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February 07, 2017

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What's worse of all is that no one - among the normal, average, every day taxpayer citizens of this town - seems to really want this stupid arena!

DavidK - I’m getting tired of your calling El Pasoans “you guys” and “you people.” You obviously do not identify with “us guys.” Why you want to spend your time on El Paso stuff is beyond me, but you do. And because there’s so little coverage of news in El Paso, “we guys” keep reading your blog.

That said, you redeemed yourself with your kind, true words about Bernie Sergent and Max Grossman. Both have done a lot for the community and really cannot be replaced.

I have a different take on Escobar and CC. If Sergent and Grossman’s last names were Sandoval and Garcia, or Sanchez and Garza, they would still be on the Commission. I seldom cry racism, but in this case I believe it is true. Escobar would at least have given Sanchez and Garza a chance to educate themselves and the Commission on open meetings regulations, even though apparently no violation actually occurred since the County Attorney stated there was no quorum.

To me the question is, as a Commission did they formally vote for that position? Then formally brief Commissioners Court on that position? And finally, did Commissioners Court take a formal position on the issue?

Or were these two individuals "free lancing," and using the Commission's title and prestige, to influence a City decision which will have a major economic impact?

From where I stand, removing those two individuals was a prudent move by Commissioners Court!

Now as private citizens, they can use their influence on the issues that personally matter to them.

It was good to see the Chamber and business community finally taking a position on this arena matter.

David K's long, long held position and basic concerns still remain valid. Will this downtown arena be a long term failure and cost burden to local taxpayers?

Abandon Hope: I think you nailed it regarding the Sanchez/Garza names versus Gringo names. Would be interesting to see the ethnic make up of the new 25 person committee.

Today city council is considering a contract award to AECOM to perform a site study for the arena within 1000 ft of the convention center. Didn't we just pay HKS something like $900,000 to do the same damn thing. Guess council didn't like the last report so let's spend more money to get the same damn opinion and then we can say we "studied it".

I don't know which is worse - CC or City Council. It's a toss up.

A few things:

The CHC is organized under state statute, not on the whim of the Comm Ct. That's why the CHC has to follow Open Records and Open Meetings laws, which they didn't -- arena or no.

There were hardly any Hispanics on the CHC before yesterday, so you are absolutely correct that there was an attempt to add diversity to a commission that is supposed to reflect the ethnic makeup of the county.

Max and Bernie ran the CHC like a private history club instead of an arm of the county (and state) government. Their willful ignorance of the law (even regarding what a CHC should actually be doing) and their patent refusal to follow it (long before the arena fight) is what got them into this mess, is what lost the trust of the entire Comm Ct., and is what got them removed. Good riddance.

You forgot to mention the true picture of El Paso history-the Taco Commission.

Well the CC was absolutely fine with those 2 individuals until they pissed them off and now its a problem. Term limits should have been used from the very beginning. The CHC and the CC used each other for their own purposes and then BAM! One of them screwed up and so now they are gone.

Mr. Sanchez Garcia -- The CHC has done a lot. Getting the Texas Historic Commission to match local money for a historic survey of downtown is only one of their projects. It is not a private club. All members are appointed by county commissioners. Anyone of any ancestry can request an appointment by going through his/her commissioner. I don't think there is a waiting list of applicants. Any Hispanic interested can apply. It is not the fault of the CHC that few Hispanics have done so. And let me repeat -- the county attorney stated that quorum was not reached in the informal email pole done, so there was no violation of open meetings. The punishment does not fit the crime by a long shot.

Sanchez another Killery whiner, did it ever occur to you that the 2 white guys might be Jewish ? Looking at their names it wouldn't surprise me and did you know that many Jewish people migrated to El Paso as early as the 1900's. Many had businesses and employed many people since El Paso began.
you wrote
"There were hardly any Hispanics on the CHC before yesterday, so you are absolutely correct that there was an attempt to add diversity to a commission that is supposed to reflect the ethnic makeup of the county."

These people got involved because they love it and i bet they vote. How many of the "ethnic make up of the county" didn't vote ?

With you its all about race isn't it ? Yep, you sound like an Escobar minion.

Bueno, Sr. Hope,

Forget the email poll's lack of quorum. Max and Bernie can't even get their stories straight over how many people "voted" to preserve the arena in the email poll. In fact, KTSM's ORR documents prove they were lying all along of the "near-unanimous" support in the emails against the arena in Duranguito.

