As some of you might know, tomorrow city council is expected to have a discussion about the use of the city’s baseball luxury box. The item “Discussion and action to review the policies related to the use of the baseball luxury box, with discussion to include list of past attendees and schedule of departments using the luxury box” was added by Lily Limon as an addition to the council’s regular agenda for June 3. You might also remember that city council was also to discuss the Lincoln Center issue as well. The Lincoln Center was tabled for four weeks and Limon had the baseball luxury box item tabled for one week.
Why did this happen and what is the item about?
It comes down to applying political pressure.
Emma Acosta is the lynch pin to the two voting blocks that have developed around the Lincoln Center building.
The first voting block is made up of Ann Lilly Morgan, Cortney Niland, Michiel Noe and Larry Romero.
The second voting block is made up of Carl Robinson, Eddie Holguin and Lily Limon.
Then there is Emma Acosta.
It is also an open secret that Emma Acosta aspires to other political offices.
Therefore, Emma Acosta finds herself in the uncomfortable position of trying to placate the city’s political moneymen for her political aspirations while also trying to keep her constituency happy. With Emma Acosta vacillating her vote back and forth in regards to the Lincoln Center, both sides of the debate have been mounting political pressure on her to sway her in their direction.
This is where the issue of the luxury box comes into play.
Last week, Emma Acosta was inexplicably absent from the city council meeting, although she did request to be excused. As a result, city council voted to table Lily Limon’s item about the Lincoln Center for four weeks effectively killing the debate for a funding mechanism for a month. (corrected building name on June 9, 2014)
The vote was four to three with Ann Morgan Lilly, Larry Romero, Cortney Niland and Michiel Noe voting to table the item. Had Emma Acosta been present it is likely a tie vote would have resulted and Oscar Leeser is likely to have voted to not table the item. Remember that Leeser only votes to break a tie.
Why would Emma Acosta have been pressured to vote not to table the item? Besides the public scrutiny she was under by the advocates of the Lincoln Center, Lily Limon had added an item to the agenda that had been directed at Acosta; the ballpark luxury box item.
By not attending the city council meeting, Emma Acosta thought she might be able to avoid both issues. She was successful on the issue of the Lincoln Center; however, Limon had her item tabled for one week. This brings the item to tomorrow’s agenda.
This could potentially be embarrassing for Emma Acosta.
The city’s allocated baseball stadium luxury box was supposed to be used by city employees as an incentive for their work. It was supposed to be a way for the city manager to reward employees. Although I have not seen the attendance list there are numerous pictures floating about on social media that seems to indicate that Emma Acosta uses the luxury box.
If that is the case then this is potentially very embarrassing for Acosta.
There is no question that Lily Limon was angry after council’s vote last week. I also believe that she had put the item of the use of the luxury box on the agenda because she already knew who was on the list. I believe it was added to pressure Acosta.
Limon is angry and her item is still on the agenda. The news media needs scandal in order to remain relevant. The last thing Emma Acosta needs is for her constituency to think that she has bought into the downtown revitalization public agenda that many believe is destroying El Paso.
It is a battle for public perception. Acosta has been able to vacillate back and forth on the ballpark so far. Tying her directly to misuse of the luxury box ties her to the moneymen she needs but doesn’t want her constituency to know about.
It seems like Lily Limon has started to learn how the political game is played. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
This is how politics is played at the junior varsity level.