The tone around city hall is that the mayor hates all of the people who want to revitalize downtown and that the vote on the quality of life bond was rigged. He seriously thinks you didn't know what you were voting for when you overwhelmingly voted to go into debt on a slate pre-defined projects.
You can now mark the fact that El Pasoans claim that they've both not been given a vote when they in fact had and that when given a vote it didn't count. You folks are truly special.
Leeser's foray into what's going to amount to a public spanking by TxDOT is centered around his need to move quality of life bond money out of downtown. He thinks he can re-route the funds away from the people he hates downtown by pursuing projects like the Lincoln center. Because he has no experienced advisers who can tell him how his endeavors will end, he's headed full speed into a brick wall of unpopularity and possible legal troubles.
I'm the first one to say that an arena downtown is the dumbest idea ever. Between Las Cruces and El Paso you have three in-door facilities that have no events the majority of the year. I'm not even counting the acoustically challenged theatre run by the Community Foundation. There is not enough going on to ever need another facility. Never has an entertainer said "damn, wish I could find a way to squeeze into El Paso's busy entertainment schedule."
However, you people voted to build an arena and that has to be carried out for you. Democracy isn't always brilliant. A lot of stupid people and stupid projects get farther than they should through democracy. It's a "good with the bad" scenario.
The mayor will find himself on everyone's shit list if he keeps battling to personally over-turn the "will of the people."
Oh, and he's for sure putting strong mayor form of government on the ballot. No doubt about it. His staff has been telling anyone who will listen that they don't expect the new city manager to be around long. And I don't mean behind closed doors - it's happening in official public settings. The confidence in the new city manager from the Mayor's office is at zero.
One city Rep. is flabbergasted at what he and his staff are saying about the new city manager's likely tenure. Between all the drama behind picking the guy (that he now knows about) and the mayor being pretty upfront with his willingness to do away with the form of government - I'm sure his resume is already out to other communities.
And I must reiterate that the city manager selection process was handled in the most El Paso way ever. It was the very definition of everything that is wrong with the city.
The good news is that the Lincoln Center falls in the fall. The number of things the whiney, unemployed ankle-biters can complain about is shrinking. I'm both happy and sad about that reality.