I am pleased to report that after today’s three-hour executive session, the City Council voted 6-0 to authorize City Attorney Karla Nieman to accept a proposed Rule 11 Agreement between my attorneys and counsel for the City of El Paso that will end the litigation over the City’s now-abandoned plan to construct an arena in Duranguito.
Moreover, they agreed to direct Interim City Manager Cary Westin, once my lawsuit is withdrawn, to open the fence around the “Arena Footprint,” reestablish Chihuahua Street as a right of way, and reactivate the street lighting at night.
The motion was made by Rep. Alexsandra Annello, the longest serving member of City Council to fight the City’s arena project, and seconded by Rep. Brian Kennedy. They were joined by Reps. Joe Molinar, Art Fierro, Henry Rivera, and Chris Canales.
Reps. Cassandra Hernandez and Isabel Salcido—both supporters (together with Rivera) of eminent domain, displacement and mass demolition in Duranguito—left before the vote.
Annello’s motion was as follows:
“Motion made, seconded and carried, that the City Attorney is authorized to accept the proposed Rule 11 Agreement in the matter of Max Grossman vs. City of El Paso in matter no. 17-1001-171.001 and to take all steps necessary, including the execution of any required documents, in order to effectuate this authority, and directing the City Manager, after the lawsuit is dismissed, to reopen the portion of Chihuahua Street currently closed to include repowering street lights and other required work to enable its use as a public right of way.”
You may view the video here at the 8:42:35 mark.
Litigation over the arena began 6 years, 3 months, and 10 days ago, when the City of El Paso filed its bond validation lawsuit in the 201st District Court of Travis County.
Today is a victory for the residents of Duranguito as well as for all El Pasoans who care about the people, culture, and history of our city.
It is also a financial victory, since the taxpayers will save more than $300 million, which is how much the City was prepared to spend beyond the $180 million originally earmarked for the 15,000-seat venue.
The Rule 11 Agreement will be made public once it is signed by all parties and filed with the 384th District Court of Judge Patrick M. Garcia.