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The Road: Bamboozled or completely lost in translation?

The Road: Bamboozled or completely lost in translation?

    The Road: Bamboozled or completely lost in translation?

Ranchito road
Interface were repair meets old section

The road goes by many names: the Loma del Mar Road, the road to Nacapuli, etc. Technically, the road is H street. And it is now the easiest road in San Carlos to identify since it is the first and newest intersection as you come in to town that boasts a stop sign. I believe there are only three intersections with stops signs in all of San Carlos. Located right in front of Piccolo’s restaurant, the road will indeed, should you hang a hard right north, lead you to the Loma del Mar development and eventually Nacapuli Canyon. It is a major San Carlos road and anyone who has driven it over the years knows it has been in various states of disrepair and neglect.

Recently the road had a major facelift. The part repaired was by the Tecate Six expendio next to the Bombero station and was one block in length. There was also a large section of Calle I repaired, the road due south of the Loma del Mar development. The repair and specifically those who are complaining about it have generated a lot of rumbling on both the local forums. The controversy really stems from the fact that nothing about how the road would be fixedwas put in writing. All of the alleged promises, agreements or guarantees the contractor, the comisario and even a city councilman might have made were made verbally. The original bid supposedly was in writing (although perhaps the bid was written on a napkin) and the solicitation of funding that was done online via the Viva San Carlos forum. In short, the road repairwas paid for from private donations and with some form of participation from Guaymas.

A large section of calle I was repaired that many residents have not seen
A large section of calle I was repaired that many residents have not seen since it is only driven on by those in the infonavit development

“The bid to repair the road was 408,000 pesos but we rounded it off to 400,000 pesos,” said Efriam Soto, local comisario for San Carlos.

The comisario first approached  Loma del Mar back in November of 2013 with the idea of funding a road repair, and over the years, Loma del Mar has spent a fair amount of time, energy and resources repairing the road. Especially after the torrential downpours of 2009’s Hurricane Jimena. Soto explained to me that he originally conceived of the idea to privately fund the repair of the severely decaying pothole-ridden section not long after the last time that awful section of road was repaired  by volunteers back in October of 2013. I wrote a shot blog post on that subject, and  many images of gringo volunteers working alongside the comisario and local Mexicans were posted on the blogosphere in Guaymas

Antonio a Civil Engineer from  Guaymas donates time & material
the 2013 patch job that didn’t last long

and on Facebook. It was the end of September and the beginning of October when the volunteers started filling in potholes, an extremely hot time of year, and one of the volunteers almost got heat stroke while working on the project. The comisario was very concerned over that and stated to me how terrible it would have been if someone had had a heart attack and or died while doing a community service project. After that incident,  he decided volunteers should never again work on the road and was determined to get the road fixed once and for all.

If you read the Viva forum post #324 by someone who calls themselves TheBird, it states that it was his or her idea to repair the road and have the city match funds. TheBird also hints on this post from May 3 that the comisario and George Gadsby are no longer speaking with each other, a bit of an understatement and also that the comisario will not answer any questions on the forum. Basically by this post, the pissing match between the comisario and Gadsby had begun, but more on that later.

The road was constructed in 1985 by Ed and Tere Grossman, the developers of the Loma del Mar via a fund that was assessed to members of the Loma del Mar. It was imperative that a paved road lead to the development since it was in the buy/sell contracts at the time that there would be a paved road to the development. Technically, the road belonged to Raphael Caballero, the founder of San Carlos. “The whole thing belonged to Caballero, so we actually had to follow the road that Caballero designed, that is why it is kind of windy, we kind of had to follow his design,” said Tere Grossman.

These days, developers are supposed to put in roads, power and water before they start selling lots. According to some, even back in the day when San Carlos was founded, the developer was required by law to pave roads before selling lots. Then, if the developer no longer wished to deal with the maintenance of said roads, he could give them to the municipio.  The municipio would then become responsible for the maintenance of the roads. In the case of San Carlos, none of the roads except the main road were ever paved.

Under past administrations, when you would complain to the municipio of Guaymas about the fact that the roads in San Carlos were not paved or properly maintained, the municipio stated that they would not take over maintenance of all the roads in San Carlos until they had been paved by the developer. I think it is safe to say that Grupo Caballero never intended on paving all the roads in San Carlos so they could then just turn them over to the City of Guaymas.

So there you have one hell of a Catch 22 if ever one existed.

Local Americans volunteer  time to fill potholes
Another shot of the 2013 Patch Job

For this reason, in most areas in San Carlos, roads that have been paved or improved have been done so by the home owners themselves or the developers, not the City of Guaymas. Another thing worth mentioning is, as a developer if you have not given the roads back to the municipio then you are supposed to be paying property taxes on them since they are private property. To this day, it is said that the Caballero Group still owns most of the roads in San Carlos.

An excellent example of a private road pissing match that can develop is the road due south of the Marina Terra Hotel. This short road allows access to the parking lot  next to the Embarcadero restaurant. It starts right in front of what will be the new Bamboo restaurant and has a gate on it that is perpetually raised so that the road can be used. It is actually the the Marina San Carlos that owns this road and when there was a dispute between the Marina San Carlos and the hotel, the gate was installed and then promptly lowered. Obviously, the Marina Terra capitulated to the Marina San Carlos over whatever the dispute was and gate was lifted again so that the road could be used. But you get the drift.

