According to the most recent South Texas Independent Journalists Association's (STIJA) poll, Melissa Zamora is the Brownsville City Commission member most threatening to the revitalization of historic downtown. Zamora, her personal, professional and political lives the subject of growing outrage, finds herself called "the female Charlie Atkinson" for her questionable votes and decisions.
"The numbers don't lie," said STIJA President Anthony Starr. "And these latest results are disturbing. We have to ask the question based on the figures: 'Are Commissioner Zamora's many personal problems affecting her ability to serve the public?' We know that she's lost several jobs, husbands and lovers, but insiders at City Hall fear she may be losing it in general. Others insist that she has lost control. As a result of being out-of-control, she is affecting her colleagues' credibility, particularly Mayor Martinez. It is no secret that Martinez, his pained countenance communicating his increasing displeasure, is unsettled by Zamora's actions, but she is an extremely selfish individual desperate for money. In her opinion, her interests are more important than the Mayor's integrity."
STIJA asked its pollsters to determine the best promoters of downtown's future among the current city commission. These were the tallies: Tony Martinez, 36%; Rose Gowen, 24%; John Villarreal, 19%; Jessica Tetreau, 16%; Rick Longoria, 10%; Estela Chavez-Vasquez, 4%; Melissa Zamora, 1%.
"The Mayor and Gowen have been on the front lines with their commitment to downtown," continued Starr. "The Mayor has renovated several buildings and Gowen has been the driving force behind the Farmers Market in front of the Federal Courthouse. Both Villarreal and Tetreau campaigned successfully on restoring downtown to its proper place in our community. Zamora, on the other hand, has done nothing. As a representative of District III that excludes downtown, Zamora has turned her back on our history and our heritage. She lacks a transcendent vision of Brownsville."
Zamora, unfortunately, is focused on her own interests. Evidence from both the past and the present supports the contention that the twice-divorced, frequently unemployed and single mother is using her seat on the municipal council to advance her financial cause. The Brownsville Herald broke the story detailing Zamora's shady role in the AeroMexico deal and bloggers from El Rrun Rrun to Brownsville Cheezmeh have condemned her participation in the airlines' negotiations. There are even calls from her most virulent detractors for her immediate resignation.
"She is a walking conflict of interest," concluded Starr who refutes accusations that he is ripping Zamora because she rejected his advances at Cobbleheads following a night of heavy drinking and rumors of ecstasy use. "If she is unable to advance Brownsville in a positive direction, she is surely incapable of advancing downtown's priorities. She needs to clean up her act or Mayor Martinez is going to have a major mess to clean up."