Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ortega's Comments Re Austin High School Reveals Elitism in Want-to-Be Mayor

Above, Stevie Antoinette

City Rep. Ortega's Comments Re Austin High School Reveals Elitism in Want-to-Be Mayor
Not New News to Many


Last spring, at Eastwood High School, Representative Steve Ortega was almost booed off the stage at a meeting concerning on the Eastside regarding a round-about at Wedgewood and Montwood.

Most likely due to his elitist demeanor, this happened again at his town hall meeting regarding the baseball stadium that he hosted in August 2012.

Rep. Suzie Byrd


His recent spat of elitism and even down-right “prickliness” is found in an email dated August 20, 2012.

In records received via the Texas Open Records Act and available at www.chucoleaks.org, Ortega received a message from Rep. Susie Byrd who writes Ortega surprised to learn that Cd. Juarez is also building a baseball stadium:

Bill and Steve: did you see this info about the Juarez ballpark? Have we looked at this will be competitive with what we are doing? Do you know what level of play it will be?”

Steve Ortega responds:

  “It is the difference between academics at Austin H.S. vs. Coronado H.S.”

Steve Ortega is a person who has already said to various people that it is no doubt he will be the next mayor of El Paso.

In reading the various emails posted at www.chucoleaks.com, it appears with definition that he is a pansy for City Manager Joyce Wilson.
 
 
However, taking a racial view of this email, Ortega is always happy to throw out Martin Luther King, Jr.'s “I have a dream” speech to promote color blindness when protecting Whites, especially El Paso's White elite from accusations of racism by people of color in El Paso.

 
Email in question can be found at www.chucoleaks.org

The legacies of segregation last a long time and although Austin H.S. was a mostly-white school up into the late 1950s, by the 1960s, the demographics of Austin H.S. had begun to flip.
 
More Mexican families were moving into the area, and this disturbed many Whites.

If you see the archives at UTEP Special Collections regarding the case Alvarado, et. al. vs. El Paso Independent School District (EPISD), it was not unusual for White parents to request their child be transferred upon realizing “there are too many Mexicans at this school.”

More usual, was EPISD granting these requests.

In fact, as the Alvarado case would find, the El Paso Independent School district had manipulated the high school boundaries.
 
EPISD did this to keep Austin H.S. a “Mexican School” while steering most White families who lived on Ft. Bliss to Burgess High School which was running a “tipping point” of around 33% (this means, EPISD deliberately drew the boundaries so that the percentage of Chicanos at Burgess remained below 33%).

EPISD Board of Trusties manipulated high school boundries to keep Coronado H.S. a mostly-White school
 

Although its hard to imagein with the many Chicanada that are at Coronado H.S. today, the same thing was happening at Coronado H.S. on the Westside where EPISD manipulated the boundaries so that Coronado remained a “white school.”

For example, neighborhoods like Buena Vista, Smeltertown and Pacific Park which had high concentration of Chicano(a)s had to send their kids more than eight (8) miles away to El Paso High School when their neighborhoods were less than three (3) miles from Coronado H.S.

On the other hand, mostly-white high school age children who lived just above El Paso High School on Rim Road and Kern Place went to Coronado H.S. Kern Place and Rim Road is less than a mile from El Paso H.S., EPISD had drawn the boundaries so that these children could go to Coronado.

Keep in mind this was the 70s and 60s and the Westside and Kern had not Chicanadad.

In Alvarado v. El Paso Independent School District, the Board of Trusties was found to have manipulated high school boundries as Austin High School turned from a mostly-White school to a majority-Mexican school. Boundries were draw to steer Whites toward Burgess H.S.


Of course, the Alvarado case found that EPISD poured money into the “White” high schools, and diverted funds away from the “Mexican high schools,” so Coronado received the positive blessing of segregation that last until this day (although when Coronado started the “tip” and the building of Franklin H.S. is also an interesting story).

From what we hear, Ortega's comments may have been a jab at Susie Byrd, who although lives within the Austin's boundaries, sends her children to Coronado.

From what was explained to us, Byrd's husband works at Coronado so this is allowed.

Nevertheless, Ortega is one politician who never read about segregation in El Paso and probably never read the rest of Martin Luther King, Jr's “I Have a Dream Speech,” much less any other of King's writings.

