Brooks Development Authority (BDA) Board President and CEO Leo Gomez appeared visibly shaken when Attorney Melissa Lesniak stepped to the podium during the speakers to be heard part of the BDA board of directors meeting on Tuesday.
Lesniak cited numerous violations by the city concerning the lease agreement between the BDA and San Antonio, TX. She also discussed the negligent operations and violations of Texas laws and regulations by the city and their Animal Care Services. The attorney recommended to the board that the lease with the city for the shelter located on the property not be renewed.
Pet advocates wishing to have the shelter shut down and the lease renewal refused also spoke. They provided serious instances of neglect to animals and instances of the city providing false information to the BDA concerning the severely restricted animal shelter.
For reasons only the city can answer, the issue of retaining the shelter appears to have been the cause of Mayor Julian Castro’s departments and city managers to violate the constitutional right to free speech, disabled rights, and the city’s own municipal code.
Although contacted for months about the serious problem, Mayor Julian Castro has remained silent and does not respond to voters concerning complaints and inquiries about the Brooks Animal Shelter.
The development of Brooks City Base has a history of controversy in purchase price discrepancies and in undue influence in decision making.
In an article in mySA of March 2nd, the following was written about the board:
“I think they're heavily influenced by politics — they need to be a little more independent,” Chan said. “I felt tremendous pressure was being given to board members from the council to push forward with the Nexolon deal.”
The comment was in reference to the following statement in the article in regard to the Nexolon deal:
“Among the goodies: the chance for the company to essentially buy an 86-acre chunk of Brooks City-Base, valued at $17 million, for $5 million. The city has pledged to effectively make up the difference with $12 million in improvements at Brooks.”
Perhaps a refusal to renew the lease of the animal shelter will help lay some of the controversy and additional questions about undue political and other influence to rest. The ACS and city violations are now clearly known by the BDA Board of Directors to help in the extremely important decision they must make. Nonprofits, animal rights advocates, and voters are following the situation closely.