Sam Rodriguez is paid over $200,000 each year by the City of El Paso to serve as Chief Operations and Transportation Officer, Aviation Director and City Engineer. He is responsible for overseeing all capital improvement projects, including the City’s half-billion-dollar arena for G-League basketball and BeyoncĂ© concerts.

On Thursday, Nasya Mancini of CBS4 interviewed him for her report on the City’s presentation of the preliminary  results of its $798,000 arena feasibility study, the fifth conducted so far.

Rodriguez opined: “The reality is that none of the structures that are within the footprint are historically designated. […] So, part of the discussions that we have had with the opposition, and part of what we’re looking at from a feasibility standpoint is how many of these buildings can we actually incorporate and rehabilitate?”

The City of El Paso has resisted every attempt to landmark buildings within the Duranguito neighborhood, in spite of the emphatic recommendations of its own 1998 survey as well as those of the 2017 County survey.

And so this entrenched bureaucrat, who has no knowledge of the history of his own community, still adheres to the party line that these buildings are somehow unimportant because they are not landmarked.

For the record, my position has remained unchanged since the City Council announced on October 13, 2016 that they would assume eminent domain authority, displace vulnerable El Pasoans from their homes, and destroy the birthplace of El Paso for an entertainment project: All 12 buildings that that are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places must be preserved and there have been no “discussions” to the contrary from my side.