Letter from Mr. Tolbert

This came in from Jim Tolbert:

Time to Work Together for El Paso

El Paso has been compared to a crab pot. Just as soon as one crab makes it to the top, another pulls it down. This simile is true regarding our dreams, projects and politics. The politics of power and divisiveness in El Paso must end now.

I began my term on City Council as the one who had filed ethics complaints against Mr. Larry Romero and our City Manager, Mr. Tommy Gonzalez. Although I did not write those complaints (Susie Byrd did), I take responsibility for them because my name is on the complaints. The filings were a power play by one faction to tear down the current leadership of the City of El Paso. By the time that I left City Council, I had come to respect Mr. Gonzalez and appreciate his work for the City. He has chosen a superb management team.

The reasons for filing the complaint against Mr. Gonzalez were not valid. The complaint involved the pavement of an alleyway and the addition of speed humps on Stanton Street – two items that Mr. Gonzalez was authorized by the budget resolution to approve. Although Mr. Romero was on slippery grounds, one must ask whether trying to protect the safety of children and paving an alleyway were good causes for such opprobrium.

There were consequences to the Susie Byrd-Veronica Escobar cabal in which I took part. Mr. Romero had a stroke and Mr. Gonzalez was prevented from returning home to a sick and dying father. I am deeply sorry for the pain and agony my filing may have caused Mr. Gonzalez, his family and Mr. Romero.

The politics of power and divisiveness hurts individuals physically and emotionally, damages personal reputations and disrupts the City’s efforts to move forward. Thankfully and to use a football analogy, Mr. Gonzalez has been able to move the ball down the field despite those who want to prevent our City – our team – from scoring touchdowns. Those who wish to wrestle power for themselves seek total domination and control of the governance of El Paso just for power’s sake. Their calculations seem to be done without conscience.

One may not agree with our City Manager’s style of leadership. However, it is his prerogative. Truly professional people, who may differ with the style, nevertheless work as team members. Some may also not like Mr. Gonzalez’s personality. Most of us learned in youth how to get along. Certainly, professional people understand the value for doing so. Making personality an issue is just petty. Of course, Mr. Gonzalez has his faults. All of us do.

Let’s all come together as El Pasoans and work for progress and the common good and common wealth for all El Pasoans. It’s time to be humans with souls and not crabs with claws.

Jim Tolbert
2701 Frankfort Avenue
El Paso, TX 79930

12 Responses to Letter from Mr. Tolbert

  1. Anonymous says:

    The crab analogy is actually what Mexicans use when describing what holds Mexico back. Interesting some now apply it here.


  2. […] pot analogy a lot. Paul Foster mentioned it in his TEDx talk, and Jim Tolbert wrote about it in this letter he wrote to Brutus over there at ElPasoSpeak.com. (Which, by the way, is a very interesting letter. […]


  3. goC says:

    Um, let’s see…. He who allegedly lets other pen his thoughts for him then hides behind “they made me do it.” Is this a teenager or a grown man? Spoken like a true coward, but consider the source. We’re talking the one who cried hell hath no fury like a city rep scorned because Ruth Chris wouldn’t give him a free steak dinner (did Susie Byrd pen that missive too?) and further demonstrated his incapacity for self-restraint when he called a constituent “an ass” from the dais. And he also “be the one” who was against building the arena in Duranguito before he was for it and before he was for it yet again. Yeah, consider the crab.


  4. Jud Burgess says:

    Credit to Jim for admitting what we all suspected about Susie and Co.

    I think my Great White analogy is better though.



  5. abandon hope says:

    Kudos to Mr. Tolbert for finally apologizing to Mr. Romero. Working together is always a good idea.

    Here’s my translation of the letter: “She made me do it and I made a mistake. She is evil. Don’t vote for her best friend.”

    Consider this. If Ms. Byrd had not withdrawn her support of Mr. Tolbert, he would likely still be supporting her and Ms. Escobar. I would really like to take this letter as a sincere apology (and parts of it may be), but it reeks of politics.

    I’m pretty sick of the crabs in a pot analogy myself.


  6. JIm Tolbert says:

    Abandon – I am sincere. The fact that I did not get Susie or Vernonica’s support happened because we had already had a break on the issues. After being elected, I began to see things with a different perspective. I think independently and could not carry out their agenda. Some examples: I came to support the City Manager and, in spite of their intimations of wrong, there was never, ever any credible evidence. I also supported and support our great Chief Allen. They wanted me to get him fired. I would not support Veronica’s naked attempt to take over the MPO. I suspect that my letter to the Inc. was the last straw for her and Susie. I was pro-business and supported our Chambers. I would not have had Escobar’s and Byrd’s support; and, if I had been re-elected, I certainly wouldn’t be carrying out their agenda.

    And, GoC, they didn’t make me do anything. I trusted them as friends. I was wrong.


    • abandon hope says:

      How about the time, during a City Council meeting, when you interrupted Chief Allen and accused him play a “shell game” with the budget. Those are not the actions of someone who respects Chief Allen. Your name was also on a letter condemning him after the Black Lives Matter controversy.

      Why did you insist on being part of the informal City Council meeting that violated the Open Meetings Act?

      There are lots of other “whys” I and others have. Bottom line, do you ever intend to run for public office again?

      Also, your apology to Mr. Romero on this blog is a start but he deserves a personal letter like the one you sent for Mr. Gonzalez.

      Mr. Tolbert, actions count. Everyone is entitled to forgiveness. However if one’s behavior never changes, asking for forgiveness is an empty gesture.


    • Cog says:

      Did Susie also write the Ruth Chris Steakhouse letter? Look Mr. Tolbert, I don’t doubt the sincerity of your regret. I and others are turned off by your refusal to take responsibility. No one forced a grown man to do anything. If my kids bully someone and tell me they did it because someone made them do it that excuse will ring hollow. You killed someone’s political career which probably deserved to end, but you’ve killed your own in the process. And frankly, like others have pointed it, it seems highly likely that now someone else is writing your complaints about the evil political twins for you. When Fenenbock dumps you because you’re no longer of use in her new pasture, will you confess she wrote this for you?


  7. Not Buying It says:

    Me think JT doth protest too much. Sounds like the words of a person who is running for office again or looking for those now in power to serve up a quasi-public gig. This letter is about image rehabilitation and the rebuilding of bridges he burned. He is just burning different bridges to try to rebuild others he previously torched. To use an analogy, a drug addict who truly takes responsibility for his own drug use doesn’t blame his druggie friends or his dealer.


  8. […] posting as Mr. Tolbert in the comments of his letter to ElPasoSpeak had this to […]


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