This is something that he needs to read up on so that he can understand why one high school may have a better academic legacy then another.

However, this is something that escapes him.



Sunday, October 28, 2012

El Paso Illuminati Visit Oklahoma City to Study Revitalization


Associated Pest
 
 


El Paso Illuminati Visit Oklahoma City to Study Revitalization
"Oklahoma City is ahead of the trend, but their including of voters in decisions and open government model is disturbing," says Chamber of Commerce President


by Satira Sinvergüenza / Associated Pest
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Posted:  10/28/12 12:18:04 PM MDT

Exiting the airplane from Oklahoma, Chamber of Commerce President Khon Buropolillos yelled, “Yeeow! A-yip-i-o-ee ay! mother fucker.”

Bankers, developers, architects, engineers, planners, arts and culture directors, former third-world dictators and nonprofit leaders visited Oklahoma City on a trip sponsored by the El Paso Chamber of Commerce.

Illuminati members toured Oklahoma City's downtown on a trip with a goal to convince El Pasoans, at least rich ones, that El Paso is the next Oklahoma City.

El Paso can become the next Oklahoma City,” said Crea Dodo, a member of El Paso's elite Paso del Norte Group, although she admitted her confusion. “We learned from visiting Oklahoma that everything is up to date in Kansas City, but they've gone about as fur as they c'n go!”

Plus, we are impressed that Oklahoma City was ahead of its time in passing anti-immigrant ordinances well before such as Arizona, Georgia, or Alabama,” said Paso de Norte Group president Rico Vacilón. "Getting brown people out of your downtown can be accomplished in various ways."
 
 

Above, Paul Foster and Alejandra de La Vega Foster Entertain El Paso Visitors  with Their Oklahoma Dance Moves
 
The only thing we won't duplicate in El Paso is that in Oklahoma City, the vote went straight to the voters when they decided to build a ballpark,” said Vacilón. “In El Paso, we are about ignoring the voters on Quality of Life issues and Oklahoma City shows a dangerous trend.”

Later that night at a local restaurant, as City Manager Joyce Wilson and City Representative Steve Ortega entertained the El Paso visitor by singing, “People Will Say We're We're in Love,” the El Paso elite discussed ways to avoid the open-government model that Oklahoma City currently perpetuates.

We need to keep as much information as possible from voters,” said Vacilón. “Decisions made by government, having City Council meetings open to the public, not having straw polls outside of City Council meeting. That's one thing Oklahoma City is not doing and which El Paso is ahead of the trend. It has to be All Er Nothing and plus the farmer and the cowman must be friends.”

 

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Did the “Let's Play Ball” Pro-Ballpark aka “Gabachanga” Rally Backfire? Is it Rallying Opposition Voters?


Did the “Let's Play Ball” Pro-Ballpark Rally aka “Gabachanga” Backfire?
Is it Rallying Opposition Voters?
 
It was very surprising that the Anti-Ballpark group got a lot of support from White El Pasoans. For the otherside, those who think the ballpark issues should go for vote, most Whites who signed, went and got signatures for the first Quality of Life Voters for Democracy.

This issues seemed to have struck a nerve, especially on the Westside, Northeast, and Cielo Vista area, mostly coming from the high voting precincts. Both young and old alike came out to sign petitions, Libertarians, Republicans, Democrats, people from across the aisles. The Korean community. African Americans. The Anti-Ballpark groups are diverse.

But let's get the issues straight. Until Sunday's El Paso Inc. article “Downtown arena support tainted?” in which the El Paso Inc. alleges “cheating, ballot stuffing and maybe even fraud” (Crowder, David. 09/16/12), most of the almost 6,300 people that signed petitions were against “the process” the city took to decide to demolish city hall and build a ballpark -- “Not what you did, but how you did it.”

Many either had no position on a stadium, despite the overwhelming evidence that it is not an economic catalyst.

Others supported it, but did not support the process.

They were mad at the non-compete clause, made at the back-room deals, the meeting rehearsals, the walking quorum that city representatives were practicing, and the straw poles they were taking among themselves.

Furthermore, if the stadium deal was bad, that should not affect the two Quality of Life Bond initiatives that were on the ballot for November.
 
This included parks, swimming pools, libraries, and more. One included another Downtown arena. It was clear that these two issues were separate and most anti-ballpark persons were not taking a position.