Now that brings us back to Calle H. The Grossmans paid for the pavement via the real estate development of Loma del Mar but does the Caballero Group still own Calle H or did they give it back to the municipio? The answer to that question seems to depend on who you ask.  I first asked Rene Caballero, son of Raphael, if the Caballero Group still owned the road. What Rene told me was essentially that even though the Caballero Group did not formally give back Calle H  to the City of Guaymas, the Caballeros were not responsible for its maintenance since it was a public road. And that was confirmed by the office of urban control. To make a long story short, and I suspect there are those out there that would still disagree with the following statement: H street is owned by Guaymas, plain and simple. So if H street is owned by Guaymas as the office of Control Urbano has stated, then logically any maintenance and or repair of the road should technically be the responsibility of the City of Guaymas.

With that in mind, the City of Guaymas has no money in its coffers for road repair projects in San Carlos. Nevertheless, it was stated on the Viva San Carlos forum moderated by George Gadsby that the City of Guaymas was going to offer matching funds for the project. Since the winning bid — remember that is the one most likely written on a napkin but has not been seen other than by the  comisario — was 400,000 pesos (about $32,000 U.S.). This meant the donors in San Carlos needed to raise 200,000 pesos so this project could be completed.  No one became a bigger cheerleader for this project than the moderator of the Viva Forum, Gadsby. Anyone wishing to read the original thread here . (Be warned you must be a member of the forum to read the post.) The first post in that thread is one of the most important ones and it states in bold red lettering that:

The Comisario feels very confident that he will be able to get matching funds from Guaymas if the residents of San Carlos are able to raise half of the cost of the project, i.e. 200,000 from the residents who use the road most,”  said George Gadsby.

I believe that this is where the real problem begins. What does “matching funds” really mean? If the city does not have any real money for road repair, how are they going to magically come up with 200,000 pesos that they don’t have? The answer is simple. The city of Guaymas never intended on matching the funds in a monetary fashion.

“Guaymas sent us workers, equipment and material.” Said comisario Soto.

Was the term “matching funds” lost in translation between the comisario and Gadsby? Did the comisario purposely try to deceive the donors by making them think they were getting more monetary help than they really were from the city? Since there was no written agreement, it is impossible to say but anyone with a commonsense understanding of how the City of Guaymas works should have understood that matching funds dollar for dollar would have been out of the question. If matching funds, monetarily speaking, was going to be the issue that would break the camel’s back, then Gadsby and anyone else who pushed this project forward should have gotten it in writing. The reality is that Gadsby and Soto were actually kind of buddies before this all happened. Needless to say, the road was not repaired to the likings of Gadsby and others so it is worth going back to the original forum posts to see what was really promised and by whom.

When you read over the forum, no one ever asked for anything in writing. This, of course, would be a recipe for disaster, especially if you thought you were going to get a new road and not just a repaired road and especially if you didn’t know that the real budget for the repair was going to be half of what you thought it was. The  fundraising for the road started on the Viva forum Feb.  17.  By Feb. 24, it was posted that a meeting was to be held at the El Mar Restaurant on March 7.  At this now infamous meeting, Comisario Soto  would be present along with contractor Antonio Rivera Romo and a local Guaymas city councilman, who lives in the San Carlos Country Club, Roberto Romano Terrazas. No one at this meeting videotaped or voice recorded anything. In retrospect, that is a shame. But nonetheless, whatever was said at the meeting, the crowd must have liked it. Donations flooded in, especially the owner of Siesta Realty, Phyllis Lilischkies. In one swoop, she became the largest single donor to the project. It appears that only two of the many real estate companies in San Carlos ponied up cash to this project. Phyllis forked over $2,000 at the meeting. She also believes she got what she paid for.

Map of Road
The part that was to be repaired in blue, worst section was at the beginning.

“The first thread in the Viva forum says repair the road, and that is what they did, repair only, not rebuilt, not a new road, there was never that kind of money, think about it,” said Lilischkies.

By March 12, the work began on the road and one forum contributor name Cisco posted: “The Guaymas officials are probably starting to sweat, wondering where they will get their half of the money.”

Guaymas officials certainly were not sweating in any way, shape or form. Guaymas officials don’t sweat much over San Carlos and they never will. I suspect most “Guaymas officials” probably didn’t even know what was going down in San Carlos. On March 27, post #250, the comisario makes his one and only post on the forum. He very interestingly claims that the City of Guaymas put in 75,000 pesos and matched what was delivered to the contractor. He clearly states money. That is in direct conflict with what he told me during our interview. I have my doubts that the city put hard cash into the project.

