”

    Funny thing also happened today. Completely out of the blue dark skies, came some information delivered by another individual who cares about this community. It was a “double bang hit” on two individuals and then came another “double gang hit!” The DAWG scratched behind his right ear, rolled around the carpet for a while… relieve the itching pain of wanting to scream; “Are you all that stupid?” Stupid is as Stupid Does!

    • jjr
      July 11, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      The best Harlingen watchdog is at his best yet again.


    • Kenneth J. Benton
      July 11, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      Hope you get a result Joe. As you noted to me recently, they are not listening, pretending not to see or hear.

      Jesus said to pray for them. That and await their down fall.

  15. jjr
    July 11, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Hey Rubio,what is your take on this?

    Local EDC meets budget projections

    “A lot of people are negative about it, but Bass Pro Shops was a quality of life issue, and there was a price tag that we decided to put on it and we are paying for that price tag and we are budgeting for that price tag,” Garza told the board during his pres-entation.”

    • erlkonig
      July 11, 2014 at 2:44 pm

      Directly yes, if you consider shopping and dining variety a good thing. Indirectly, yes. More sales tax revenue through retail and dining for the city to improve quality of life for other things. Eventually it will pay off in the long term, or quicker if retail starts to fall in place without much/more incentives.

    • Kenneth J. Benton
      July 11, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      Is an $ 800,000 short fall meeting budget projections?

      Remember the reserve was created by selling the United Healthcare building for less than its cost.

      According to you know who, the deficit created by the bass pro bonds goes on indefinitely.

      • jjr
        July 12, 2014 at 1:55 am

        That is what I was thinking as well Benton.

        “Bass Pro Shops was a quality of life issue”, how is retail going to improve the “quality of life issue” when no one is making any money wage wise to have a better quality of life in the first place.

        And like you have stated Benton,the purpose of the EDC is to attract industry and manufacturing not retail.

  16. The Real Dennis
    July 11, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    jjr, I read the article and the wording quoted by Garza is what caught my eye. He is quoted as saying, “people are negative about BP and that is was a quality of life issue.” “Quality of life? Don’t think so? I believe along with I would guess the vast majority of the taxpayers of Harlingen that $40 Million plus was just a waste of money for a tourist trap? I hear from fellow taxpayers that they just go there for the sights only and never purchase a thing because its too expensive. They go bowling and only one time because its too expensive. I’ve had lunch there and its too expensive and there are better less expensive restaurants. Then there’s the $3.2 Million in debt service payments related to the development of BP. So, our elected officials along with those who voted on this deal have LIED to us, again! Key words, “debt service payments,” meaning that the EDC is having to dish out millions because BP will and never meet sales tax revenues for the City of Harlingen to see a dollar? I can only imagine and talk a lot as to where $40 Million dollars could have gone to bring up some of the businesses including the “red head place” where tax dollars go on a daily basis to keep supplementing her income. But, this is Harlingen where you have an uneducated city commissioner with a felony conviction over stepping his bounds and demanding board members be thrown off and then wanting to be in all photo ops just so he can look good rubbing elbows with the Mayor. Then you have the short itty-bitty city commissioner who has no “poker face” and gives away the cat when it should have been kept inside. Then again our Mayor, who allows the owner of a construction company and a consultant to sit on the P&Z Board and discuss and vote on the permits for St. Alban’s? I will even throw in that slick city commissioner who does not appear at commission meetings when the vote on an agenda item will turn out with a tie and allow the Mayor to cast the dissenting vote. But this is Harlingen, huh?

    • jjr
      July 12, 2014 at 1:59 am

      I agree with you 100% Dennis,100%.


      Like I say,”only in harlinJOke,only in”.

  17. Kenneth J. Benton
    July 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Question julano.

    with auto plants in S.A. to our north and many within the same distance to our south, could we not provide a base within the Harlingen Aerotropolis for a cluster of suppliers and support businesses?

    UTB offers graduate classes for instance in supply chain management.

    You want to keep Harlingen small and poor for reasons of control. Everyone now know that.

    • jjr
      July 12, 2014 at 2:01 am

      Yep,that is what it is.

      J sounds like another Coconut for the good ol’ boys.

  18. Julano
    July 12, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I just wonder why anyone has to belong to one side or another?
    I don’t know any of the old guard or any of the others, just making observations

    • jjr
      July 12, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Research into who has benefited from what over the years.

      Let’s take a look at some sweetheart deals.

      For instance let’s look at the covered parking over across from the reese. Hell,look at all that “fell into place” for that place in general.

      Take a look at who has gotten what or which contracts over the years as well and TAKE A GOOD LOOK at the circle of those who know each other. It’s one big clique’.

      How does a person with a history of ignoring fines and citations get a sweetheart of a deal like a perfectly good building and property valued up to almost half a million for a trade of a dilapidated,dangerous and falling apart money pit? Can you say favoritism or clique’?

      I am not gong to be long winded but there is plenty to prove that the good ol’ boys have hand their hands into a lot that goes on in this town. Old guard,good ol’ boys, clique’,whatever one wants to call them.

      This crooked ass bunch does exist and may GOD have mercy on their souls. No God should not have mercy on their souls because when people claim they are Christians and do otherwise,they should go straight to Hell.