That was until David Crowder's El Paso Inc. exposé showed the fraud involved in the Quality of Life Surveys. To summarize, the City, under Community Development, a department led by then Assistant City Manager Deborah Hamlyn, known for her racism against people of color throughout the years, promoted surveys so that voters can put what they wanted. They would write on the surveys.
 
The El Paso Inc. purports: “Now a close look at comment cards and a database of all 5,000 responses reveals what could be called cheating, ballot stuffing and maybe even fraud. Those suspect cards pushed the apparent desire for an arena or stadium to the top of requests for Downtown signature projects, and helped land a $180-million multi-purpose arena on the bond ballot.”

Learning that, many anti-supporters have not taken a position against both the hotel motel tax and the two Quality of Life initiatives.

This brings us to Monday's rally at Cleveland Square. It reminded us of a rally in a third-world country run by a totalitarian dictator, and with exception of many people of color.
 
I remember a scene in “The Mask of Zorro” in which the returning despot is arriving by ship to port and the government is making everyone hold flowers and cheer. I can't remember the other movie, where the government distributes flags to unsupportive citizens while the dictators drives by.

This not to say that those attending were unsupportive.

But there are several things they did wrong, so here is :

Advice for Third-World Dictators and El Paso Oligarchs:


  1. The “Let's Play Ball” rally looked like an attempt to purchase votes. Oligarchs need to be more sly. Robert O'Rourke had earlier criticized “pachangas” as buying votes. Traditionally, Chicano(as) hosted celebrations to get out the vote and O'Rourke was critical of this. Yet there he was at the rally. The Oligarchs should have kept him hidden.
      
  2. The El Paso Tomorrow PAC distributed manufactured signs and T-shirts. So much for grassroots. It reminded us of a Mitt Romney rally. Next time use homemade-signs.
      
  3. The rally was mostly attended by White El Pasoans. There was a sprinkle of Latinos and the regular Highspanics that we see all the time (no surprise). But the Oligarchs should be able to find more Steve Ortegas and Sandra Almanzans. If not, make it mandatory that your employees at Western Refining and Hunt Corp. attend, oh wait, they didn't they do that? Free hot dogs and tickets to a fantasy baseball team won't work. Break out the cash Paul and Woody!
      
  4. Most if not all the speakers that took the stage were White. Of all the Highspanic vendidos, you could not get more to speak.
  5. Don't try to kick counter-protesters out. It pisses people off. You maybe for the ballpark, but most of these people are also 1st Amendment supporters. It just makes you look bad.
  6. Hand out cash. Cortney Niland, Steve Ortega, and Ann Morgan Lilly get some, so should we.

Foster-Hunt Goons Try to Forcibly Remove Peaceful Counter-Protesters from Cleveland Square

City Manager Joyce Wilson Trying to Get Protestors Arrested

Foster-Hunt Goons Try to Forcibly Remove Peaceful Counter-Protesters from Cleveland Square
City Manager Joyce Wilson and Mills Property Employee Fail to Get Protestors Evicted; Victory for the 1st Amendment
 
On Monday, Sept. 18, security hired by El Paso Tomorrow PAC were asked to remove counter-protester from a pro-stadium rally held in Cleavland Square in Downtown El Paso. In a crowd that consisted mostly of White El Pasoans feature many prominent White speakers, counter-protesters, many who have participated in peaceful demonstrations over the years, exercised their constitutional rights.

Cleavland Square is a public park. Although there was a sprinkling of brown faces in the crowed, the mostly White crowd seemed surprised by protesters.

Although protesters acted peacefully, hired security continually tried to force protesters to move to the sidewalks despite the protesters being in a public space. Security threatened to called police and protesters responded by handing their cell phones to security so that they could call the police.

A representatives from Mill Properties, Tim Mallardi, then called the police but legal observers of the Natianl Lawyers Guild were able to prevent any police intrusion on the protesters 1st Amendment Rights. El Paso PD told Mallardi that protesters were not breaking any laws, to Millardi's chagrin, who expected El Paso PD to be at the begging call of Paul Foster and Joyce Wilson. Millardi's face turning red, he kept insisting that protesters be arrested despite the public space and the Constitution.