There are now comments on the Viva forum that accuse the comisario of skimming money off this project. The reality is that in Mexico this is a common occurrence. Kickbacks and skimming happen all the time. Did it take place on this project? That is impossible to confirm or deny. What the comisario said to me regarding that delicate subject when I asked was that this was a very low budget project to skim  and why would he destroy his reputation for such a tiny amount of money that could be skimmed. Considering I personally saw the comisario working last year in the heat patching the road and knowing that he lives very close to where the road was repaired, I  don’t think he skimmed any money from this project, but until the comisario comes clean and at least publishes the bid and shows everyone some form of accounting (Guaymas put in 75,000 cash right?) even if it was written on a napkin there will always be doubt for some. There is little doubt though that he wanted a fixed road; He has, after all, lived in the same house in San Carlos for 22 years.

“I have been here 22 years, I ask you, do you think I have not noticed whether the road does or doesn’t work? It is not just because I am the comisario, it is an important theme, it is a highly transited road and it was necessary to fix it.” Said Soto.

I did ask If he would give me a copy of the 400,000 pesos bid so that it could be published but he refused. His reasoning for a lack of transparency was interesting but in the end not tenable. He blames his lack of transparency on Geroge Gadsby and became quite upset the moment Gadsby started complaining about the quality of the work. It irked the comisario to no end when Gadsby started making demands to see a contract and see the bid. If Gadsby and everyone else was happy with a handshake deal at the beginning of this project, then they shouldn’t be surprised at the end when the handshake is still all they have.

“This was a meeting of residents who wanted to cooperate and help repair a road that we use every day,  a meeting was never solicited  where people where summoned and asked if they wanted this project, we didn’t do anything formal.  Now George wants to see a contract, but there never was a contract.” Said Soto.

The comisario also implored me to print that he was very grateful to all those who donated and for all the fundraising efforts that Gadsby did on the Viva forum.

Could the road have ever been repaired if it hadn’t been done under the table? I doubt it. What is clear, though, is that there could have been far more transparency built into this project. How so? Well, considering the donations were private, many restrictions could have been placed on payment of funds. For those who are complaining the most, and it is unclear how many are complaining, precise definitions could have been agreed upon on how the road would be repaired and exactly how much of it would be repaired, pretty much the way houses are built here in town. Contractors don’t get the final payment if they don’t finish the job. The donors actually held all the cards in this game and could have dictated exactly how this job could have been done.  In the end, that was obviously too much work for everyone, especially the major cheerleaders for the project. I have heard that Gadsby has been quoted over the years as saying he doesn’t do any work himself, he finds others to do the work. I don’t know if he has truly made that statement but if he has then he should have found someone to put in place a mechanism  that would have ensured that the work that was done was what was promised. That was the true challenge of the whole project. The goodwill of the people of San Carlos was never in question. Just look at the number of charities that abound in this little town. Raising the funds was never going to be the difficult part of a project of this kind. People know that Guaymas has limited funds and limited abilities to get things done, especially road paving.

Well, more than 100 people contributed to the road fund. Two major contributors  donated 38 percent of the total amount of cash from San Carlos: Loma del Mar contributed 54,700 pesos and Lilischkies from Siesta Realty  contributed 25,000 pesos. How many of those who donated and are unsatisfied with the work is unknown. I did a very informal poll at this link and there were at least a couple dozen not happy with the repair. I am sure there are hundreds who are happy with it. I suspect that anyone who uses the road can agree that it is in better shape than it was. What is also undeniable is that the road is still a mess. Piles of old asphalt still lay next to the road. To this day, Vanessa’s Vet Clinic still has a mound of dirt sitting at its turnoff. For almost a month, you couldn’t even turn into the vet clinic. Several potholes still have not been filled. Within the original bid that was never seen by anyone a guarantee of five years against pot holes was included into the project. Will the pot hole guarantee be respected? That is anyone’s guess, since there was nothing in writing.

Pepe Cellis, brother of Tere Grossman and also someone who was busy helping with the development of the road when it was originally constructed, believes that San Carlos needs to have a formal agreement signed with the City of Guaymas to deal with paving of roads and other issues that should be rightfully funded by San Carlos tax dollars.

“There should be a meeting with the City of Guaymas and the comisaría of San Carlos in which an agreement (convenio, in Spanish) is signed what would guarantee that a certain amount of San Carlos tax dollars are returned to San Carlos and spent on the paving of roads. One percent,  2 percent, 20 percent…. I don’t know but a certain percentage should be returned,” said Cellis.

San Carlos is an interesting case in point. San Carlos is a comisaría, and if you check a Spanish dictionary,  it translates roughly to a police precinct. Most of the time, a comisaría is small in nature and does not generate much in form of property taxes for a municipio. That is certainly not the case in San Carlos. With the large number of high dollar homes and real estate, San Carlos is not your ordinary run of the mill comisaría.

Cellis contends, and rightly so I believe, that only when San Carlos begins to pressure Guaymas will a percentage of the property taxes generated here be returned, and it is not even the percentage that counts as much as the fact the Guaymas would acknowledge that San Carlos tax dollars should be spent in San Carlos. Even if the agreement was for 1 or 2 percent, it wouldn’t matter since that signed agreement between San Carlos and Guaymas would be worth more than the money that would actually be returned. If, for instance, you got a signed agreement to return 1 percent of the tax money, it is not a far stretch that sometime later,  you could start to demand more than just 1 percent. Realistically, San Carlos should get half or more of its tax dollars returned to it for infrastructure. Cellis also believes that a study should be done and then presented to Guaymas to show the city how much money the American sector generates.

