It has been six years and two months since the City Council decided to build an “Arena” in Duranguito, displacing neighborhood residents and condemning 12 historic buildings that are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. On January 3, the City Council is set to vote to put this project out of its misery under agenda item 13. The new plan is to reallocate the $154M or so of remaining QOL bond funds to upgrading existing City facilities without going one penny over budget.
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
But the Oligarchs still refuse to back down, even after the crushing defeat of Dee Margo two years ago, who got only 20% of the vote after vastly outspending his opponent, followed by the double-digit beat-down of their three candidates for City Council in the last election. In spite of their severely diminished position, they are pushing the following talking points in a desperate bid to ram through their private agenda at the expense of the taxpayers.
1. We have to wait for the results of the $798,611 feasibility study, even though the consultants were directed not to consider locations for the project outside the “Arena” footprint. On the same City Council agenda you will find item 14, under which City staff will present the “prefinal” results of the study, which calls for demolishing half the neighborhood instead of all of it. Under their plan, if the City were to stay on budget, the venue would have only 4,000 seats, which is only 1,500 more than the Abraham Chavez Theater next door! The study also allows for building a venue of up to 15,000 seats at a cost of a half-billion dollars! Can you imagine your future property tax bill? The “prefinal” study claims that 89.1% of El Pasoans “approve the MPC project” as they imagine it, which is total hogwash. Enough said.
2. We need to delay until we have a complete plan. No we do not! The City Council can vote to abandon the project and reallocate the bond funds to existing City facilities, and then it can decide how to proceed in a series of discussions and votes.
3. It is legally precarious to abandon the project. No it is not. It’s called DEMOCRACY. It has worked for our nation for 246 years and can work for El Paso, too! Our City Council can legally place us on a new course and they should do so immediately.
NEW ARENA SURVEY ON FACEBOOK
If you really want to understand what El Pasoans actually think of the City’s “Arena” project, see the comments under the new Facebook post by “POV Data Studies.” Of the 39 comments so far, only two are in favor of the City’s project. FYI, this is the first time I am sharing this survey, and I know only three of the commenters (including myself).
EL PASOANS VOTED FOR CHANGE!
The voters of El Paso have elected three new City Council reps who plan to take us in a new direction on a range of issues, including this one. They were elected for the same reasons that Alexsandra Annello, Joe Molinar and Mayor Leeser were elected.
Because we want change!
We are tired of being ruled by only a dozen families and we want a say in the future of our community!
We the taxpayers of El Paso are the majority stakeholders in this City and the election results speak for themselves!