Monday, July 20, 2015

City's MPO Woes on Xtra; City Sends Staffer to the Slaughter

Maria Garcia hosted ABC 7 Xtra last night and dedicated the show to the discussion of the MPO problems the city of El Paso seems to be having as of late. It was a year ago to the day that Rep Ordaz was first elected to represent District 6 on City Council.

You remember those problems right? The ones that when they first surfaced most of the rest of the blogosphere reacted like the Wizard of Oz when Toto moved the curtain?

Based on news coverage late last week it looks like the problems are even worse than they were when Ordaz first raised the issue. 

And when she did raise the issue, the Mayor and Rep Noe claimed Ordaz was doing all of this to get on the MPO. 

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain that missed out on $40 million, thats not important. 

But leveling a counter claim is a classic distraction move straight out of the kindergarten sandbox playbook. 

City Manager Tommy Gonzalez and City Rep Emma Acosta began tap dancing for the city and acting like there were no problems at all. And the Honey Badger, well she managed to make it about her by saying she doesn't understand why she is put at the "epicenter" of this issue.

So all of them had plenty to say during the city council meeting when the Mayor could control the conversation, but when it came time to step up on camera and take responsibility for this issue with the community they were all AWOL.

When they felt they had the upper hand they all to happy to get on a microphone but instead of one of them stepping up on Xtra what do they do? They send a staffer.

More double talk from the Administration that on the one hand says they are looking out for staff but on the other hand are having them do their dirty work. 

Event Maria Garcia was perplexed as to why the city sent him. She gave the line of the night when she said, "Why are you here?"

Which reminded me a lot of this line from Mean Girls. (I have daughters, of course I've seen it. Don't judge me)

One quick side note. I didn't really want to take McElroy to task because I thought it was chicken shit that the city put him in that spot, but he did say one thing that I thought needed to be addressed. Garcia asked him about a particular project failing and he said that there were other good projects out there and it didn't get selected for funding. The truth is the project from the city couldn't compete for the funds because it was submitted in the wrong category. Ordaz clearly let him off the hook on that one. 

Unanswered Questions

At last week's council meeting when Ordaz's item was discussed Rep Noe said something to the effect that Ordaz was twisting facts in order to make the city look bad. Media tweets from that day also make reference to Noe being pretty heated about the city looking bad. 

Two questions I have about that.

#1 - After almost a week, Rep Noe has had plenty of time to substantiate that claim and identify specifically what Ordaz said that was twisting facts to make the city look bad. It seems if he was that upset about it and if Ordaz was indeed inaccurate in her presentation that there would be an imperative for Noe. He should either substantiate that claim or apologize for making it. 

#2 - Why is Noe more concerned with how the city LOOKS rather than the fact that we missed out on a ton of funding? Actually, its probably more than just Noe that is upset about how the city LOOKS but he is the only one that had the guts to say it publicly.

Here's another question I have. Rep Limón very appropriatley asked the question during the presentation about why the city was submitting projects that weren't ready to be funded. Genevieve Curtis of KFOX asked the city manager the same question and both Matt McElroy and the city manager basically said the same thing. 

They threw council under the bus. They both said it was because council made those projects a priority. 

Oh you don't member? Allow me to refresh your memory...

So was it staff's fault or was it council's? 

Because the City Manager very clearly said it was council. 

With Rep Noe and McElroy both alleging that staff is afraid of council, why are staff allowed to be voting members of the MPO? Doesn't that point, if its true anyway, call into question how those very staff members vote on issues at the MPO?

Why are there all these distractions about changes in rules, and TxDOT, and MPO Seats, and Caitlyn Jenner instead of a real conversation about the fact that city staff filed paperwork wrong and it cost the tax payers, as we say in the valley, un chingo!

All of these points further beg the question - why was a staffer sent in lieu of someone voters can hold accountable?

The fact that Mayor Leeser is now the Chairman of the MPO further underscore the fact that a policy-maker wasn't sent to address the issues that are very clearly about accountability rather than technical explanations from staff. 

B-T- Dubs, props to McElroy for being a good soldier and doing the job the policy makers didn't want to do. He is in a terrible position but he did the job that was given to him. 

This whole thing, in the words of the Rep Niland, is a "hot mess". 

There seems to be a lot of that going on right now at the city. I'm surprised #hotmess hasn't caught on yet or isn't trending on Twitter.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Noe should be trying to fix the problem instead of posting on David K's blog. Noe was repulsive at last week's meeting. He obviously hates women. And why aren't they holding the city manager accountable? Why would Gonzalez's staff be afraid of council? They don't work for council, they work for Gonzalez. Unless Gonzalez lets his staff do favors for certain council reps (not hard to believe when you think about the Doniphan art work removal, the cancelling of the downtown historical plan, and other items). The City really is a hot mess.

Anonymous said...

Noe, Niland, Acosta could care less about including all stakeholders when they voted to tear down city hall. Seems these politicians only care when they are pushing a self indulging agenda. Niland you are on your own island we can do without the likes of you in this city.
Hot Mess