“It is time that Guaymas stopped treating the gringos like they were ghosts,” said Cellis.

Show them, the city and state governments how much money comes in and start demanding that they give back to the infrastructure of San Carlos.

There is a way to virtually guarantee that Guaymas would come to the bargaining table with San Carlos and sign such an agreement. And that would be the threat of San Carlos breaking away from Guaymas to form its own municipio. I have written on the subject frequently and the reality is that San Carlos fulfills all the requirements to be its own municipio right now. The biggest legal hurdle for San Carlos to become its own municipality is that 22 out of the 33 state legislators would have to vote yes to San Carlos breaking away from Guaymas. Another obstacle is lack of leadership.

For now, the sad fact of the matter is that San Carlos is owned by Guaymas and as long as that goes on, don’t expect too much from the local Guaymas government. Even though San Carlos generates a large amount of tax revenues that never  come back to San Carlos for infrastructure, one thing should be understood. The majority of infrastructure money comes from the federal and state governments. If San Carlos were its own municipality, it would then be able to petition the state and the federal government directly for the funding needed to truly make San Carlos a first class tourist destination.

Cellis was clear on one point: San Carlos needs to be saved from Guaymas. In spite of all that Guaymas has done to screw up San Carlos, it is still a beautiful place to live and we only have ourselves to blame for not organizing and demanding that San Carlos be properly developed and organized. I couldn’t agree with him more and the road project that was just funded and completed is a perfect example of how Guaymas completely ignores San Carlos. Could you imagine the backlash if residents in Guaymas were forced to pay extra on top of their property taxes to have a road fixed? It would be political suicide for anyone in Guaymas to even mention the idea. But San Carlos only generates perhaps 1,500 to 2,000 Mexican voters compared to perhaps 100,000 or so in Guaymas. Guaymas doesn’t have to care about much in San Carlos and only will start to care when San Carlos demands it.  Americans, while not voters, are still paying property taxes and do count as inhabitants. It is not political in any way, shape or form for any of the many gringo associations and or clubs to ask the state government to pay more attention to San Carlos and please return some of our tax dollars so we can make our town better.

San Carlos needs to get the proverbial chip off of its shoulder and start demanding some respect. Until that happens don’t expect much from the local city government.

31 Responses to The Road: Bamboozled or completely lost in translation?

  1. Better than I expected Vince.

    The only things missing are the fact that Efrain Soto (Comisario) speaks perfect English. He told me matching funds (Pesos) There was never a mention of labor or material and for those of us that drove the road daily we can assure you there was never a Guyamas crew or truck out there.

    Lastly… I knew the road could not be repaired properly with 200,000 pesos. It didn’t take a genius to know that. The only reason I undertook the project was the promise and the handshake of the Comisario that Guaymas was putting the matching pesos in.

    One more thing. The money was handed over to the Comisario in spite of the LDM written agreement with me that it would not be without my approval.

    I still have those emails.

    G

  2. Two Quotes from Cory at Loma Del Mar from last month regarding the final dispersal of funds to the Comisario:

    “I had an agreement with George that I would involve him in any decision making in terms of dispersing the funds and yet George refused to meet with the comisario last week as I understand it, I don’t know that from direct knowledge so don’t quote me on that, but I invited him to our meeting yesterday it was short notice in Georges defense it was only a couple hours notice, his response was not -well can you make it another time- like he couldn’t make it, he basically didn’t say whether he would make it or not, I kept hoping he would be there”

    “It was very difficult for me because I agreed with George, to involve him but he wasn’t there and what he was asking for…… I didn’t see how to accomplish it, he wanted a copy of the contract. There is no contract.”

  3. ?
    ?I told Cory that in order to meet with the comisario I would want the meeting to include the contractor and the city councilman because I had met previously with the comisario only and he had no answers and tried to blow smoke up my butt. I wanted some real answers and from the horse’s mouth. She assured me that she would not hand over the Ranchitos portion of the funds to the comisario and the funds would be returned to me. I bought that since it would let us have some remaining leverage to get the job done and we could hold out until it was. The comisario showed up for the meeting and they handed over all of the funds to him in spite of what they told me.

    No blame here. He can be pretty persuasive. Once again I took someones word. It was the 2nd time LDM handed over money without consulting me.

    Vince would have had that information had he decided to interview me.

    I still have the LDM emails.

    George

  4. You would have been interviewed if you had not been so combative and stubborn, that is beside the point though.

    Explain the written agreement that you had with LDM? It was written in Emails? It sounds to me like it was just another verbal agreement and not a legal contract between you and LDM. You left LDM between a rock and a hard place, the city councilman and the engineer clearly would not come to any meeting just like they wouldn’t allow themselves to be interviewed.

    There was nothing else for LDM to do but to hand over the money.

    You also could have easily posted this information on the forum, why did this info have to come from an interviews with me I simply don’t understand.

