Improvements, not new construction

Max, one of our regular readers made this point in his May 29, 2019 comment  that was the posting of a letter to the mayor and city council:

Up until a few days ago we completely missed his point.

He wrote:

The relevant 2012 ballot called for “multipurpose performing arts and entertainment and library facilities improvements.” There is nothing in the ballot about building a new structure. To fulfill the promise in the ballot, the City would renovate the Abraham Chavez Theatre, which is already a multipurpose performing arts and entertainment facility, and bring it up to contemporary standards for approximately $35 million.

The ballot language

THE ISSUANCE OF $228,225,000 GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS FOR MUSEUM, CULTURAL, MULTI-PURPOSE ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT AND LIBRARY FACILITIES IMPROVEMENTS, INCLUDING NEW CHILDRENS MUSEUM, CULTURAL HERITAGE CENTER, AND INTERACTIVE DIGITAL WALL.

Improvements

The ballot called for improvements of museum, cultural, multi-purpose arts and entertainment, and library facilities.  It did not call for new facilities in those areas.

In fact the language was specific and asked for authorization of a new museum for children, cultural heritage center, and a digital wall.

The other projects were to be improvements of existing facilities.

The wording is clear.

We thank Max for pointing this out to us.

We deserve better

Brutus

8 Responses to Improvements, not new construction

  1. Anonymous says:

    So, what’s gonna happen ?
    Texas Sheriffs gonna arrest the old city council and mayor ?
    Oh, that’s right, no one is watching the hen house and no one in Texas can force City Hall to do the proper thing.
    The voters don’t keep up on the news or understand what is going on. The high school students are running the school and now the lunches are free and school will let out at 1pm.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John Dungan says:

    Pretty much what most of us have long understood, and further proof that certain elected officials consider the electorate beneath their contempt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous says:

    The best places to live in the world are places where the human beings are valued , included, and respected. How can you have a integrated whole with so many excluded? No voice for so many. The 1% of the 1% chose what is best for us and then make us pay for it. And twist the language to try and get even more. I believe people want to be with other people in places where they don’t have to spend a lot of money, green places, places where they can learn new things they can do themselves to make themselves richer individuals. And then have fun teaching others so the good times can really happen. It really is about the people and the planet. The people that “govern “ are only a small portion of the population. Maybe this adversity we face is nature’s way to illuminate the path to improved society?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. JerryK says:

    I think Wilson’s testimony said that the QOL language was worded to obscure the intent to build a sports venue so as to avoid another AAA brawl? This has kind of backfired on the city as Prof. Grossman has pursued his case to save Durangito.

    It wasn’t the only fraud the city perpetrated on us, either, like delaying sale of the bonds so as not to further erode their failed candidate’s election chances. That and the bait-and-switch cost estimates for the QOL projects that the city CFO pulled out of her butt.

    It would be hard to imagine a more despicable cast of characters, in supposed public service, and their conduct so aligned against the public’s interest. Then again, the public believed them (not all of us), voted for it, so now it’s time to pay the piper. Also, they’ve all done pretty well in their post-city careers, suitably rewarded by their benefactors.

    Like

  5. good governance oxymoron says:

    JerryK you are correct. The City appeared to go through a lot of contortions to group the “arena” under museums/libraries/cultural.

    Here is a link to a pdf of an email thread between the City’s bond attorney and TX AG in getting approval for the QOL bond ballot groupings.

    Even if the City were to have sporting events here they could not have an anchor team like D league basketball because State law requires that the item appear on its own for voters to consider

    In order to group the multipurpose center under museum/libraries/cultural facilities the City had to certify that the multipurpose center would be used primarily for cultural enrichment events such as performing arts.

    The email on page 9 is of specific interest because it specifically states the multipurpose facility will replace and be located on the site of the current performing arts center ( which is the Chavez theater)

    “The City informs me that what I called and “arena” in not truly and “arena” per se. It is a multipurpose facility which will accommodate, arts, entertainment, and sports. So while they may have sporting events at the facility, there is no anchor team there and iti is not primarily desgined for a specific sport. In fact, the City is planning that this new multipurpose facility will take the palace of, and be located on the site of, the City’s current performing arts center.”

    Scheming to make it legal
    https://www.chucoleaks.org/el-paso-city-government-documents-discussing-how-to-make-it-all-legal/

    Like

    • JerryK says:

      Nothing wrong with multi purpose, including a sports team paying a fair rent for its use. Like Sun Arena in Phoenix where the Suns play along with Lady Gaga.

      We just can’t afford it is the issue unless there’s a business plan they haven’t disclosed. My guess is that MS would buy or rent it for pennies on the dollar, the real plan.

      Like

      • good governance oxymoron says:

        JerryK,
        Affordability is secondary to what was actually approved.

        In TX an arena like the Sun would have had to appear as a separate ballot item as a venue per TX State law and is stated in link to email thread.

        Niland upped the seating requirement to 15K and let it slip that a D League basketball team was to be an anchor tenant. That was also the path they chose to justify switching the site back to the original PDNG plan and not an upgrade/rebuild of the Chavez.

        The enabling statue and certification to the State does not allow the City to change the project to a venue project. I would need to go back to voters, which at this point it should.

        If the City believes that a sports arena is really the voters will then it should have no trouble passing.

        Like

      • Fed Up says:

        “Fair rent” is the key phrase. The terms of the ballpark lease are a lousy deal for taxpayers.

        Like

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