Former Commissioner Leftwich’s open letter to Mayor Boswell & Commissioner Uhlhorn

A recent (Mayor Chris) Boswell campaign ad declaring that he listened to citizens and has kept property taxes low, comparing Harlingen’s tax rate to much smaller cities like Combes, Santa Rosa, Rio Hondo and dozens of other tiny towns in the Cameron County area is disingenious and misleading to voters.
The general fund is presently funded through property and sales taxes. An honest comparison would have been against similar cities in size, property values and retail sales. Harlingen, Brownsville and McAllen all annually have over a billion dollars in retail sales, yet Harlingen has the highest property tax rate.
When Boswell first took office as a commissioner, the city’s tax rate was around 49 cents per hundred, now it’s much higher at 59 cents. Also, the city’s debt was only a few million dollars, now it’s 10’s of millions of dollars and the interest payment alone for taxpayers is hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
Over the last decade or so under Boswell, water and sewer rates, property tax rates and public debt have grown faster than at any other time in the history of Harlingen.
Since the building boom of the school district, and its heavy-handed taxation, we have heard little about building activities in Harlingen. The fact is, besides forced annexation increasing the prooerty tax base, Harlingen building activities are at the bottom of the list when compared to other similar sized cities in the Valley. No doubt a result of over a decade of steady increases in fees and taxes affecting the Harlingen economy.
Then we read about the Baxter building and the money losing lopsided property trade our city leaders dealt taxpayers. Using job-creating economic development corporation money on horsetrading a $700,000 plus commercial property for a $100,000 delapidated zombie money pit. And now, it is uncovered that instead of the money helping to bring in jobs to help reduce the community’s need for subsidized housing, they are wasting jobs money on subsidized housing.
With Tudor(Uhlhorn) as commissioner, interestingly, there is a new produce freezer paid for by Harlingen taxpayers in Los Indios, where he owns warehouses, but no playground equipment at the Bonham Park, or speed bumps for Bonham school to protect school children from speeders, which is in his own district.
If you like a garage sale economy from illogical and wasteful government spending and backroom insider dealings, then continue to vote for the status quo, but if you don’t it’s time for changes.
Former City Commissioner Robert Leftwich

12 comments for “Former Commissioner Leftwich’s open letter to Mayor Boswell & Commissioner Uhlhorn

  1. Robert
    April 28, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    The ad actually says 9 “major” towns in Cameron county. Really? Are these stealth towns in tunnels dug by cartel hostages? The focus should be to trim government waste and become more efficient for an affordable community for residents and to lure outside investments. Not a clue in Harlingen, as usual.

  2. Red Barchetta
    April 28, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    Oh Lord! Here we go with a former, disgruntled commissioner making shit up to suit his wacko narrative. So glad this guy and others like him are no longer wreaking havoc at city hall.

    • Robert
      April 29, 2016 at 6:30 am

      Boswell is the one that has trashed city hall and its coffers. Red, you must have a hand in taxpayer’s pockets as well to endorse his plundering. Disgruntled? Won 4 elections and never lost, why be?

    • IA
      April 29, 2016 at 6:33 am

      Prove him wrong then Red Barchetta. I don’t think he would just make it up based on what he has presented before. I would call the Baxter swap wrecking havoc at city hall now wouldn’t you? It sure brought havoc to the lives of the residents and property owners downtown. So you are glad that you and others like you at city hall cause such distress on Harlingen citizens? Oh Lord, I sure hope not.

    • jjr
      April 30, 2016 at 6:03 am

      OH RB! I wonder who you are? Which city government control freak are you? Which sociopathic fool without reasoning could you be that employs the power of influence only to use it to fill the pocketbooks of the special interest you are a part of?

      Fool? No,I take it back. I should say snake. And your reasoning is right out of the satanic bible because your clique’ of vipers is all about selfishness,narcissism,crookedness,arrogance,lies,lies and more lies.

      And you invoke the Lord’s name RB? You people show us over and over again that you indeed have no soul.

      And as for you Dan F. You want to talk about reasoning?

      Remember Dan F,you don’t necessarily have to commit the Sin,you just have to support it. Realize what you are cheerleading for everytime you support all that is wrong in this town. Or are you one of those lost souls who worship this clique’ of vipers?