    The project is done and it is my sincere desire that Gringo community organizers will learn how to hold city officials to their word in the future through clear written agreements. In Mexico they call them “Convenios”

  5. ?
    ?My agreement with LDM is confirmed in emails. I was trying to not put them on the spot or embarrass them but you left a lot out which made it necessary to post it myself. Maybe it didn’t come up in your interview with them

    “Two Quotes from Cory at Loma Del Mar from last month regarding the final dispersal of funds to the Comisario:

    “I had an agreement with George that I would involve him in any decision making in terms of dispersing the funds and yet George refused to meet with the comisario last week as I understand it, I don’t know that from direct knowledge so don’t quote me on that, but I invited him to our meeting yesterday it was short notice in Georges defense it was only a couple hours notice, his response was not -well can you make it another time- like he couldn’t make it, he basically didn’t say whether he would make it or not, I kept hoping he would be there”

    “It was very difficult for me because I agreed with George, to involve him but he wasn’t there and what he was asking for…… I didn’t see how to accomplish it, he wanted a copy of the contract. There is no contract.””

    Hard copies available. One of us agreed to a recorded interview. The other refused to do the interview, open or read emails and refused to look at PMs.

    We know who is who.

  6. If the City Councilman and Engineer wouldn’t come to the meeting… THEY WOULDN’T HAVE GOTTEN THE MONEY from me.

  7. You were trying to embarrass Loma del Mar because you were mad at them for paying the money to the comisario? This is all just going in circles. She stated her reasons you now have stated yours.

    If you think things have been left out then you should go ahead and publish all that on your web site, publish the emails publish it all. Publish what ever you want.

    I think pretty much this whole story has already been aired out in public on two forums now and there is not much more here and frankly I think people are tired of it and want to move on.

    One thing is clear and I am glad I did the research for that part of all this. Guaymas owns the road and in the future it is time to make Guaymas start paying for road repairs.

  8. You need to slow down and read and comprehend what I wrote Vince.

    “I was trying to NOT put them on the spot or embarrass them”

    See above

    Your report was incomplete as to how and why the money was handed over to the comisario and why I was not present either time.

    The 1st was done without my consent or knowledge and the second was after I was told it would not be. I refused to meet with the comisario without those that made the promises, The Councilman and The Contractor, in attendance. It would be the only way to hold their feet to the fire. LDM had control of the LDM money and was holding the Ranchitos money in a safe for saftey purposes rather than having that money in my residence.

    An interview would have brought these important facts out into the open.

  9. ON VIVA

    Comisario

    Registered: Aug 29, 2013
    Posts: 13
    Posted March 27 #250
    The next step is to get done with the part of the road that’s closed right now and it should be open by the end of this week.

    Guaymas has put in $75,000 pesos and matched what has been delivered to the engineer so far . The money from Guaymas and the contributions have been given straight to the engineer.

    It looks like between the San Carlos donations so far and Guaymas we have enough money to finish the road. Additional donations would mean a better job.

    Thank you all for your cooperation and please be patient and the believe that the job is going to be a good job and you will have a road that will last at least five years.
    I want to thank George for his help.

    Comssario Efrain Soto Flores

    Guaymas has put in $75,000 pesos and matched what has been delivered to the engineer so far . Guaymas has put in $75,000 pesos and matched what has been delivered to the engineer so far . Guaymas has put in $75,000 pesos and matched what has been delivered to the engineer so far . Guaymas has put in $75,000 pesos and matched what has been delivered to the engineer so far .

  10. The 54k pesos from Loma Del Mar was actually voluntary contributions from residents and others. The funds did not come from the owners of the property or the San Carlos Trailer Club. So other than Phyllis there were a lot of individual contributors for relatively small amounts.

    I think this article was a white wash and just a way to promote the agenda of San Carlos becoming independent of Guaymas which will never happen.

    The contractor was not interviewed? Why not?

    Loma Del Mar should not have released money for a job not completed. Why blame it on George for not attending a meeting?

    Sorry Vince, you missed the point on this.

    Your conclusion is that San Carlos residents should press Guaymas to pay more attention to San Carlos and spend some of the property tax money here. Wasn’t that the purpose of this project? The representative of Guaymas city government actually said that this was an example of using San Carlos property tax money here in San Carlos. If you can’t trust public officials to do what they say they will then what is the point of ‘demanding’ fair treatment? They will just promise things and not deliver.

  11. On Viva.. April 2 2014

    The Road Replies: 44
    Posted By: GeorgeInSanCarlos Views: 2,852

    I stand corrected and do apologize for a mis-communication on my part.

    The Comisario and the Contractor met with the property manager at Loma Del Mar a few days ago. Loma Del Mar is holding all the funds we have collected to date. We gave the Contractor 75,000 pesos to start the work and now the Loma Del Mar Property manager has released another 50,000 with the approval of the LDM HOA. I was unaware of that until just now. I expressed my displeasure about being cut out of the loop and requested no more money be handed out until results are produced and that I be included in any future meetings. I also requested that any future meeting with Loma Del Mar include myself, the Comisario, The Contractor, and the Guaymas Councilman that assured us the $ to match ours would be in attendance as well.

