Special to the PRESS
To whom it may concern:
Regarding the resignation of Bill DiLibero and hiring a new city manager, it seems the city of SPI has a person (if she is interested in applying) in their midst highly qualified to be the city manager so I am perplexed that money for an outside search by an executive search firm to attract quality candidates with proven leadership experience is even being discussed…I am a relative newcomer to the area but have seen several SPI city managers come and go in the few short years of living down here and it is costly…I do not know what the city is looking for but Darla Jones was born and raised in the valley and is sensitive to the needs and wants of the people who live here. She understands the philosophy and culture of the area and has a vested interest in the people as well as the area. She is highly qualified, intelligent, works well with others, can delegate authority, a hard worker and is someone we can trust to get the job done as is attested by her recent projects that were under her leadership. What more do we need in a candidate?. It seems like a lot of money would be spent for perhaps an unrealistic, unattainable “rock star” candidate as Dennis Stahl talks about in the Press article. I do understand that the job must be advertised but not sure an “executive search firm” needs to be hired to find a “rock star” candidate who will stay another two years and drain much needed money from other island projects with costly severance pay. A further search sounds like a waste of money and time.
My humble opinion,
Victoria A. Scharen
Ongoing refuge fragmentation continues unabated
LANWR (Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge) and its ocelot corridor is undergoing fragmentation due to pressures from heavy industry to the south on the Brownsville Ship Channel (BSC) and South Padre Island (SPI) real estate investors to the north.
Fragmentation can be illustrated if we think of LANWR as a loaf of your favorite banana nut bread. As private interests move into our area of Port Isabel/Laguna Vista/SPI for reasons of progress, the refuge area of the loaf is sliced off a piece at a time, or from one end or the other, or sliced down the middle for economic “advancement”. Thus, instead of a continuous or contiguous LANWR, we have smaller separated tracks/slices of refuge with more edge. The increased edge/exposure will cause the banana bread loss of moistness and through crumbling will become unpalatable to all but the most desperately hungry.
The ocelot corridor to the south of LANWR is threatened by Annova LNG. This prior environmental lease to the US Fish & Wildlife Service by the Brownsville Navigation District (BND) was denied and leased instead to Annova. The few feet offset of the Annova to accommodate anaccess to a wildlife-crossing culvert under state Highway 48 is far from sufficient. Other proposed LNG export terminals (Texas LNG, Rio Grande LNG) across the BSC will also contribute to a noncontiguous ocelot corridor.
To the north, the ocelot corridor to LANWR will be severed due to a proposed toll road/bridge to access the island for more real estate development of SPI.
So, LANWR a national refuge and one of the largest contiguous refuge areas in the U.S. is being diminished in its effectiveness and mission, and the ocelots have been doomed to extinction by “private interest” economic advancement. Will big money interests wreck our refuges and our natural resources through fragmentation – a slice at a time?
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