Apparently, after being called, City Manager Joyce Wilson arrived and began talking to the police officers trying to intimidate them to arrest the protesters. A local street women, not associated with the protesters, began yelling at the police and Joyce Wilson in Spanish emphasizing that the park was a public space.

Protesters fully complied with all El Paso Police Department requests while at the same time insisting on their freedom of speech rights and continuing their peaceful protest.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Working El Paso Downtown Ballpark Corruption Timeline

Working El Paso Downtown Ballpark Corruption Timeline

Timeline will be continously updated. Last updated Sept. 19, 2012, 10:15 pm




Main Players



Joyce Wilson - El Paso City Manager

Paul Foster – Western Refining CEO

Woody Hunt -

Steve Ortega – City Representative for District 7

Cortney Niland - City Representative for District 8

Mayor John Cooks

Ann Morgan Lilly - City Representative for District 1

Eddie Holguin City Representative for District 6

Carl Robinson - City Representative for District 4

El Paso Tomorrow PAC – Political Action Committee organized to push the ballpark

Rick Harrow – consultant from Harrow Sports Ventures; goes around selling the ides of sport arenas to cities.

Deborah Hamlyn – former Assistant City Manager long know for her racism toward people of color in El Paso. She was hired by El Paso Tomorrow PAC after her retirement from the city in Aug. 2012.



TORA – Texas Open Records Act



Late 1990s
Oklahoma City builds a voter-approved Triple A baseball park
1999
City Council adopted the recommendation of El Paso’s elite Ad-hoc Bond Committee, which said all quality of life initiatives, such as parks, zoos and stadiums, must be approved by voters. Report: Staying Put but Still in the Shadows: Undocumented Immigrants Remain in the Country Despite Strict Laws, Accessed Aug. 17, 2012: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/report/2012/02/22/11126/staying-put-but-still-in-the-shadows/
2007
Oklahoma City passed anti-immigrant ordinances in 2007 and 2009, well before states such as Arizona, Georgia, or Alabama.” Report: Staying Put but Still in the Shadows: Undocumented Immigrants Remain in the Country Despite Strict Laws, Accessed Aug. 17, 2012: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/report/2012/02/22/11126/staying-put-but-still-in-the-shadows/

2009
Oklahoma City passes another anti-immigrant ordinance,


Paul Foster and Hunt Family push to bring a Triple A baseball team to El Paso. Gray, Robert, “Two Years to Make a Deal,” El Paso Inc., 07/01/12; Gray, Robert, “Josh Hunt: Mountainstar Sport Group; Senior VP, Hunt Companies,” El Paso Inc., 07/01/12;
2010
City Manager Joyce Wilson begins private meetings with Downtown Ballpark supporters.
01/30/11
El Paso Times reports that then City Representative Robert O'Roarke and Steve Ortega are pushing to renovate San Jacinto Plaza in El Paso's Downtown. This push comes from Paul Foster. The article mentions the possible closing of Oregon Street in front of the Foster-owned Mills Building. Ortega mentions redesigning the park to look like a park in New York City. Schladen, Marty. “Downtown Evolution: Critics plan challenge of Plaza face-lift,” El Paso Times, 1/30/2011.


Paul Foster pushes renovation of San Jacinto Plaza including the removal of Luis Jimenez' “Los Lagartos Sculpture
11/04/11
City Council votes to keep “Los Lagartos” at the center of San Jacinto Plaza, with Steve Ortega, Cortney Niland, and Ann Morgan Lilly voting nay.
11/11/11
Western Refining announced it will move 85 employees from its El Paso headquarters to Arizona. Mayor Cook meets with Paul Foster to persuade him not to move these employees.
02/09/12
Bill Burton CEO of Mithoff Burton Partners writes Rep. Ann Morgan Lilly stating, “Truly enjoyed our lunch and visit last week. I promised I would follow up on the wayfinding unites that have been reviewed by the DMD. I am concerned that you may not have seen the final drawings. You should soon be getting the actual schematics from Veronica Soto. I have ask her to make sure the renderings are the ones the DMD has approved, per all the changes that have been made by us. The first drafts were not good at all, and much was revised. Please let me know when you receive those, and if they are, in fact, different from the ones you have concerns about. We want them to be right.” Email obtained via TORA, dated Feb. 9, 2012.


