This is from Jim Tolbert
Time to Work Together for El Paso
El Paso has been compared to a crab pot. Just as soon as one crab makes it to the top, another pulls it down. This simile is true regarding our dreams, projects and politics. The politics of power and divisiveness in El Paso must end now.
I began my term on City Council as the one who had filed ethics complaints against Mr. Larry Romero and our City Manager, Mr. Tommy Gonzalez. Although I did not write those complaints (Susie Byrd did), I take responsibility for them because my name is on the complaints. The filings were a power play by one faction to tear down the current leadership of the City of El Paso. By the time that I left City Council, I had come to respect Mr. Gonzalez and appreciate his work for the City. He has chosen a superb management team.
The reasons for filing the complaint against Mr. Gonzalez were not valid. The complaint involved the pavement of an alleyway and the addition of speed humps on Stanton Street – two items that Mr. Gonzalez was authorized by the budget resolution to approve. Although Mr. Romero was on slippery grounds, one must ask whether trying to protect the safety of children and paving an alleyway were good causes for such opprobrium.
There were consequences to the Susie Byrd-Veronica Escobar cabal in which I took part. Mr. Romero had a stroke and Mr. Gonzalez was prevented from returning home to a sick and dying father. I am deeply sorry for the pain and agony my filing may have caused Mr. Gonzalez, his family and Mr. Romero.
The politics of power and divisiveness hurts individuals physically and emotionally, damages personal reputations and disrupts the City’s efforts to move forward. Thankfully and to use a football analogy, Mr. Gonzalez has been able to move the ball down the field despite those who want to prevent our City – our team – from scoring touchdowns. Those who wish to wrestle power for themselves seek total domination and control of the governance of El Paso just for power’s sake. Their calculations seem to be done without conscience.
One may not agree with our City Manager’s style of leadership. However, it is his prerogative. Truly professional people, who may differ with the style, nevertheless work as team members. Some may also not like Mr. Gonzalez’s personality. Most of us learned in youth how to get along. Certainly, professional people understand the value for doing so. Making personality an issue is just petty. Of course, Mr. Gonzalez has his faults. All of us do.
Let’s all come together as El Pasoans and work for progress and the common good and common wealth for all El Pasoans. It’s time to be humans with souls and not crabs with claws.