PANDEMONIUM: Two commissioners voted out of office in raucous meeting

 

But I pay my taxes.

-Former Commissioner Juan Jose “J.J.” Zamora

 

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The seats of Commissioners Juan Jose “J.J.” Zamora and Martin C. Cantu remain empty after they were voted out of office by the Port Isabel City Commission. (Staff Photo by Estevan Medrano).

April 16, 2015

 

To listen to audio excerpts from the meeting, click here.

By ESTEVAN MEDRANO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
press@portisabelsouthpadre.com

The political fate of three Port Isabel commissioners was decided Monday evening at a special meeting of the City Commission. On the agenda were separate items to remove Commissioners Juan Jose “JJ” Zamora, Martin C. Cantu and Guillermo “Memo” Torres.

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Port Isabel City Commissioner Guillermo “Memo” Torres weathered an attempt to unseat him from office during a special meeting of the Port Isabel City Commission. (Staff photo by Estevan Medrano).

The room was filled beyond capacity with concerned citizens, public officials and the Cameron County district attorney. “I’m not going to entertain questions from the audience once we go into the agenda,” said Mayor Joe E. Vega to the more than 100 attendees. “I’m not going to turn this meeting into a three-ring circus like we have done with past commissioners. … We ask that you be respectful and if you cannot abide by that I’m going to kindly ask one of the officers to please escort you out. We need to have respect in this commission and I ask that you respect that,” he said.

The introductory open forum included the opinion of Martin Cantu, Jr. of the Laguna Madre Water District Board, who asked why a background check wasn’t conducted by the city staff. He addressed Commissioner Torres directly about the sale of a piece of property to the City for an inflated price, as well as his debt of approximately $25,000 in unpaid property taxes. “Mr. Torres, is this really how you want to be remembered — as someone who didn’t resign because he had too much pride? You’re supposed to look out for the people of this city, not for the best interests for yourself,” Cantu, Jr. said.

Below are two excerpts from Monday night’s special meeting.

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