The El Paso Times' news room is still trying to cover for the El Paso Times editorial board. You can see their latest fit HERE.
A few things here are interesting.
The fact that Rep. Carl Robinson didn't fill out the evaluation form is not surprising. He doesn't do anything other than show up on Tuesdays. He doesn't use a computer. He doesn't use a smart phone. His assistant is completely controlled by Rep. Lily Limon. Limon and she tells Robinson's assistant what emails he sees and which ones he doesn't. This is very well documented at city hall. There's no surprise here. Hell, it would have been shocking if the guy had actually filled out the evaluation and understood it. Although he would have just written "blah blah blah when I was i the military blah blah blah me I me blah blah Army blah blah I me I me me me me military blah blah blah."
Rep. Cortney Niland put herself in a terrible position. She made it worse with her excuse - vacation. You can't do that. You can't say that your family comes first etc. Voters don't give a shit about your family unless they are featured in a mugshot. As far as they are concerned, you're their slave 24 hours a day. You don't get to have a vacation. You don't get to have personal time. You don't get to go to your son's graduation. I know it sounds unfair, but that's how they see it and if you want to be a politician you're going to have to live with it.
What Niland should have said is - "I felt the evaluation form was not sufficient to rate the city manager's performance. The form is a joke having a category that rates his appearance of all things. I instead came up with a list of his accomplishments - problems that he solved. I feel this is how you truly evaluate an employee. You have to put the effort in to really show how this man has performed and that's what I did. I know it took a long time to read my entire list at council, but it came to the point I found it necessary to read my review of his work into the public record. I feel my review of Mr. Gonzalez is much more substantial than throwing a few numbers down on a page without much thought. "
If Niland had simply said that, she'd have taken an accusation that made her look lazy and turned it into a story about her going above and beyond in the process. Jaime Abeytia swears she controls everything I write and here's an example of how he's wrong. She got bad advice or no advice at all. You can't make it to the next level in politics if you can't tackle these types of situations. Frank Underwood would have not only gave the perfect quote here, but he would have had the reporter murdered. That's how the big boys get it done.
You know who looks worse than Rep. Niland here? Rep. Claudia Ordaz. She gave the guy a perfect five star rating, votes for his raise and then tries to back away from both of those actions. I mean, it would be one thing if she had given him a rating on par with the other council members, but she didn't. She consciously marked 5 for all categories - including his appearance! Then she decided the guy doesn't deserve to get a raise nor to be paid at market rate for his five star performance. Confusing at best... inept at worst.
Of course she still claims this is all about the process even though her agenda item was aimed at taking the raise away. At some point you have to just say - "I made a political play that I thought would be good for me and bad for them and it backfired." The longer you tell everyone the sky is green, the more insane they think you are.
The real winner her is Mayor Leeser. He's the guy getting things done, setting deadlines and judiciously moving them when council members fail to do their job.