      • julano
        July 12, 2014 at 10:41 pm

        that has nothing to do with my opinions about Mr. Benton’s idea that Harlingen (by his own admission has no money) can attract a BMW manufacturing facility. Mexican wages are cheaper and that is why all these auto manufacturers continue to grow there.

        I’m not a coconut. Say that to me again and I’ll go barrio on you. LOL.

        I just asked a question to Mr. Benton who is seeking to become mayor of Harlingen. And reviewing the thread here still has me confused as to what his answer was.

        He brought up the subject, so I asked. If Boswell gets on here and brings up a subject and says something that sounds pretty unrealistic, then why not ask him about it too?

        Instead of answering the question with his opinion, he attacks me, and so do you. I may be off, but I have expressed an opinion. That makes me a coconut? Because you think I am attacking your friend? I could care less who is on who’s side, but am interested in a mayor being able to have opinions expressed without attacking those who ask for his opinion. And asking me a question isn’t the answer. I’m not the one running for mayor, or saying I know anything about auto manufacturing. I’m just asking a question.

        • jjr
          July 13, 2014 at 7:26 am

          First off let me apologize for the remark. There are many on here that comment who support this mostly WASP clique’ who have their token Hispanics. There has been comments by these Coconuts in the past and I figured you were one of the ones who comments but continually changes the commenter name. Sorry,my mistake and I did jump the gun on that one.

          In jumping the gun,I pre-judged you and that is my error. You are indeed correct about what you state in asking questions,especially when it comes to a candidate running for mayor.

          • Julano
            July 13, 2014 at 2:40 pm

            Apology accepted.

        • Kenneth J. Benton
          July 13, 2014 at 8:36 pm

          Jerry Deal comments: Is this send a mistake?

        • Kenneth J. Benton
          July 13, 2014 at 8:38 pm


          • julano
            July 14, 2014 at 12:04 am

            How did you answer the question? By asking another question? You aren’t on page one anymore, but I’m still waiting…

  19. Joe Rubio 956-536-6515
    July 13, 2014 at 2:19 am

    When Raudel Garza took over the Harlingen EDC, he inherited the “Bill Martin” methodology of bowing down to the tyrant of Boswell. But I just saw Raudel Garza in action in the last meeting and he made a statement during the last meeting of not hiding the truth of the matter. Boswell was in the same meeting and was probably thinking, “Gloat You Damn Mexican about your lack of stupidity” while all of us were led into Harlingen biggest financial blunder ever. Let’s see thirty-four million for the construction of Bass Pro Shops, six million for the infrastructure, another $2 million for landscape and infrastructure improvements needed for the future which was discussed recently, $400,000 to house all the sinking USS Minnows and beach ATVs which bring NO taxes to Harlingen, $1.8 million budgeted every year on the annual budget as budgeted by Mr. Garza to cover the debt service, a $4 million 380 Agreement to pay for the land;amounts to about $60 million to $72 million, give or take, for the most expensive honky-tonk bar ever built. Boswell & company should literally be executed with a bomb up their asses for such a financial blunder. Why? Because their decision was a bunch of crap that exploded in their faces. Wait a minute, there is more $$$$ to the blunder, a $4 million dollar loan to have operating capital right after the Bass Pro Shops deal and then the sale of the United Health Care building had to be sold at a loss of $1 million from the original $3 million plus invested in this building.

    Is there more crap? Dem boys who approved the deal are still whistling Dixie from the screwing of “Dale Gas” Bob Vackar & company. Brass ball dem boys had. After years of negotiating the land deal and bringing in Bass Pro Shops to Harlingen, dem boys pulled out a few weeks before closing the deal. Now they say, UT Graduate Gabriel Gonzalez, was negotiating the deal with Boswell over seeing the final figures and some want to blame the UT brain dead Gabriel; but Dem boys took all the $7 Bass Pro Shops and started to smile that shit eating grin that indicated victory. “It’s gonna put Harlingen on the map,” said Board member Rick Ledesma. “Yeah I agree Rick, the map of stupidity like all dem Goobers.”

    Oh come on Boys there be more turds out that I can toss towards Goober. Dem pesky lawyers from the good old boy law firm of Rountree & Kithcart had to charge us an enormous amount of money for the land deal and legal contract. You see our city lawyers and EDC lawyer were just to dumb to figure out and write a 300 page plus legal BINDING contract. Not one single City Commissioner or EDC board member read the damn contract. “Aw Goober, I do feel sorry for you cause dis Bass Pro Shops and Boswell Towers deals, make you the King of Goobers.

    And then the land sale is now hidden in the 77/83 Trust where we don’t know the sellers of surrounding properties. There is an article that I found on the web where communities wanting a Bass Pro Shops made the owner of Bass Pro Shops a “billionaire!” “Say Goober, I got me some quicksand land for sale where all the Goobers from Bass Pro Shops can stop in and take a swim. I also got for sale a long piece of rope that I can throw to you all for a measly million dollars.”

    PS: The Fat Man AKA the DAWG is singing as he ventures into new territory with his a new chapter: How to convince the public that we need a new causeway to SPI and profit from it. Goober be a smart dog on this one, the conflict of form on file filed at City Hall reads: “May or May Not have a conflict of Interest on the Holly Beach Area where my family has lots of acres for sale.” “Yolanda…..where dem Boys be at, wearing those funky black suits you claim are visiting us from outer space?”

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