    As for hookup. If you have questions I again refer you back to the Comisario for answers before posting rumors, true or not, on Viva.

  12. I don’t believe I have white washed anything. This project is a perfect example of why San Carlos should break away from Guaymas and yes it can happen Expat, why do you say it can not? What exactly do you base your opinion on? It sure seems like you all are just blaming Loma del Mar for all this now.

    I think the purpose of the project was to get the road fixed. What should be understood is that there are 20 city council members in Guaymas. This project brought in exactly one city council member who is a resident of the country club.

    http://guaymas.gob.mx/home/cabildo/

    It might have been a good ideal to speak with several city councilman from some of the different political parties. What you got at this March 7th meeting was a PRI Comisario and one PRI city councilman and then one contractor. So does this one city councilman represent the whole Guaymas city government?

    As I mentioned in the article I wonder how many others from the city council even knew about this project? Maybe someone should have spoken directly to the mayor before any of this all began. It seems to me as has been stated so often on both forums that a bad job was done on the organization of this project. Hope everybody learned a lesson from that.

    If you all believe the comisario still skimmed money from this whole deal why doesn’t someone go back to the Cabildo and the press in Guaymas and make some noise?

  13. So, Vince, you decided not to interview George, the most prominent gringo in this whole affair, because he was so “combative and stubborn”? What, you only interview persons who are pliable and easily-led? Get tough, man!!!

    For a guy who has set himself up to be THE investigative reporter in San Carlos, you sure didn’t take care of your due diligence. You met with refusals for interviews or documentation at every turn. And then, when a big fish agreed to an interview, you decided the waters were too rough to continue fishing? Say what???? Maybe you should stick to renting kayaks and repairing bikes, dude.

    You let us down on this one, bigtime. Again.

    It reminds me of your “loose rottweiler” story where you never interviewed the most important people……….but you got the Comisario in there with his political-speak. And in the end, you somehow concluded that ol George was the most to blame for “allowing” people to discuss the rottweiler incident on his board?

    Now, the Comisario makes contradictory statements (with respect to what he wrote on Viva) in your “interview” with him and you give him a pass on it??? Great Caesar’s Ghost, man, Perry White would have you working in the mail room in two seconds!

    It’s the same old wine, in a brand new bottle.

    By the way, it should be pointed out that any references/links to the original Viva post about the road (I believe it is now called “YOU DID IT”) will be history. For some reason, George has decided to “lock” the thread, so it will eventually disappear. Without posts to bring it back to the top, it will eventually go where all locked posts on Viva go….some form of post purgatory.

    I guess nobody really wants to get to the bottom of this story.

  14. Sinbad

    You did it was locked when we thought we were wrapped up. There have been a few new threads about the road since then. But You Did It is still available and now unlocked for additional comments. It may be difficult to follow several threads on the road buy nothing has been deleted and I will include a link to Vince’s report at the end of you did it as well as a link to his survey.

    The thread is intact

  15. Interviewing George really seemed kind of pointless. From the beginning, going by what he said on the forum, he was not involved in this project except for fund raising. Now later on as we see he was not really truthful about that. Now he says that he had an agreement with Loma del Mar that they could not give out the money without him signing off on it. (perhaps he should have said that from the beginning and publish the emails from LDM) Obviously what ever agreement he had with LDM it was not any kind of binding agreement because they did hand over the money. So it seems to me like he was more involved than just fund raising.

    If Loma del Mar handed money over twice to the Comisario without consulting George then you would have thought that after they did it the first time he would have had the common sense to get the money back from Loma del Mar before they did it again.

    You would think that the last time Cory from Loma del Mar called him to come to the last meeting with the comisario that maybe in stead of refusing to go because the engineer and city council guy were not coming and there was no contract to be seen, there is that combative side again, just maybe he should have gone and made damn sure that the money was not handed over to the comisario if the work was not done.

    How many of us believe politicians when they speak? Does anyone remember George Bush, read my lips, no new taxes? Most Americans don’t believe American politicians when they make promises. Now all of a sudden everyone is amazed that a Mexican politician broke his verbal promise on a road repair project?

    I spent as much time as I could afford to so I could write this story. I would love to be independently wealthy and spend another month or two hunting down the city councilman and contractor and sticking a camera or voice recorder in his face on the street to get his comment but the reality is I simply don’t have the time. In a perfect world that is what I would have loved to do. Unfortunately I could not.

  16. Vince, I am still available for that interview. 226-0785.

    Your video recorder or mine?

    I’ll bring the emails as well.

    G

  17. Vince,

    I am still available for that interview. 226-0785 Your video recorder or mine?

    The road was poorly done and 1/2 completed.

    Don’t let the same thing happen to your report.

  18. RE: This project is a perfect example of why San Carlos should break away from Guaymas and yes it can happen Expat, why do you say it can not?

    Because Gringos don’t vote.
    Creating a new municipio is a huge deal, requires votes that are not there.
    Like Texas wanting to secede from the US.
    The municipio of Guaymas includes Vicam, Potam, Gausimas, Santa Clara, and Ortiz.
    It is a large area, more like a county.

