As you may have noticed recently, I haven’t been writing much about local El Paso politics. In regards to county issues, the children’s hospital continues to be burden upon the taxpayers. That will not change in the near future and therefore there is nothing more I can add to that dialog. Veronica Escobar and cohorts have the children’s hospital where they want it and as result they are not about to be forthcoming about the ramifications. That leaves the city and the upcoming elections.
In regards to the upcoming March elections, they are more geared towards the national and state levels. There are a few local elections which are lackluster at best and therefore I’ll wait until we get closer to Election Day before I share a few commentaries about them with you. As for the national elections, I expect one of the most significant topics to be immigration reform. As a result, I plan on doing my best to set the record straight as the politicians will likely distort the facts for political points.
Then there are the city politics and the ongoing controversies about them. Except that the city, under the guise of making themselves more efficient, have gone to having meetings every other week. I am sure that the current city council will argue that it was never intended to keep the lie about “it’s all good” in El Paso going but, nonetheless, that is the consequence of having meetings every other week.
Without a public meeting it is more difficult to focus on the city’s shenanigans. In addition, the reduced number of meetings makes it even more difficult to hold elected officials accountable. For example, Larry Romero has stated that he suffered a medical emergency and that his office staff is still working on behalf of the constituency that elected him.
The problem is that we do not know if these are facts because without public meetings the constituency is unable to scrutinize what they have been told. The lack of meetings have also allowed Romero to forgo having to act on the demand by other city representative to resign from appointments to boards because of the ongoing controversies. Each two weeks, instead of missing two meetings, which is the reality, he is only technically missing one meeting officially. But what about his constituency that expects a full-time representative?
After all, the city’s political structure is one based on a representative government.
What kind of representation is an absent, and self-admitted ill representative providing for those that put him into office?
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the lacking meetings also have the added benefit for the city government to forgo answering uncomfortable questions about the $21 million bond costs and the multiple controversies involving Tommy Gonzalez and Larry Romero.
The community knows there is an ongoing investigation but it does not have a public forum from which to ask questions of how the investigation is proceeding and whether there have been any findings. Some would argue, including me, that the meetings every other week allows the city government to forgo answering questions when they are uncomfortable with the answers or it might destroy the “it’s all good” image it tries so desperately to keep going.
As you can see, meetings every two weeks has one result and that is to keep the community at bay with uncomfortable questions.
However, I am working on a few things that, unfortunately, take time. I have opened a few dialogs with former officials, some of which have been implicated in public corruption, in an attempt to bring you more details of past and current corruption. The conversations look promising so far.
In addition, I have been filing numerous open records requests with several government entities in an attempt to pierce the façade of no corruption in El Paso and the border region. My research so far has resulted in new information that I believe you will find interesting.
Stay tuned, I have some surprises for you this year.