Lilly knew of and was being lobbied for a Downtown Ballpark but failed to inform her constituents.
04/03/12
Brian Finkel, Creative Director of Horrow Sports Ventures writes Leanard Goodman, Ruben E. Guerra, Bill Burton, Peter Fraire, Steffen Possiger, Russel Autry, Bill Barnhouse, Assistant City Manager Deborah Hamlyn, and Rick Harrow: “If it works for everyone's schedules, I'd like to set a meeting for next Tuesday at 10am for an all-hands-on-deck, roll up the sleeves to prepare for the City Council presentation on April 18. The goal will be to organize the presentation (overview, projects, financing mechanism, etc.) under the them lines that we're using for the campaign, as well as conceptualize other marketing material we'll want in the near future. I'd ask, if at all possible, we not set a meeting end time, so were're not constrained by a hard out.” Email obtained via TORA, dated April 3, 2012.


This email point to the fact that the City Manager's office has opened its doors to lobbyists in that a meeting is arrange between a lobbyist with no City Council member present. It's no wonder that the ballpark issues was a surprise to many of the representatives. It is knows that Deberah Hamlyn who would later retire in August 2012 and go straight to work with the PAC supporting the ballpark, attended this meeting. Email obtained via TORA, dated April 5, 2012 from Deborah Hamlyn. This was an all-day meeting. City Manager Joyce Wilson also attended this meeting. Email obtained via TORA, Dated April 5, 2012, 12:24pm and 12:42pm.
04/11/12
Hamlyn writes Bill Burton, “ Bill, Attached is the back up for the 4 main categories of request that relate to the specific slides that list the proposed project. So, what you have is a Zoo; Parks; Library and Museums. These project are what make up the totals that appear on the sheet.” Email obtained via TORA, dated April 11, 2012, 4:19pmn writes Deborah Hamlyn, Assistant City Manager and future El Paso Tomorrow PAC consultant: “Our #1 needed now: the digital rendering of the Downtown sites plan. Showing baseball, Union Plaza, etc. We have print but need digital.” Email obtained via TORA from Bill Burton via TORA, Dated April 11, 2012, 4:29pm


Deborah Hamlyn's office would be accused of “cheating, ballot stuffing, ...fraud” by the El Paso Inc. in a Sept. 16, 2012 article. Of the items listed above, including zoos and parks, many Quality of Life Surveys were forged. Records show when this was brought to light, Hamlyn choose to disregard. Crowder, David, “Stadium Tainted,” El Paso Inc., Sept. 16, 2012.
04/12/12
Assistant City Manager Mark Sutter writes William Studer and Linda Roa: “Bill Please find attached the ppt slide we talked about showing property tax impact of issuing additional $500 million in debt. (Graph only goes to 2036, but tax rate continues to decline through the last year of the debt service in 2055.)...Key feature in graph – current property tax ate per $100 assessed value for debt is about $0.23 and then increased to approx $0.26 when currently authorized is issued; the max when the new issues begin is about $0.27.” Email obtained via TORA from Mark Sutter, Dated April 12, 2012.


In a New 7 Extra Debate, Former Mayor Ray Salazar would get City Manager Joyce Wilson and Bill Studer to admit the City of El Paso is $850 million in debt.
04/17/12
Bill Burton writes Joyce Wilson and William Studer regarding the presentation that will be given during the Quality of Life Special Meeting by the City Council: “There are two changes, based on comments from the Task Force today; 1. We remove the map, “How El Paso Might Look”. Was contentious and was the ONLY slide that got negative feedback (caps in original). 2. We changed the heading on the Downtown Projects to read, “Quality of Life/Jobs”. Its our belief that “Signature Projects” means different things to people – let's talk about what these project REALLY do (caps in original). Joyce, we will have one of our guys there to run the show, if that's oky with you. We will all meet at MBP to rehearse at 9:15 a.m. Tomorrow. Everyone is invited. Confirmed is Rick Horrow, Tripper Goodman, and technician.” Emai obtained via TORA, from Bill Burton dated April 15, 2012.
04/19/12
El Paso Times: “El Pasoans may be asked to vote for a $655 million to $835 million bond issue that could include a new multipurpose arena and stadiums for major league soccer and Triple-A baseball teams, as well as parks, pools and community centers and the reconstruction of streets.”