  3. Kenneth J.Benton
    April 28, 2016 at 5:18 pm
  4. IA
    April 28, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    I still can not believe how some property owners would vote for higher property taxes. I also still can not believe how the Baxter building swap was approved. We now hear that special interest are routing tax payer money for unfounded projects. When will it end?

  5. jjr
    April 28, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    Former Commissioner Leftwich’s open letter to Mayor Boswell & Commissioner Uhlhorn
    April 28, 2016

    A recent (Mayor Chris) Boswell campaign ad declaring that he listened to citizens and has kept property taxes low, comparing Harlingen’s tax rate to much smaller cities like Combes, Santa Rosa, Rio Hondo and dozens of other tiny towns in the Cameron County area is disingenious and misleading to voters.

    The general fund is presently funded through property and sales taxes. An honest comparison would have been against similar cities in size, property values and retail sales. Harlingen, Brownsville and McAllen all annually have over a billion dollars in retail sales, yet Harlingen has the highest property tax rate.

    When Boswell first took office as a commissioner, the city’s tax rate was around 49 cents per hundred, now it’s much higher at 59 cents. Also, the city’s debt was only a few million dollars, now it’s 10’s of millions of dollars and the interest payment alone for taxpayers is hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

    Over the last decade or so under Boswell, water and sewer rates, property tax rates and public debt have grown faster than at any other time in the history of Harlingen.

    Since the building boom of the school district, and its heavy-handed taxation, we have heard little about building activities in Harlingen. The fact is, besides forced annexation increasing the prooerty tax base, Harlingen building activities are at the bottom of the list when compared to other similar sized cities in the Valley. No doubt a result of over a decade of steady increases in fees and taxes affecting the Harlingen economy.

    Then we read about the Baxter building and the money losing lopsided property trade our city leaders dealt taxpayers. Using job-creating economic development corporation money on horsetrading a $700,000 plus commercial property for a $100,000 delapidated zombie money pit.

    And now, it is uncovered that instead of the money helping to bring in jobs to help reduce the community’s need for subsidized housing, they are wasting jobs money on subsidized housing.

    With Tudor(Uhlhorn) as commissioner, interestingly, there is a new produce freezer paid for by Harlingen taxpayers in Los Indios, where he owns warehouses, but no playground equipment at the Bonham Park, or speed bumps for Bonham school to protect school children from speeders, which is in his own district.

    If you like a garage sale economy from illogical and wasteful government spending and backroom insider dealings, then continue to vote for the status quo, but if you don’t it’s time for changes.

    Former City Commissioner Robert Leftwich

    • jjr
      April 28, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      The crooked ass swap should have gotten the taxpayers riled up but tying into your zombie money pit statement,the citizens who don’t vote are zombies.

      How long have they had to bring in significant change for the better? They have had plenty of time and still we see the same.

      How in the HELL are they able to keep pulling off such crooked ass shit over and over? How is a produce freezer going to help the taxpayer? With all the money that the school district has bled out of the property owners shouldn’t it be able to have these things implemented at all schools?

      With all that is wrong which continues to be wrong done in this town over and over again,when will people get fired up enough to finally demand justice?

      • Angry Man
        May 3, 2016 at 1:54 pm

        Harlingen reminds of the movie, the living dead. dirty streets, grassy lots, 4 cars parked in one home, where is code enforcement anyway, sleeping on the job. citrus terrace addition, is one ugly residential area. A car wash with lose sheet metal roofing, yuk, where is the damn commissioner responsible for this area, unlhorm or something like that.

  6. Marlene McCoy
    April 29, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    I no longer live in Harlingen but greatly admire Robert Leftwich for attempting to keep everyone “Honest”. He and Joey Trevino were great commissioners. I find it hard to believe that Chris Boswell is still mayor.Robert is not a disgruntled former commissioner,he knows his business! Not many cities are fortunate enough to have citizens that stay, over many years, involved in their local politics. Harlingen, consider yourself lucky.

  7. BigChingona
    May 11, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Those Ulhorns are money grabbers. Have you all ever looked at how much they get from Federal Govt for “farming”? its millions of dollars. No wonder they drive big trucks. Not impressed. We could all be driving big trucks if we got a welfare check too.

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