Why your local politicos are so hot to trot to build an arena is beyond me. Every day that thing is delayed, is another day the taxpayers won't have to stare at an empty building. A building, mind you, that will be justification for a tax increase every year come budget time. Hell, I heard city council hired a new firm to tell them where to put the damn thing... You're now paying for the same service twice.
But that's not what I'm here to talk about.
The County Commissioners Court figured they'd get involved with arena by axing two members of the county hysterical commission for opposing the "Duranguito" location for the empty building (by the way, they invented "Durnaguito" just for this protest, I know nobody who has ever referred to that neighborhood with that name). Cross the wrong judge/commissioner and they'll make you pay. Mafia style politics is alive and well in El Paso. Which... is kind of nice since y'all are so obsessed with the racist murderer, Pancho Villa. You guys root for the bad guys to kill the good guys. I'll never understand it, but it is interesting to watch.
Now, some of you are going to claim that Max Grossman and Bernie Sargent were not reappointed to the hysterical commission because they violated the Texas Open Meetings Act by canvassing votes via email. That's just fucking stupid on your part. Violation or not, it's the county hysterical commission and they have zero power or budget. They're an advisory committee formed to allow history buffs a feeling of empowerment without giving them any real power. That's the purpose of every single advisory committee ever formed at the city and county level. It's a "here's your title, now shut up and leave us alone," move some brilliant politician came up with decades ago. Bottom line - these guys hurt nothing with their emails - even if it broke the rules. Not having them on that commission is much more detrimental than keeping them and slapping them on the wrist.
Here's why -
I can't speak much to Max Grossman, I haven't met the guy. He appears to be passionate about El Paso's history.
Bernie Sargent's biggest crime? Loving El Paso too much. Some of us cringe looking back at what El Paso used to be and what it has become, but not Bernie. The guy celebrates all of the city's history - good and bad - and works very hard to keep the stories, sites, artifacts and facts about El Paso preserved for those who might want to know about them. His passion pays little or nothing. It goes unnoticed by many and I'm sure he's often wondered if his work matters, but if he gets one person interested in El Paso's history - he's won. In an awful cynical world where bloggers like me shit on everything, there's Bernie making the best of the history El Pasoans have surrounding them every day. El Paso could stand to have a lot more Bernie Sargents and less smart ass bloggers and spiteful politicians. I guarantee your children would have more fun listening to Bernie on a stroll downtown than they would with me or anybody person ever elected to a local office.
And while the hysterical commission isn't exactly the Joint Chiefs of Staff, it's a group that makes sure we keep an eye toward the past while we build our future. To have a guy like Bernie on that commission is to validate the entire existence of an advisory board. Without his passion you have a group of people who don't show up to meetings and could care less about the duties of the commission (however lacking in power those duties are, you should show up, be involved and fulfill your commitment of service). Dare I say that without Bernie Sargent on your El Paso hysterical commission, you don't have a legitimate committee. You might as well get rid of it because Bernie is the only guy who makes it what it is. It's like you have Enchilada Committee and you don't have a fat guy as chair - it's not legit.
I know they won't reinstate these guys. However, both of them have big networks of friends. If I was running for office anytime soon, I'd want them as friends, not enemies. I'm not saying they're kingmakers, but they do have some sway with some folks and every vote counts. I'm seeming to remember in recent history these guys making some real noise over a fake neighborhood... Imagine what they can do when the focus of their attention actually exists.
Having just read the El Paso Times article... You're liar if you claim that this was not 100 percent due to the Duranguito opposition. You think less of El Pasoans if you tell a single person this action was taken for any other reason than their opposition to the Arena location. No, even more poignant - you think we're all about of dumbasses if you believe we believe you. Give us a break. There's no need to lie about this at all.
The Enchilada Commission doesn't eat enchiladas for research purposes... any claim otherwise would be a lie.