Thursday, July 2, 2009

Statement From Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz Regarding the Ingleside Local Redevelopment Authority that addresses the closure of Naval Station Inglesid

Contact: Jose Borjon, 202-225-7742 or (202) 579-2403

Today, Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz released the following statement regarding the Ingleside Local Redevelopment Authority that addresses the closure of Naval Station Ingleside:

In my efforts to continue to provide jobs for my district, especially the area impacted by the closure of Naval Air Station Ingleside, I commend the hard and successful work of the Planning LRA, which was formed just a little over two years ago. At the request of the Ingleside Local Redevelopment Authority, I have taken the initiative to secure $3 million for the economic revitalization of my district.

My committee, the Armed Services Committee, has started the process for this funding and has authorized it in the 2010 Defense Authorization bill. This bill still has a long way to go to clear the Senate and numerous conference committee meetings and then pass both bodies of Congress and ultimately be signed into law by the President.

After its formation, the Ingleside LRA moved in and immediately started producing positive results. As a matter of fact, the hard work of the LRA has now put the community where they are ready for the next step, which is to form an Implementation LRA. When formed and approved by the Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), the Implementation LRA will receive and administer any monies to help revitalize our area’s negative impact due to the base closure.

In moving the LRA agenda forward, I have deep concerns about the recent nomination of Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal to the Implementation LRA.

Loyd Neal has continuously opposed the Ingleside LRA, from its formation, to its implementation, to its current make up. Loyd Neal had two chances to serve on the LRA, both times he declined, even considering it, “hypocritical for me to serve on this,” according to a August 9, 2007, article published in The Caller-Times. According to a June 20, 2009, article published in The Caller-Times, Neal said that at that time he was “opposed to the representation on the authority” because of politics.


My question to Neal: Which is it?

Furthermore, Loyd Neal has served as an obstructionist to collaborative efforts like the LRA.

As part of the Coastal Bend Redevelopment Planning Committee, which was ultimately dissolved because of its serious and substantial political in-fighting, Loyd Neal’s defiance resulted in the Committee’s application being rejected by the Department of Defense and the loss of millions of dollars to the Coastal Bend, according to an article published on Feb. 13, 2007, in The Caller-Times.

The Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment has not approved the Coastal Bend Redevelopment Planning Committee, formed in January 2006. Disagreement among neighboring jurisdictions about who should sit on the nine member committee has made it one of the last of about 120 communities nationwide to be recognized, said Richard Tenga, a Defense Department Project manager,” according to the article published on Feb. 13, 2007, in The Caller-Times.

This isn’t about any one family member serving on this board, this is about moving the Coastal Bend area forward and creating jobs and economic prosperity for all by appointing progressive-minded people to serve this community we all love and care for.

Other communities have received millions in funding from the federal government, and we are still dealing with local political in-fighting. My work in Congress is serious and I must do all I possibly can to represent my constituents.


On Feb. 13, 2007, The Caller Times reported: “Councilman Willie Vaden strongly opposed Nueces County’s requests to lead the committee. ‘What you see here is a movement by Nueces County to take over,’ he said.”

In that same article, Neal put out a memo to Nueces County Commissioners, and The Caller-Times reported: “He said he asked San Patricio County Judge Terry Simpson, who chairs the redevelopment authority, that Neal serve as the chairman and that a Nueces County Commissioners Court assistant be appointed as the committee’s executive director. They also asked that the committee use Nueces County’s hired attorneys and base operations out of the Nueces County Courthouse.”

Story: Base reuse board not OK’d


On Aug. 9, 2007, The Caller-Times reported: “County Commissioner Betty Jean Longoria moved to name (Nueces County Judge Loyd) Neal and Commissioner Oscar Ortiz as the county’s appointees shortly after Neal said he would not support the development authority because of the way it was written. ‘I can’t serve on that.’ Neal said. ‘I don’t support it. It would be hypocritical for me to serve on this.

‘I don’t agree with the method and I don’t agree with the organization as approved,’ Neal said. ‘I am sure Mr. Cazalas and Mr. Ortiz will do a fine job, but I can’t support what’s going on.’”

Story: BRAC panel vote a deal-breaker for Neal


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