Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Notes from Presidio International Port Authority meeting 12/08/2015, 4PM, Presidio, TX

Presidio International Port Authority meeting, 12/8/2015 4:00 PM, Presidio

Guevara, Ferguson, Tavares, Hernandez, Callum, Escontrias, White and H. Cowan.

Judge Guevara speaks about S&B Engineers. Had contract with them to design and engineer the bridge. Since PIPA is going with TXDOT they are no longer going to be used. Send two more bills for $270,000 and $79,000. Not yet paid. Claim contract was for $2.4 million, contract does not state an amount, someone from S&B said it was for 1.7 million. They have not reached $1.7 million yet. Daniel Rios from S&B says 2.4 million. Judge says she would like to submit the two bills to TXDOT and have them paid. Jake Giesbrecht says that he agrees with the $1.7 million dollar figure. 
More discussion. Hernandez asks of this should be an item for commissioners court. Some discussion on this. 
Jim White says there is no decision to be made... Hold up on paying these bills is that the $2.4 million is listed on the bills as the contract amount. TXDOT is not comfortable with this. Judge will clarify the $1.7 million figure with TXDOT and have them pay the bills, thus closing out S&B

Item 6- appointing new members to board- discussion with appropriate action. 
Judge asks Jake for recommendations. Some names batted about. 
Mayor Ferguson asks how many new members there should be. Some say two, and others say the is not a set number.
Isela Nunez and Franz Felharbor nominated by Mayor. Present.
Obed Escontrarias says he is interested. 

Judge moves to adjourn into executive session at 4:25.

Reconvene at 4:31

Motion made by Mayor to add Isela and Franz. Motion carries.

Item 7- elect officers. 
White says that he has though about this and has a plate of names and positions ready.
Motions to make Lorenzo Hernandez as Chair, Isela Nunez as Vice Chair, Judge Guevara as Secretary, Mayor Ferguson as treasurer. 
Tavares weighs in in agreement. Seconds. 
Judge Guevara does not agree. 
Agrees with Lorenzo to be chair, wants to nominate herself as vice-chair.
Hernandez points our to her that being part of the group is more than enough to participate in a substantial way.
Judge asks if someone else would like to be Secretary. 
White says this is a starting point, we have to start somewhere and starting with imperfect but balanced is a good way to go. 
Motion and second on the table. White calls for a vote.
Questions as to whether voting should be on a slate or on individuals for each position. 
Vote counting, six votes yes, motion carries. 
White reiterates that everyone needs to work as a team. 

Item 8- executive director. Talk about Jake...
Questions as to how to pay Jake... Jake is most qualified; general agreement on that.
Hernandez says agenda says just hire, not decide pay, etc.
Discussion as to whether you should hire someone without paying them. Maybe decide how much to pay first and then try to decide who to hire.
Discussion regarding what agenda means...
White asks for clarification as to why this even makes a difference. 
Jake weighs in and says that since this is just the beginning he is not willing to discuss numbers until this really gets started...
Will work for peanuts until things are clarified as far as what and where this goes.
Says there will be a lot of new CBI funding available and this is the way to get access to this. Formation of the structure is key and needs to happen now. 
Jake says he is willing to work or now and figure out the numbers at a later date based on what is achieved.
Escontrias wants to table this whole item.
Talk of appointing Jake as a spokesman until he can be hired and paid. Hernandez wants to hire him and make it all happen later...
Judge wants to know about the 559 and how many days do we have to execute it. Ten days for this to be finished. 
Questions as to what the board will show on the 559 numbers-wise. 
Judge says that she would like to have Jake work on the 559 and figure out what to pay him next meeting.
Mayor moves to hire Jake for one dollar and renegotiate fee as soon as able. Second by White. Vote- motion carries. 
Jake says he needs everyone's help on the 559 application. 
Application will take one year to get authorized, does not have to be perfect but things are in place for success.
Jake says this a new era for port partnerships. Shift by the Feds towards local control since it works better. Board needs to dedicate itself to spending good time and efforts on this.
Monday there will be a number of officials here from Mexico to discuss bridge. Jake says Henry Cuellar and Will Hurd are working on this together and they are united in support.
Discussion on hours of port commercial inspections. Difficult issues concerning Mexican hours and US CBI hours. Santa Teresa NM has Foxconn corporation paying for extra hours of port operation.
White says we are going to have to fight hard for extended hours, cooperation and not give in to resistance. 
CBP focuses more on the people side of things when judging hours, load etc than commercial side. Focus need to be on commercial side, where the money is. 

Brad Newton announces that from 1-5 public hearing on Monday at PAC. Public meeting and encourages everyone to be here for that.

Adjourn at 5:00 PM.

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