Thanks to all that live-streamed to my email the city council meeting yesterday. Svarzbein has grown up and become a little bit of a politician these days.
First of all, Annello was going to vote to take away the TIRZ because Byrd told her to. Her moronic excuse that somehow new homes on the westside are going to hurt her district was typical Byrd bullshit. If the TIRZ goes away, her district will be taxed by the EPWU for the needed drainage improvements. She had it wrong. But Byrd always seems to have it wrong on development.
Svarzbein had already taken money from the developer community. This was not playing well with the environazis. Svarz has an election to win and the environazis were threatening to oust him if he didn't make amends. They made good on that promise with Bonart running again. Svarz needed a way out and he found one.
You see, knowing how a vote is going to go down is pretty important. It's a shady area, but you can canvass the other members of council in order to figure which way each agenda item is going to go. You might remember not long ago my buddy Jaime was doing that for Ordaz on a city manager issue. What you might not know is that there's no rule saying one member of council can't schedule a meeting with another member of council and flat out ask them how they are going to vote. In seven short meetings you can know the outcome of the big Tuesday meeting before it happens.
Svarz knew the agenda item would fail (which is confusing, but in order for the TIRZ to go ahead the item needed to fail). Svarz knew that Annello was the only one voting to get rid of the TIRZ. The rest of council was going to vote to deny the petition to leave the land to the 12 hikers who use it during the one month they can hike - December. This was just the kind of information Svarz needed to go from being a boy to a man in the world of politics.
Svarz had to make sure his big donors were happy - you know, the guys that develop stuff and provide El Paso with economic opportunity. But he also had to stave off the environazis who were sure to vote against him. So he gave the donors a wink and said "hold my kombucha and watch this." That's when Svarz cast a vote in favor of Bonart and the environazis - essentially disarming them on the TIRZ issue for his upcoming race. No longer could they say he wasn't sympathetic - he cast a vote in their favor!
This takes away Bonart's entire campaign platform. It also preserves Svarz's seat for his major donors. And the donors know what the deal is. Svarz ducks a vote he knows will come out okay for his donors in order to placate a voting bloc - it's straight out of the political handbook.
All of sudden city council meetings are becoming fun again.