    You advocate pressuring Guaymas to do more for San Carlos.
    Please explain what leverage we have.
    This project is a perfect example of how little power non citizens have.
    In hindsight, we could have gotten a much better product with a private deal for 200,000MX.
    The whole motivation of this for many was that Guaymas would match funds.
    You say that was unrealistic, Guaymas has no money.
    So what good will it do to ask Guaymas to do more for San Carlos?
    Will we threaten to vote them out?

    Yes we will know better next time but there will be no next time after this.
    That is the biggest downside of this whole thing IMO.
    It is over, let it die.
    The contractor is the only one that knows how much he was paid and he was not questioned.
    George wants his reputation back I understand that.
    Beating this horse will not get it back.

  19. You all should have known what you were getting into Before you Handed over any **Cash Money **to
    anyone without an Attorney and a contract in Place…$o are you $UPRI$ED about what happened to your Money lol ***o officer i wasn’t speeding here is $50.pesos Thank You Officer…
    *** Let it go till next Time ***

  20. The title of the piece:

    The Road: Bamboozled or completely lost in translation?

    I’m going with Bamboozled

    Fool me once… shame on you

    Fool me twice… Shame on me.

    There is indeed a lesson here.

    I have learned mine.

  21. for Expat. When you look at that stats for all the municpios in Sonora you will find that there are municpios that have less than 500 inhabitants. San Carlos doesn’t need any leverage over Guaymas. What San Carlos would need to do, and no one by the way can stop anyone in San Carlos from doing this, is to formally petition the state legislature to vote on the whether San Carlos can become its own municipio. I am going to post a link to the story that was written for SanCarlos Wireless by Alex Calvo in our second edition. here is the link http://sancarlos.tv/how-why-san-carlos-should-break-away-from-guaymas/ please read that over. Alex Calvo is a very bright guy who, like so many others of Guaymas best and brightest, could not make a decent living here and was pretty fed up with Guaymas corruption. He now lives in Mexico City. His father still owns a business here in San Carlos.

    Please check it out if you have a moment.

  22. A big bone of contention by George over this story is the handing over of money to the comisario. He has now stated on my blog that he had a written agreement of some kind with LDM that gave him some kind of authority over payment of funds. I have asked him to publish the emails, they are not here on this site but don’t know for sure if he has published them some where else. Thus the following are quotes from this comment section.

    “One more thing. The money was handed over to the Comisario in spite of the LDM written agreement with me that it would not be without my approval.
    I still have those emails.
    G”

    “My agreement with LDM is confirmed in emails. I was trying to not put them on the spot or embarrass them but you left a lot out which made it necessary to post it myself. Maybe it didn’t come up in your interview with them”

    “Hard copies available”

    “Your report was incomplete as to how and why the money was handed over to the comisario and why I was not present either time.
    The 1st was done without my consent or knowledge and the second was after I was told it would not be. I refused to meet with the comisario without those that made the promises, The Councilman and The Contractor, in attendance. It would be the only way to hold their feet to the fire. LDM had control of the LDM money and was holding the Ranchitos money in a safe for safety purposes rather than having that money in my residence.”

    Lets finish off this report. Here is what Cory from LDM has to say. Since I had not seen these emails I decided to call up Cory and ask her exactly what was the nature of this written agreement between George and LDM that gave George the “supposed” final word over dispersal of funds to the Comisario.

    The written agreement between GG and LDM was nothing more than one email (string of emails) between Cory Salsberry and George Gadspy that is dated from May 7th. That date is very important.

    Cory told me that she did indeed make a promise to George to not disperse funds without him being there or without his final approval. Cory freely admitted that she broke a promise to George but the reason is important. What about the promise to disperse funds when the project was complete? From the very beginning there was no agreement to hold the funds if there were complaints about the project. There was no agreement to give the money back to George if he was unhappy with the work. The only real agreement from the beginning of the project was that LDM would hold the money and then pay it out at the end.

    Remember George (for his already many times stated reasons) refused to go to the last meeting because he didn’t get what he wanted. He didn’t get the city council man or the engineer or the contractor to come to the final meeting to disperse funds and he was never gonna get to see a copy of the contract or even the bid.

    Even though he thought Cory would not turn over the money to the Comisario he should have gone to the meeting anyway. George has created a big deal over this and I believe it is really just a red herring.

    There is no controversy over any of this. In the end Cory decided that the original promise she made at the beginning of this project was more important than the promise she made to George in an email or string of emails from 7th of May after the project was essentially completed.

    Now at least everyone has the Loma del Mar side of the story as to why the funds were turned over. In the end the funds would have to be handed over and that is precisely what Cory did.

  23. ?
    ?””Remember George (for his already many times stated reasons) refused to go to the last meeting because he didn’t get what he wanted. He didn’t get the city council man or the engineer or the contractor to come to the final meeting to disperse funds and he was never gonna get to see a copy of the contract or even the bid.””

    Maybe and maybe not Vince but while we held the money we still had the leverage. If they couldn’t show me a contract, or a bid and if in my opinion the job was not complete they would not get the final disbursement of funds that I would have had possession of.

