Questionable Practices in the 57 South Music Festival Selection Process

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What’s Going On?

The Maverick Times News investigated how the 57 South Music Festival picked who would organize it. The festival caused the City of Eagle Pass to lose $2.35 million. When we asked for all the details, the city only gave us some information and refused to share everything, claiming some things were confidential.

Why wouldn’t the city want to share all the details if everything was done fairly?

The Selection Process

Normally, a group of five people decides who gets big contracts to ensure a fair choice. For the 57 South Music Festival, only three people made the decision: Ricky Gutierrez, Arturo Marquez, and Aide Castano. Usually, more people, including the finance director, are involved to review everything thoroughly.

Can three people really make a fair decision on something this important?

The Three Resumes Submitted

We looked at the resumes of the candidates who wanted to organize the festival:

  • Jesse Minton (who got the contract): He has over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing, working with big brands like Rebecca Creek Whiskey and Jack Daniels.
  • Fernando Sanchez Flores: He has experience in marketing and managing music festivals, working with well-known bands and as a leader in the music industry.
  • Yvette Cantu: She has been a booking agent and manager for many artists and events, coordinating performances and managing sales and marketing.

Despite their different qualifications, it’s unclear why Jesse Minton was chosen because the city didn’t share the complete scoring sheets used by the committee.

How can we trust the decision if we don’t know why he was chosen over others with strong qualifications?

Lack of Transparency

The city said they couldn’t release all the details because of an “email exception.” However, the scoring sheets we saw don’t need email information, making the city’s reason for withholding documents seem suspicious. This raises doubts about what the city might be hiding.

What are they afraid we might discover?

Committee Members’ Roles and Controversy

The three committee members had a significant influence on the decision. Arturo Marquez, one of the members, resigned shortly after questions about the selection process arose, increasing suspicions about the fairness of the process. Normally, having more people involved helps avoid biases and ensures a fair decision.

What does it say about the process if a key member resigns right when questions are being asked?

Who is to Blame for the $2.35 Million Dollar Loss?

Our investigation shows that the process of selecting who would organize the 57 South Music Festival wasn’t transparent and may have been unfair. The city’s refusal to release full information, combined with the limited and potentially biased selection committee, calls for a thorough review and more transparency in the future. The $2.35 million loss demands public scrutiny and accountability.

How can the city move forward if these issues aren’t addressed?

We will continue to seek the truth and advocate for fairness. The City of Eagle Pass needs to address these issues and restore public confidence in their operations. The residents deserve to know how their funds are being used, especially when such significant losses are involved.

Can we trust our city’s leaders if they aren’t transparent with us?

Call to Action

We urge the public and local officials to demand full transparency in the selection process for professional services. The integrity of our city’s operations depends on it. We will keep the community informed of any developments and continue to request the information needed.

Will you stand with us to demand the truth?

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