You guys also need to get your facts straight and that means waiting until there are actually facts out there to get straight. Understanding that this is a plan based on contingencies will help keep you from stepping on the rake over and over again with your wild-ass conspiracy theories. You know - the ones you've been throwing out in the comment section of this blog.
First of all, do take the time to realize that the baseball stadium and it's backers are completely different than the PDNG and their plan. Maybe six years ago Hunt and Foster were hot and heavy into the PDNG, but that's not the case as of right now. If anything, this move by Hunt and Foster really screws of the PDNG and their goal of having a monopoly on taxpayer owned downtown entertainment sites. That is a GOOD thing.
This out of town guy hired by PDNG t0 separate you fools from your money is probably so pissed right now, he can't see straight. With $50 million going into a guarantee for a baseball stadium without voter approval, you can bet voters aren't going to give the thumbs up to a downtown arena in the quality of life bond issue. I think it's a better bet to spend $50 million on the baseball deal because El Paso knows a lot more about what's happening there. Spending $150 million plus on an arena where no backup material exist - not even an artist's rendering - is not something El Pasoans want to do.
For all of you who don't pay attention and think all the rich people are best friends, take a look at the recent past. Paul Foster out-maneuvered the PDNG when he went willy-nilly on the Mills building and bought the Plaza Hotel and it seems like he's done it again with the baseball deal. Nobody will go on record as saying they're mad at Foster for going it alone on downtown revitalization, but plenty of them will when it's off the record. Foster's foray into downtown redevelopment was not a part of the original plan - a plan that has not yet been executed to my knowledge. The PDNG sought to strictly control downtown redevelopment by owning every aspect of it. When Foster started buying up the best properties and polishing them up - the folks at PDNG lost their minds. You can't have total control when some Billionaire Baylor grad starts calling the plays from the huddle - if you know what I mean.
Again - nobody at PDNG or in the Hunt/Foster crowd will confirm what I'm saying here, but behind closed doors it's pretty evident what's going on. If you think they're all in cahoots - you're wrong. Rich people don't automatically like each other no matter what the conspiracy theories you believe purport.
That brings us to relocating city hall.
Fact is - we don't know exactly what will happen at this point. It is likely that the final plans won't be known until the trigger is actually pulled on this project. Prospective downtown properties may all be rented by the time the ballpark deal goes through - then what? Well, there's going to be several different plans I'm sure. If you attend the meeting, you'll probably get to hear most of them. I say "most" because knowing city staff there's always something they keep from the public because it will cause a shit storm.
The good part is that you have input. You can attend the meeting and put your two cents in. If I were there I'd say the building of a new stadium on the land where City Hall sits allows the City Manager to send every single city employee home one day and not invite them back. We'd save $100,000,000 a year easy without the bloated mass of bureaucracy that currently resides in that God-awful building that smells like the inside of a porta-potty 90 percent of the time. We could hire private companies to execute the limited day to day services provided by the city and not only would the taxpayer save money, they'd be better served!
I'm sure none of that's going to happen...
The city needs to let people put in bids for the new space. Lowest square foot cost wins and it doesn't matter if it's on Joe Battle or Redd Road - whatever is cheapest and the taxpayers don't have to maintain, wins. There is zero advantage to having city operations downtown. In fact, with all the coming and going it would be better to have it in a more accessible spot on the East Side. The County of El Paso has had great success with their regional annexes, the city should follow.
Wait - I just thought of this - the city should close city hall and then relinquish their duties to the County! Dissolve the City in a glass of County - GENIUS! Less policitians! Less government workers! Less lying, cheating and stealing!
Any friends I had at the city are no longer "friends" after that little outburst...
Here's the bottom line - you'll have a chance to you voice your opinion on this entire deal. Come armed with facts because council members are going to have theirs at the ready. Drop one little piece of misinformation on that stage and they'll disregard everything you say along with the thoughts of anyone they associate with you. I can't tell you how many times a group of well meaning citizens are sunk by one idiot who takes the podium and starts spouting lies. Re-zoning the North West part of town and the Transmountain expansion come to mind immediately.
Again - get your facts straight before going into battle.
Don't try to smear the Hunts and the Fosters - it won't work. They're not bad people and they don't do bad things. Your attempts to tie them to things they're not involved with will only embarrass you and detract from your point. Playing a game of "they're rich, so I don't think they should get this" won't work either. If you put together a group of investors who had a viable shot at owning a baseball team you 'd get the same consideration. Jealousy is El Paso's most prevalent natural resources - you can change that starting now.
Good luck to you. And remember - if you have ever touted a politician in the past that has been indicted in the now - do not think your opinion holds weight here - it doesn't. If you couldn't see Larry Medina for exactly who he is - you don't deserve to have your thoughts reviewed by the blog reading public.