Has the mayor overstepped?

This came in from Max Grossman.

The Mayor sent Dr. Rick Bonart a letter last week informing him that he will be removed from the City Plan Commission tomorrow, July 24. Of course, Article III, Section 3.7(B) of the City Charter provides that “appointments to and removals from standing or special public boards, commissions or committees of the City shall be made by the Council.” But that did not stop the Mayor from announcing Dr. Bonart’s removal in advance of City Council action tomorrow, much in the same way he “removed” City Attorney Firth from her position. Dr. Bonart, a fiscal hawk who served honorably and missed only a single meeting during his entire tenure, was appointed by Mayor Leeser and his term was set to expire April 10, 2019. Clearly, Dr. Bonart’s public stance on the TIRZ 12 issue irritated the Mayor, who apparently does not tolerate dissenting voices within City government. Dr. Bonart was an unpaid volunteer, and in return for his generous service received a cursory letter of dismissal and a “thank you.” His replacement will be Ricardo Cabrera, former KVIA anchorman and now an account executive at HUB International.

Last year Rep. Svarzbein ejected Daniel Carey-Whalen, a man with five times his professional qualifications, from the Historic Landmark Commission because of his public stance against the “Arena” location. Bernie Sargent and I were removed from the El Paso County Historical Commission at the behest of Vince Perez and Veronica Escobar for exactly the same reason, but without a word of thanks for a combined 25 years of volunteer service. Welcome to the club, Dr. Bonart!

20 Responses to Has the mayor overstepped?

  1. Concerned Tax Payer says:

    So Dee Margo hired Juan Cabrera, fires Dr. Bonart and replaces him with Rick Cabrera… What have the Cabreras done for Dee Margo that he keeps on giving them jobs?

    Like

  2. Marco says:

    Clearly Dr Bonart’s stance on the TIRZ and other zoning issues disqualifies him from serving on the Plan Commission. Dr Bonart has an “agenda” and is not qualified to be neutral.

    I admire people such as Dr. Bonart who step forward to take action they feel is just and necessary, but it disqualifies them from serving on certain City (or government) committees. Just as a jury must have no opinion on a case going into trial, Plan Commission members should not represent pro-open space or pro-development factions.

    Like

    • anon says:

      Okay, but your city council is packed with pro-development people whose campaigns are funded by developers. So, how objective is city council?

      Like

    • Anonymous says:

      And what exactly qualifies a former TV anchor to sit on a planning commission? Part of the problem we have here is that the folks in appointed positions are making decisions on projects and issues that they have no experience with. If the replacement had been someone who didn’t work for the Mayor’s son and had some relevant experience, your argument would make sense. But in this case, bias against this type of development is being replaced with a conflict of interest that represents bias for the development agenda.

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        “Qualified” for a “Job, an appointment” in El Paso is “Subjective”. Major “Qualification” is to know somebody, who knows somebody or to know something about somebody that they don’t want to get out. “A good ‘ol boy” network. “Qualified” is someone who THEY know will say “Yes” at the appropriate times, go along to get along. In El Taxo, THEY are ALL owned by the Contractors, Developers, “Special Interest”. That is the reason for all the SECRET, closed door meetings. That is who the politicians REPRESENT. “Representation” has nothing to do with US.

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    • Sad El Pasoan says:

      Nonsense. Of all people Rick Cabrera!

      Like

  3. Justathot says:

    Nothing will be done. TIRZ will happen. Ankle biting since john crook and joyless wilson desde 2008. No recall will happen. too little are concerned. sheep will just keep paying.

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  4. Rodney Fender says:

    Where do I sign up or make contact to help fight the TIRZ?
    Recall time for the mayor?

    Like

  5. Anonymous says:

    The Society of Corruption does whatever it wants in El Taxo. POLITICIANS. Rick Cabrera is also the BROTHER of the EPISD Superintendent. Got all this “You scratch my back, I’ll pay you off” going on here. These people don’t REPRESENT the PEOPLE. THEY only REPRESENT themselves and whatever THEY can take from US. The only “solutions” here is electing BETTER people or recall elections. Oh but no, could never “afford”. recall elections. El Taxo, inherent corruption.

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    • JerryK says:

      Rick Cabrera has no choice about who is brother is. I have known Rick for some years and always found him to be a fine person, whatever I think of Margo’s decision (I disagree with it).

      No excuse to get personal.

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      • Anonymous says:

        It wasn’t “Personal”. In the original article, was mentioned that Rick Cabrera worked for the Mayor. I don’t know anything about him except that he was on TV News. His Brother, Juan Cabrera, the EPISD Superintendent, is a money sucking leach on the Taxpayers of El Paso. Tax, waste, spend, tax some more. And that is all I know about him.

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  6. Tickedofftaxpayer says:

    This shows a disturbing pattern. We have a city (and associated taxing entities) that have taken on a ton of debt. The original assumption that changing El Paso (adding public transit, more amenities) would result in a rush of businesses to absorb the tax base didn’t happen. Now the fallback vision is make us a tourist destination which is unlikely given our geography. When that vision fails we’ll be out of money. It appears anyone with the common sense to disagree with throwing good money after bad is getting pulled from Boards and replaced with folks who will rubber stamp our leaders. I don’t see this changing anytime soon. When corruption is this obvious, the folks who do it believe they have nothing to lose–plus I think a few of them actually believe spending more in search of tourists will avert the financial disaster we are headed for since we aren’t seeing enough business growth. Little by little the voice of the people is being totally taken away by local leadership and the folks who keep voting them into office. The “wants” of REIT investors, Foster, Hunt and construction companies come ahead of taxpayer concerns. Vote no to any spending put in front of you (including raises for the City Council and Mayor) and start looking at candidates who don’t have contributions from local construction companies.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    The actions that local politicians are allowed to get away with are numerous and serious. The ballpark vote, the entire quality of life campaign and subsequent issuances of certificates-of-obligation to increase spending far beyond what voters approved, the Sun Metro multi-fold expansion while ridership is decreasing by double digits year-over-year, etc., etc. One would think there is no press in El Paso County. One would be right thinking that.

    This is what you get when the so-called press align politically with elected officials.

    Like

  8. james walter peterson says:

    Historically Mayor, managers and some council folks just can not stand the truth or folks who are truly visionary. They want focus on hallucinations and spending tax dollars. Was there ever a local politician who ran on a platform that promised to reduce taxes?

    Like

  9. ripper1951 says:

    Overstepped? I think what he has done is illegal. How do we stop it?

    Like

  10. Max says:

    UPDATE: Rick Cabrera, formerly a KVIA anchorman, works for the Mayor’s son. The Mayor denies there is a conflict of interest. In the words of Brutus, we deserve better!

    Like

    • Tickedofftaxpayer says:

      More importantly, what exactly makes Rick Cabrera qualified to sit on the planning commission (outside of the obvious conflict of interest that works in the Mayor’s favor)?

      Like

      • JerryK says:

        What qualifies anyone to sit on the Planning Commission? Should it be the exclusive domain of builders and architects who benefit from its actions?

        Like

        • abandon hope says:

          This leaves the current count of Plan Commission members at 5 professionally involved in real estate or development and 3 non-real estate. The Plan Commission is obviously heavily weighted in favor of real estate/development professionals. The City charter should be changed to prohibit this. I recommend that everyone contact their city representative to make necessary changes in the City Charter to prevent this. Currently the only qualification is that members be “resident citizens of El Paso.”

          Like

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