Thank you to all of you who took the time to email me about the disaster that was the city council meeting yesterday. It seems that the meeting was so bad that people who don't even like me were inspired to write to me.
The big difference in the meeting yesterday was that Joyce Wilson wasn't there. She was in Fort Worth interviewing for their city manager position.
(side bar: All four were rejected in Fort Worth. A Fort Worth government watcher has been in contact with me since Wilson was announced - we've been talking about Wilson's career in El Paso. His take on the rejection of all the city manager candidates is that the Fort Worth city council is looking for a Republican. They apparently don't get that most top bureaucrats are liberals, I guess.)
The general sentiment was that the mayor seemed lost and angry. That's opposite of Cook who was lost and genial. City staff was powerless to educate him on even the simplest concepts.
Mayor Leeser lost his mind over $25,000 previously agreed to in an effort to get the Conference USA basketball tournaments held in El Paso. A boon to the local economy of several million dollars was being held up by the mayor who didn't want to spend $25,000. Something tells me that Wilson would have nipped this in the bud.
Do remember that Leeser was more than happy to throw away $24,000 in taxpayer money on the Shawver park Christmas light display. Apparently $25,000 is just too much now for a prestigious basketball conference tournament.
The thing about a city manager is that the person brings continuity from one political regime to another. Leeser wasn't around when this tournament was booked and in Wilson's absence he was willing to crash the entire thing, which would have made national news and been a black eye for El Paso.... and you're running out of eyes to black these days.
They waded through that mess and into an ugly, disjointed session that badly needed staff direction. Council was almost paralyzed without someone knowledgeable in the room to explain simple concepts to them.
The worst item on the agenda was Carl Robinson's sudden need to cut Sean Haggerty through in the Northeast. Robinson has been told repeatedly that the project should have been put into the budget during budget time or in one of the previous spending bundles that went out for debt. The project will cost $16 - $20 million and the city is already running short on revenue.
Carl Robinson, a guy who refused to vote for the budget in the first place, wants to now raise taxes to fit in a project he was too lazy, or stupid, to put into the hopper at the proper time.
Do you know what's more insane? Those idiots on council voted to let him do it!!! Minus Niland who was the only thinking correctly yesterday.
Had Wilson been there, she would have explained to the pea-brains on council just how stupid what they were doing was. In this case, Wilson would have been furiously fighting for the taxpayer - something YOU, the taxpayer, badly needed in that meeting.
The next worst item was suggesting free parking for baseball games downtown. This was stupid because parking revenues are tied directly into paying off the debt. Rep. Acosta put the item on the agenda for Sal Gomez - possibly the dumbest El Pasoan to ever live.
I don't blame Acosta for putting the item on the agenda - she was trying to accommodate Gomez. You see, Gomez thanked Acosta for her generosity by announcing that he was leading a recall effort against her. It was one of those "are you f*cking kidding me?" moments that happen so often in El Paso politics.
The scoop is that Eddie Holguin and Jaime O. Perez are pissed at Acosta for supporting Apodaca. Holguin and Perez decided to ask Gomez to lead the recall. This is wonderful news for Acosta.
If there's one person you want managing a recall against you, it's Sal Gomez. He is the face of failure when it comes to petitions. And it doesn't hurt to have the other king of failed petitions and candidates, Jaime O. Perez, calling the shots as well. It's like Acosta is in a darts match with a armless blind guy.
The final little tid bit of information I have is that there may be trouble at third base again. Watchers have noticed that one lady still interrupts and berates her neighbor during debates. Apparently you could hear it on the mics again. We'll see if anyone actually asks to move this time or if someone gets whacked with a water bottle.