The anti-ballpark crowd's crusade is stupid, built on lies and out right laughable in some respects. However, a win is a win and they got a huge win yesterday. The only way to beat stupid is to kill it smart. The only way to lose to stupid is challenge it with more stupid. City Council brought stupid to fight stupid.
Eddie Holguin brought up Sal Gomez's second certified petition for discussion and somehow council agreed to place it on the ballot in May for consideration by the voters. The only one voting against the measure was Steve Ortega. Niland was out.
The city manager, city attorney and the affirmative voting block minus Ortega are all under the impression that the case in state court will clear all of this up and they can implode building before May. They are likely wrong. They were right - until they handed the ankle biters this vote.
Now Sal Gomez and friends have a guarantee from the city itself that the voters will decide the fate of the ballpark. Any judge could be easily persuaded to issue an injunction given the anti-ballpark crowd gets a bond to cover it. A lawyer I talked to last night told me that they can get relief on the size of the bond and that there's probably only one judge that wouldn't issue an injunction on their behalf.
The bottom line is that now city council has completely validated Gomez's claims to the point of asking voters to decide the issue. This negates their entire case in Austin at the moment where they are trying to prove that they don't need to go to the voters and that any attempt to pass a repeal is against the law. Any judge would look at this action and simply ask "WTF?" The city is fighting to keep this question off the ballot and out of the hands of the voters and then turns around and puts it on the ballot. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Dumb. Very Dumb.
What the pro-ballpark voting block should have done is voted against putting the item on the ballot. And don't tell me "they have to by law," because if that was the case - they'd not have the ability to vote on it. Voting it down would have maintained the status quo from council and given nothing new to the anti-ballpark's case. Gomez would have to sue again to get this put on the ballot in may and would not likely get that decision in time for the May ballot. More importantly, a judge wouldn't have a clear cause for imposing an injunction on the razing of city hall.
If the anti-ballpark crowd were to retain a good lawyer for a change, they could really kill this deal thanks to council's inexplicably dumb move. And if you don't believe that council can get bad legal advice - have a talk with Mayor Cook about this couple hundred thousand dollars in legal fees over an issue that should have never gone to a vote in the first place.
Fact is - Eddie Holguin out-maneuvered everyone on council and the entire pro-ballpark crowd yesterday. City council should not be living on some lawyer's best guess at the outcome of a pending lawsuit in state court.
With all that said- they'll eventually demolish city hall. The time line is going to be moved back quite a bit, but it's going to happen. Well, that's if Gomez and friends don't screw this legal challenge up like they have the rest. Council has handed them a gift - let's see what they do with it.