    I don’t publish private emails without permission of the sender and the receiver . I stand by what I said. The comisario was continuing to blow smoke and doing the Mexican Hat Dance. The only leverage we had was the money and I refused to attend a meeting without all the principals involved. Comisario, Councilman, LDM and me. When I was assured by email from LDM that the money would not be handed over but returned to my possession I felt the leverage was still on our side. i.e Job Not complete? = No money. If they couldn’t show me a contract or a bid and if in my opinion the job was not complete they would not get the final disbursement of funds. If the comisario said he had no agreement with the contractor or the city, I would have told we he was right and we also had no written agreement to pay him or them. The agreement between LDM and me was broken and I understand why. Pressure from the comisario can be somewhat intimidating.

    And then there’s still that little matter of the 75,000 pesos the comisario posted that he had gotten from Guaymas. Hmmm “Don’t it make you wonder>”. To quote a local singer.

  24. Now George, you’ve lost me. Only the fund raiser? Not, now you confess you need to run the whole show……no monies disbursed, without your okay? Com’n George, can’t have it both ways. Now we need more of your CYA explanations. We’re all ears.

  25. This is a direct quote from George, “I don’t publish private emails without permission of the sender and the receiver”

    This sir is a bold faced lie!

    You published part of a private message between yourself and me on the SanCarlos Mexico forum. That is the very reason why I refused to answer any more of your private messages and I stated that on that forum. So you said at the beginning you didn’t trust me yet you are the one who proved untrustworthy and published part of a private message. Now you have the gall to say you don’t do that? You don’t get it both ways sir.

    George was only a fund raiser Dex until he was unhappy with the results. Then after the fact he clearly decided he was going to be more than a fund raiser. He should have decided to be more than a fund raiser at the beginning. Cory at Loma del Mar decided to remain true to what she agreed to at the beginning. To disperse funds after the road was improved, regardless of any promise she made after the project was finished to George.

    That is pretty much it I think. I believe the full story has been pretty much told now and everyone can decide for themselves how it all went and if they got what they paid for.

    🙂

  26. ?Vince may be correct. I may have published all or part one of his emails or I might have paraphrased it. I don’t remember doing it though but if someone wants to point it out I would consider apologizing.

    As to the disbursement of funds… That was one of the weak links in the project. That was never assigned or delegated. LDM and I jointly approved the first and initial disbursement. The second was done by LDM without my knowledge and I found out only after the fact. Since we discovered that was the weak link it was agreed that LDM would deal with the LDM money and I would deal with the Ranchitos money. There was 46,000 pesos set aside to come back under my control. The conmisario would not have that 46k today if that agreement had been lived up to.

    Facts are facts. Please be clear about this. I am not blaming LDM. As said before the money management was not clearly defined until the end and I am sure they did what they felt best. Who knows? I might have done the same but now we’ll never know.

  27. I might be correct? Oh I am definitely correct, and it is a sad sad state of affairs that since you don’t remember doing it you don’t have to apologize and only if “someone wants to point it out” might you consider apologizing?

    I just pointed it out to you here once again and I pointed it out to you right after you did it! If you simply looked back at all your posts your memory might be jogged back in place. I don’t want your apology it is not important to me.

    I clearly stated that I would not reply to any of your private messages on the forum ever again since I could not trust you and then you went right ahead kept commenting that it was me who refused to reply to any of your private messages as if I was the one who was being unreasonable. You stated that you did not trust me but I found out for my self that I could definitely not trust you.

    You clearly will post part of someone’s private message if you believe it to be in your benefit. You already did it.

    I am sorry but the weak link was no written agreement and no mechanism for transparency from the beginning. That was the weak link. Trying to install some kind of deal for holding back of funds at the end could not have worked and Cory clearly understood that.

    George states,

    “There was 46,000 pesos set aside to come back under my control. The conmisario would not have that 46k today if that agreement had been lived up to.”

    What agreement? A verbal agreement between you and LDM that was about as binding as the verbal agreement between the comisario and all the donors? And so you would have held the funds back until??????????

    All the pot holes were repaired? The road was dug up and done better? The city council guy and the contractor came to a meeting? The bid was published and you got to see the contract? Would you have been able to get something in writing to make them finish the road to your liking’s and then cut loose the 46K. You do see how ridiculous that all is don’t you?

    Just for the sake of curiosity and transparency who were the donors of the 46K that were gonna have their money held back and did anyone think to discuss with them, the donors, if they were cool with having their money held back?

    In my humble opinion Cory did the right thing. George disagrees.

    The community gets to decide the rest.

  28. Anybody who is a newbie to the happenings around San Carlos, or Mexico for that matter will blindly follow a good idea not knowing that the corrupt, extortion minded Mexican is EVERYWHERE !!!! Now it seems the old blow hard, “community organizer” (another fine example is in the White House) Goerge is in the fold with the Mexican’s. Who in their right mind would expect any project to go as planned, handshaked, back door deal, etc. happen when gringos and Mexican’s are involved?? All those that got duped, GOOD !!! You are merely fools to be ripped off anyway. To all those that just fell off the Mexican Turnip Truck, WELCOME GRINGO, AND BRING YOUR WALLET !!!!

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