Among the signature Downtown projects that may be included in the bond are a $150 million multipurpose arena; $10 million to $20 million for general Downtown improvements; and $30 million for new museums and museum upgrades.”

Also proposed is a $45 million Triple-A baseball stadium, which would be contingent on securing a team, and up to $50 million in Sun Bowl upgrades, which would be contingent on a long-term commitment to retain the annual Sun Bowl game and host major league soccer tournaments.”

East Side city Rep. Dr. Michael Noe said that he "wholeheartedly" supported the bond and all the projects in it, but not at the expense of his district not getting any new community centers.”

Reps. Ann Morgan Lilly, Cortney Niland and Emma Acosta each asked specifically that recreation or senior centers be included in neighborhoods in their districts, while others said they had provided Wilson a wish list of projects for theirs.”

Officials with EPISO, a nonprofit inter-religious organization, strongly advocated that street improvements be included in the bond.
Street projects will probably be on the ballot for up to $200 million to completely rebuild aging and deteriorating roads, Wilson said.”
Street improvement projects will be discussed in more detail during a special council work session May 24.”
Preliminary Proposals for 2012 Bond Issue
  • Multipurpose sports and entertainment facility: $150 to $180 million
  • (*)Major league soccer stadium: $100 to $120 million
  • (*)Triple-A baseball stadium: $45 to 55 million
  • Museums: $30 to $40 million
  • (**)Sun Bowl upgrades: $25 to $50 million
  • General Downtown improvements: $10 to $20 million
  • Parks, recreation and open spaces: $100 to $125 million
  • Zoo upgrades: $25 million
  • (***)Neighborhood improvement projects: $10 million
  • Library upgrades: $10 million
  • Street reconstruction: $150 to $200 million
Total: $655 to $835 million over 15 years
Ramirez, Cindy. “El Paso City Council eyes $600-$800M bond: New arena, stadiums part of Nov. ballot plan,” El Paso Times, April 19, 2012.





04/29/12
Rabbi Larry Bach of Border Interfaith and Temple Mount Sinai; and Tina Vasquez, for EPISO and Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church write the following opinion editorial for the El Paso Times:
EPISO and Border Interfaith, two organizations which together represent 25 religious congregations, neighborhoods, and labor unions, spent a good deal of time and energy organizing meetings in many of our congregations over the last several weeks. “
More than 700 people came out to talk about what 'Quality of Life' meant to them, and to share stories about why that is so.”
Here's what we heard:
Infrastructure is essential. Again and again, our constituents voiced their frustration with streets in dire need of repair. Gaping potholes, nonexistent sidewalks, and inadequate striping make for unsafe conditions which negatively affect people's lives.”
While many of us are excited about parks and libraries (for example), we believe that moving forward with these projects ought to be contingent upon a real commitment to renewing our weak and failing infrastructure all over town.”
If your child has no sidewalk around her elementary school, the Triple-A ballgame or MLS soccer match taking place Downtown doesn't bring nearly as much joy.”
Accountability is critical. Given the high-profile corruption cases that have touched other local taxing entities in recent years, it is not surprising that a call to raise and spend hundreds of millions of dollars is being met with healthy skepticism by many in our community. We heard, loud and clear, that El Pasoans demand transparency throughout this process.” Bach, Larry and Vasquez, Tina. “Bach and Vasquez: EPISO, Border Interfaith gather input on 'quality-of-life' bond,” El Paso Times, April 29, 2012.





05/08/12
Mountain Star Sports Group files incorporation papers with the Texas Secretary of State. Gene Wolf is listed as the initial organizer. Initial managers listed are Paul Foster, Joshua Hunt, Woody Hunt, and Scott D. Weaver.


Three “sports” groups formed within a few days of each other by the group (See attached):  Mountain Star Sports Group,  Franklin Mountain Sports Group, and Hunt Holdings Sports.
05/24/12
Franklin Mountain Sports Group, LCC files incorporation papers with the Texas Secretary of State with registered agent Sandra Mendez and organizer Gene Wolf. Initial manager named is Paul Foster.


