Monday, December 12, 2016

County V. City?

The County and City have had a pretty palpable beef for a few years now. I mean we aren't talking Tupac V. Biggie or anything, but Ray Charles could see the two levels of government often have issues with one another.

The MPO, the Police Chief's comments recently, and some are wondering if the downtown arena is another one.

The MPO beef is because they compete for money for projects so its natural that there will be a little blood shed. Several elected officials, mostly from the County, chastised the city for not doing anything about the Chief's comments earlier this year.

So how does that lead to the downtown arena?

Simple. Max Grossman.

Grossman, as I have now chronicled over an extended period of time - often uses his title from the county and letterhead from the El Paso County Historical Commission to send out opinion-based documents to the public that are often factually inaccurate or exaggerations, that give the impression that it is the official position of the county.

And the fact that the County fails to act upon it to clarify their position or get Grossman to stop doing so, further substantiates the idea that they are okay with his actions. Thats problematic for an organization with so many elected officials that went out of their way to say that they spoke independently as private citizens against the comments of Chief Allen.

Here's what further complicates things - Commissioner Stout sent out an invitation using his Precinct 2 email address to attend the "informational tour of the barrio" led by Max Grossman. I watched that tour via Facebook Live video and Grossman used the "informational tour" to give his personal opinion about the downtown arena.

Grossman has been using the County title and letterhead for a long time now, going back to the historical survey beef with the City. No one stopped him back then, even though the issue was raised. I've lost track of how many times he's sent out an email doing the same thing since the historical survey issue and its only gotten worse since the arena stuff started to unfold.

And Commissioner's Court has done nothing about it.

I have checked things out and I can't find a single instance where another member of either a City or County board or commission has acted in a similar matter.

Its unique to Grossman and the County.

It would be pretty unprecedented for one of the two major entities to be openly undermining, or giving the impression that they are, another entity's projects.

And levels of government undermining each other's projects is bad for the community and could lead to MAJOR problems.

Turns out, according to one of my readers anyway, that several members of the Historical Commission are up for re-appointment. Bernie Sargent sent a letter to Commissioner's Court asking to be reappointed and it turns out, so is one Max Grossman.

The Commissioner's Court has to address Grossman's actions in some fashion or it will give the impression that they are taking a position on a City project. Personally, if Grossman has been using his title and the County Historical Commission's name for furtherance of his own political beliefs, I don't know how they could reappoint him.

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