EL PASO – Betraying their responsibility as democratically elected officials to represent the will of the citizens, El Paso’s City Council members have declared war on El Paso taxpayers by signing off on an unauthorized multimillion dollar baseball stadium that will transfer taxpayer money to the group of developers behind this coup d’état.
I again paraphrase Henry David Thoreau’s Essay on Civil Disobedience that: Never have so few in the name of so many done so much harm. This action by the Central Committee composed of GPL (Gullible Political Leaders) or maybe consciously complicit usurpers of the public trust, constitutes a brazen breach of their status as representatives of the will of the El Paso citizens who elected them.
With this betrayal, they lost all – I repeat all – credibility.
The most serious ethical line they crossed, and it may be a legal line, was that by approving this baseball stadium boondoggle they attempted an end-run around the legal requirement to present any increase in tax rates to the voters. They presented a pay-now by approving the financing and the destruction of the city hall building by increasing the hotel occupancy tax or with a pay-later out of future tax increases when the developers present their bills. Either way, all El Pasoans will pay.
El Pasoans must defeat all three money grabbing bond issue propositions on the ballot Tuesday and perhaps then the City Council and our spineless mayor will understand the full extent of our outrage.
Since this City Council Central Committee has manifested a brazen disregard for the will of the citizens of El Paso we have no assurance that they will spend the money wisely that these large-scale propositions seek to borrow. Because this was such a grievous action by the Central Committee of the City Council of El Paso we will not let this issue die. They are sure to incur high legal fees trying to defend themselves from legal actions and will be tempted to use the money approved by these propositions to pay their own legal fees. They cannot be trusted.
I have modified my GPL moniker a little, I confess, as I listened to ESPN 600AM last week, Steve Ortega was on a program to defend the actions of the Central Committee, boasting that it was a fait accompli (a done deal) and that a defeat of that proposition for the financing of the baseball stadium would result in El Paso increasing its own taxes.
Let’s make it clear – El Paso did not approve this tax increase. It was only the city council that authorized this tax increase in blatant disregard of the public will. It occurred to me that Mr. Ortega did not seem one bit gullible. He and others now running around trying to convince us to commit tax suicide are making it clear they know what they’re talking about and are not at all gullible.
Thoreau was referring to undemocratic government, where policies are implemented in the name of many for the benefit of a few who will make a lot of money from projects and/or wars. Although Thoreau was referring to a declaration of war against Mexico, our City Council is only declaring war on El Paso, nothing to do with Mexicans even if we are U.S. citizens and El Paso voters.
All three money-grabbing propositions must be defeated to send the usurpers of the public trust a strong message. We cannot trust them with any more money. Like the call for the resignation of the board of the El Paso Independent School District, we should call for the City Council’s resignation in shame, if they have any left.