The El Paso Times took another crack at the paving story HERE. Make of it what you will... I have my own thoughts:
1. For those of you who think the El Paso Times gives Niland and friends a pass - you're wrong. In fact, that voting bloc is mentioned for pretty much no reason in the story. To this point nobody had every pointed fingers at Acosta,Noe and Niland on this issue. The paper has chosen Rep. Claudia Ordaz as their darling and will pick on the meanies who don't put up with her shit on council. Good for her.
2. It was a lie to say Rep. Romero had his street repaved. It was a malicious lie to make the situation look worse that it actually was. Why? Because what happened isn't bad in the least bit. What did happen was that sidewalks in his neighborhood were improved so that pedestrians could walk in their community without having to enter the street with cars (wouldn't Byrd want this?). It happened to be that it was Romero's street that benefitted from the sidewalk gap program which doesn't fall under the paving program - so that's completely unrelated. The small amount of paving was done on his street for the relocation of underground utility lines - this happens all the time and it's usually not a good thing. New pavement laid with old pavement tends to create a nice bump where the seams come together. Besides, the patches are made all over town when crews have to go fix something underground. Bottom line - this whole story was based on a lie.
3. The EP Times were very careful not to mention that Reps. Robinson and Limon had streets paved in their districts. It was an obvious omission for those of us who read the KVIA report.
4. Insiders have been telling me that every year since the original list was made there were priorities moved around on the list. The list stood as a guide for the on-call paving contracts and city crews. It was never set in stone and engineering staff often approached council members about work set to start in their district and were open to suggestions of more needy areas (if there were any). I'm told that an audit of years past would show council members suggesting, and getting, pet paving projects done out of order. This includes reps you do like and the ones you don't.
5. District 2 residents must be pretty happy with Romero. He got them something they wanted. They don't care about lists or protocol, they are only concerned with their streets. If you think a kid is going to bitch because Santa brought him more presents than were on his list - you're stupid.
6. Some streets were pushed up the list because of damage caused by severe weather. Maybe they should have put those streets into the pot of money that was set aside for storm damage... maybe. I think they did what they had to do in a pinch.
7. Rep. Romero needs to be recalled for having them take out those roundabouts. I know stupid people bitch about them because.... well... they're stupid. They do their job of keeping traffic flowing while slowing down the dangerous drivers. What a complete waste of money to build them and then tear them out. The stats show they were doing their job. Romero ought to resign over this move and the city employees who made it happen ought to be fired. It's like GM taking all the seat belts out of their cars because a consumer complains they aren't comfortable. Idiotic.
8. The El Paso Times won't rest until they get Tommy Gonzalez fired. They had egg on their face after they didn't get his raise rescinded, so now they're in a blind furry to get even. I hope Tommy brought his boxing gloves to town - it's going to be a fight!