Sorry been busy and haven't been able to really sit down and put my thoughts down.
I'll try to make this one short and sweet.
No matter what strategic rhetoric is being put out there, the community is not happy with the city manager's raise. Members of council can stare in the morning for hours and tell themselves that the community supports it but they don't. Just check any social media comment section of basically any story that was run on the topic.
But speaking of public sentiment, the people that spoke in favor of the city manager's raise yesterday were largely staged. There's nothing wrong with that, but lets not pretend it wasn't. The city council offices were getting bombarded with phone calls and emails against the raise and they wanted to give the media an impression that there was wide support for the raise.
Again, there's nothing wrong with that and Ordaz and Limón probably should've done the same thing. But hey, I give credit where credit is due and I know what its like to be a former staffer. So well done Dora.
Rep Niland had a multi-page script she treaded through that was based on the premise that Ordaz was going to make this about Gonzalez' performance on the job. Ordaz framed the debate around the process, not the person.
Personally, I think with so many projects that are behind schedule, over-budget, bad communication, lost opportunities for funding, that the community is sort of ahead of council on this one. I think a large part of the opposition is based on their perception of his job performance. Although some think you're stupid and that the opposition is based on the lobster mentality. You know, the one that says Mexicans are stupid and would rather pull one lobster getting out of the pot than see them succeed.
It also amazes me that people who spend 90% of their time bashing a town they don't even live in all of a sudden give a shit about how El Paso looks to other cities.
Me thinks thou dost pro- ah fuck it, I think they're full of shit.
This was a sneaky move to try to get this one through with the minimal amount of attention possible.
That is why there was such vague wording on the original item. And then there's the whole market study issue.
There wasn't one done and Limón busted them on it. City Reps Acosta and Romero tried to say that they called other cities and asked what their city managers made. They looked silly when you consider that is not what a market study is. That is not even close to a market study. There are so many other factors to consider like size of budget, number of employees, projects, etc.
But its the level of quality that has become synonymous with the city lately.
The point is City Attorney Firth was directly asked if a market study was done and incredibly she said that what was done by council constituted a market analysis. Until Limón had a little bit of a Did-You-Order-The-Code-Red moment when she put Romero on the spot and asked him directly if the City of El Paso had done a market analysis for salary.
He admitted that city had not.
The last point I want to make here is about the fact that Ordaz even put this back on the agenda in the first place.
A few, but loud critics, have said that her desire to revisit the issue meant everything from she is a dumb brunette to the second coming of John Kerry. Hell some have even written her political obituary.
Politics is the only arena in which people find for some strange reason that it is acceptable to make a mistake and stick to that mistake even when you know its the wrong course of action. I don't know who the genius is that came up with that steaming pile of stupid, but whoever it was is an idiot.
In basically any other scenario if you made a mistake and stuck with the mistake even when you knew it was a mistake, people would say you're either stupid, crazy, or a total asshole.
In business - if you made a mistake you'd fix it as soon as you found out about it. In the classroom, if a teacher's class all failed the same test, then that would mean that something had to be done differently. If your kid is drowning in the bathtub you don't just sit there and watch just because they slipped on their own. In your relationship, if you or they, aren't happy you do something about it.
But what you don't do is stick with a dumb ass idea because you don't want to be seen as a flip-flopper. And most of the community doesn't look at it as a bad thing either.
It takes a hell of a lot more integrity to publicly admit you made a mistake than to privately know you did and publicly stand by it for the sake of not flip-flopping. The public appreciates when someone takes responsibility rather than try to save their own ass.
As for her political career being over, remember that everything comes down to elections. So threatening that her funding will be cut-off is silly. You know what big donors fear the worst?
A candidate that can win without their money.
I also found it interesting when Rep Svarzbein talked about doing what he campaigned on, which was absent just a couple weeks ago during the historical study for downtown debate.
Gotta love politicians.
By the way, most of the same members that voted for the City Manager's raise also voted in favor of the budget he submitted to council that called for a raise in your taxes.