El Paso's City Hall demolition. (Ken Hudnall/Borderzine.com)

And it all came tumbling down

EL PASO — El Paso erected a 10-story office tower in 1979 to be this fast-growing West Texas city’s new City Hall. At 9 a.m. on April 14 that multi-million dollar edifice came tumbling down in a planned implosion making way for a very controversial baseball park. Numerous individuals who worked at various times in and around that iconic building have been pumped for every possible story to fill newspaper columns and would-be experts spouted second- and third-hand information during interviews. The long and the short of it is that El Paso is now a little bit poorer due to the destruction of another piece of history to make way for the personal aggrandizement of certain prominent individuals. This building symbolized the promise that this city had in the seventies and still has today.

The total cost of demolition, construction, and relocation of City Hall is expected to between 85 and 100 million dollars. (Paul Reynoso/Borderzine.com)

The demolition of City Hall and the rise of a new ballpark are already giving downtown El Paso a new identity

EL PASO – In the coming months, downtown El Paso’s skyline will change dramatically as the City Hall building is expected to be demolished to make way for a new Triple-A ballpark that will open next year. But once demolition commences on City Hall and construction of the ballpark begins, the effects will be felt by downtown local businesses and streets that are adjacent to the City Hall area. The Insights Museum on N. Santa Fe St. is just one of many businesses that has already been greatly affected by the major changes. The museum, which first opened in 1980, has cleared out and has been closed for several weeks now.

El Paso’s culture war (Cont. 3) – Voters must defeat the bond propositions at the polls Tuesday

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.

El Paso’s culture war (cont.) – A culture war of El Paso against itself

EL PASO – It’s a culture war! It’s a culture war at several levels, the most serious one has been brought about by GPL (Gullible Political Leaders) caving to the developers who are imposing their vision of El Paso’s future upon this city without the consent of the governed. That is the main idea behind Henry David Thoreau’s refusal to pay his taxes, I quote my previous paraphrasing: Never have so few in the name of so many done so much harm. This baseball stadium boondoggle is ipso facto confirmation of my assertion of a culture war against El Paso. The majority of El Paso’s residents are Mexican/Mexican Americans.

El Paso's City Hall and the Insights Museum are part of the buildings that would be demolished to give space to the new stadium. (Luis Barrio/Borderzine.com)

Wake up El Paso: It’s not a new baseball stadium; it’s a culture war

EL PASO – I won the bet. El Paso was the loser, along with my friend who bet Mayor John Cook would do the right thing and veto the proposed baseball stadium. The words of Henry David Thoreau in his Essay on Civil Disobedience, which I paraphrase, come to mind: Never have so few in the name of so many done so much harm. Thoreau went to jail for refusing to pay the tax to finance the war against Mexico. He realized it was a blatant land grab to extend slavery and enrich a few in Congress and members of the board of the South Carolina Railway Company that wanted a cheaper rail line to the Pacific Coast.