But let's talk about their not following Open Meetings laws regarding the supposed approval and forwarding of marker applications to the Texas Historical Commission. The state folks knew the process wasn't followed, and all the El Paso applications were denied. And only El Paso's. Que vergüenza! That's called gross negligence -- that the chair and vice chair didn't, after 20 years of combined experience on the CHC, know what the rules were or didn't care to follow them. See, the punishment indeed fits the crime.

It's all about control. Escobar keeps saying she had "questions of confidence." What the hell does that mean? I think it means "I've just lost control. Someone else is getting their name in the media more than me. Let me right this ship so that I am at the center of everything again."

At her very core, Escobar is rotten. If she wanted more Hispanics on the commission, she should have done that years ago. But she was too wrapped up trying to make herself relevant on a statewide and national level to pay attention to what was happening with the locals.

Count me a disgusted.

Bernie and Max claim that they did not know the emails were illegal. Seems that someone who has worked somewhere for 17 years would have eventually figured out what they can and can't do. Just pay attention to what's going on around you. Ignorance of the law is a lame excuse.

Those two had become a bit too big for their britches over the past few years. Apparently they wanted to have absolute control of the destiny of every building in the entire downtown area.

They used their County positions to further their personal agendas. They publicly scolded anyone who had a different opinion than theirs, included government leaders at the highest levels. They censored opposing opinions on social media.

The initial "durangito" win catapulted their ego's over the top.

I'm sure the email issue on it's own, would have only warranted a slap on the hand. Their brazen arrogance is what did them in.

The County had no choice but to feed them a plate of humble pie.

Claudia Ordaz, the wife of County Commissioner Vince Perez and a political ally of Veronica Escobar, verbally attacked Max Grossman at a City Council meeting, accusing him of not being concerned with buildings located outside of downtown. The accusation was unfair, but tells a lot about the politics of this situation. In this little bitty island of a city, you can count on the fact that Escobar was looking for any reason - littering, watering on the wrong day, jay-walking - to get rid of Grossman and Sergent. She got her reason. It will be interesting to see who fills the vacant seats on the commission.

A more troubling aspect of this whole affair is, was there an abuse of official capacity in what took place? For that reason Commissioners Court was prudent in the action they took.

Look at the weasel words being used when talking to the media, did not know, or did not do anything on purpose.

If as a citizen you violated a traffic law, or failed to get a local building permit, or did not get approval to build or make a home addition in a historical designated area of the city, would local officials really let you off?

The likely answer is no! So why should these two individuals get a pass?

Are we seeing the de-hipsterization of DTEP? The stadium isn't raising the IQ or educational attainment level of DTEP as promised?

Next thing will probably be a HACEP project in DTEP.

The Commission was sloppily run, no doubt. And as a downtowner, I am pretty tired of Grossman and his protest tactics. Without Grossman's in-your-face actions, things might have gone on without notice. But where has the County Judge provided oversight? Did she meet with the commission? Did she check their minutes? I am guessing she did none of those things. Her dismissal of Sargent and Grossman was heavy handed. She should have imposed term limits and let those two run out their term.

Interesting....
http://www.elpasoproud.com/news/local/el-paso-news/rep-noe-questions-ethics-commission-city-officials-on-ethics-code/652099609

You are right DK.
This is purely about punishing citizens for exercising their right to free speech and govt engagement.
Typical Escobar retaliation tactic against anywho who expresses a superior position to her ignorant ideas. Remember her trying to censure Chief Allen and have him punished as if he now somehow has no free speech rights because he is Chief 24x7x365.

Furthermore:
1. If this were about a TOMA violation at least everyone who responded to the poll would have to be removed.
Not the case - the one guy who did not oppose destroying Duranguito/Union Plaza was reappointed.

2. It is also not about ethnic diversity because every single Hispanic, who by the way had outstanding academic and professional credentials, were also not reappointed.

3. It is most certainly not about Escobar's claimed lack of confidence because SHE had NO PROBLEM reappointing the same crooked screw-ups, who cost the taxpayer millions by their crooked scheming, to the "new" Children's Hospital board

Ethics Again,

Thanks for the clip showing what a hypocrit Tolbert is. He has done the same thing he demonized Romero for doing. This is off the topic of the historical commission, but shows what a jerk Tolbert is.

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