From RGVCGG – Mike Boswell
How the RGVGG PAC came into being:
- When the POWC was formed, we recognized the need for another organization that could be active in political affairs.
- Rio Grande Valley Committee for Good Government is a Political Action Committee, formed under the Texas Ethics Code. It is a non-profit, tax-exempt entity funded by non-tax deductible contributions from individuals.
- The PAC can do what the POWC cannot do, which is engage in political activities.
Prior to Texas Week, there was a great deal of conversation about the City’s ordinances and permitting process for mass gathering events.
- The PAC had an outstanding civil law firm in Austin review the City’s ordinances as they pertain to mass gatherings. This review resulted in a clear indication that the existing City ordinances were woefully inadequate. Additionally, we furnished to the City Council mass gathering ordinances from several other beach communities. We did that making no recommendations, but simply as examples of what had been done in other places to control mass gatherings and protect public safety. All of this was done prior to 2017 Texas Week.
- We all know or should know what occurred during Texas Week at Spring Break. Others may disagree, but for the first time in 40 years, there was an element of lawlessness that was different from what we’d seen in the past.
- The reputation of our Island was certainly damaged, but not to the extent that it might have been had it not been for the excellent and outstanding work performed by our City executives, including the Police Chief and his officers, the Fire Chief and his Department and other First Responders, as well as the new City Manager, our Mayor and several Councilpersons who worked long and hard to avoid the tragedy that might have been.
- Following Texas Week, the City Manager formed subcommittees to review mass gathering ordinances and rental/neighborhood issues then make recommendations to the City Council
- RGVCGG retained another civic law firm to do a complete review of existing Texas Law contained in the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission Code. We asked this law firm to condense the over 300 pages of code to provide our community with a handy, user-friendly resource of existing law that could deal with the kinds of problems we experienced during Spring Break. We are making the resulting guide available to the City and the citizens as a public service in hopes that it can be a useful reference tool as we move forward.
- Since this code is already existing Texas law, it could easily be included in any future local ordinances adopted, and thereby avoid challenges that might come forth from those who would object. However, the PAC has made no recommendations to the two committees nor to the City Council.
- Additionally, it is NOT the desire of the PAC to in any way kill or eliminate the traditional Spring Break for South Padre Island. To the contrary, Spring Break should be celebrated by college and other bona fide students of proper age in a safe environment – an environment that does not violate laws or endanger or hamper the safety or enjoyment of any of the college students on Spring Break, our citizens, or other visitors to the Island.
To obtain a copy of the TABC Code Reference Tool for Local Communities, please come by or contact the POWC office.