Hunt Holdings Sports Group, LCC files incorporation papers with the Texas Secretary of State. Gene Wolf is listed as organizer and Woody Hunt and Joshua Hunt listed as managers.
Early June, 2012
City's tax office moves to the Well's Fargo Building. Move sparks investigation by the El Paso District Attorney. Flores, Aileen. “Consolidated Tax Office to get larger location,” El Paso Times, June 1, 2012.




06/11/12
Mojito Email
Joyce Wilson writes Rick Harrow her famous “Mojito and Condo Email”: “Hi Rick. Got your voice message and nice comments-which are appreciated. Thanks.”


I will let you know ASAP as soon as I have a firm schedule for the council actions on the bond questions. We are meeting today do discus schedule and draft questions. I will make sure you have all of that information.”


I will coordinate with Tripper about arranging meetings for you with Council members of (sic) others on 5th and 6th while you are in town. I'll also make myself available as needed to ensure good coordination.”


I'm excited about the great possibilities the election will bring to El Paso. Just watching OKC (Oklahoma City) and the Thunder and all the PR about the team and the city and the fans is really cool. I'm curious who you are rooting for now that the Heat are in the finals. I'm torn but hope that Heat prevails. They worked hard against Boston to get there. Keep the mojitos chilled for me in FLA. Will let you know about my condo ventures.”(underlining added for emphasis). Email obtained via TORA from Joyce Wilson to Rick Horrow dated June 11, 10:35 am.
06/19/12
City Manager Joyce Wilson checks with Bill Burton to see if the City Council agenda is in the order that he wants it. Asst. City Manager William Studer writes, (536pm) “Bill, Thanks for guiding me on this. If you see anything out of place or out of order, let me know and we'll change it. The public speakers is a rough outline – we don't have confirmation on any of them.” Emails obtained via TORA.
06/20/12
City Manager Joyce Wilson checks with Bill Burton to see if the City Council agenda is in the order that he wants it. Bill Burton to Joyce Wilson (2:02pm): “Joyce, Can you let me know two things, via phone or email: 1. When do you expect the Council Agenda to be posted tomorrow? 2. Is this order what you have in mind for the Council presentation?” Email obtained via TORA.

Wilson writes Burton when he asks when the agenda will be posted: Wilson (3:21pm), “It should be posted by noon – normally – so you can expect inquiries after. I think the items generally are correct in terms of order but will defer to Bill and Carmen to confirm I will be reviewing the agenda tonite and may post this item not to be heard before 11 AM so that everyone can show up at that time and not sit around waiting for it. I will confirm that. Bill Burton writes (4:09pm), “Just heard from some in the Owner Group...Since there are so many of the presenters/non-presenters coming in from out of town, they had planned on thing being first on the agenda. Any way to leave is as the opening item?” Email obtained via TORA.
06/22/12
Details of the City Council's coming vote on the ballpark are released in the City Councils, June 26, agenda. City Manager Joyce Wilson pushes to relocate city services to building owned by the ballpark proponents, namely the Paso Del Norte Group and Paul Foster. Buildings named include the Foster-owned Mills Building and Blue Flame Building. “The El Paso Independent School District occupied that building (Blue Flame) on a temporary basis,” says Rep. Robinson in an El Paso Inc. interview. “The question you need to explore is: 'Why did they move out abruptly?' There are problems with that building. You talk about this building needing upgrading? That building is in much worse condition.” Gray, Robert. “Carl Robinson: Northeast City Representative,” El Paso Inc. July 29, 2012.




06/26/12
After a five hour City Council Meeting, and hours of public comment to the contrary, City Council votes to demolish City Hall and the Insights Museum to make way for a Downtown ballpark. They include a non-compete clause to keep the Ysleta del Sur nation from using Cohen Stadium. At the end of the meeting, city representatives Niland, Lilly, Noe, Ortega, and Byrd pull baseball hats from under their desks and pose for a photo. Demolishing City Hall would require the move of 600 city employees and scatter them across El Paso. The Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and the Hotel-Motel Association speak to the contrary. Representatives Holguin and Robinson vote nay. To fund the stadium, the city wants to increase the Hotel Motel Tax to make it the highest in the nation. Gray, Robert, Ballpark Questions Abound, El Paso Inc. 06/24/2012; Paredes, Martin, “Stadium for El Paso,” El PasoNews.Org, 06/25/12; Gray, Robert, “Two Years to Make a Deal,” El Paso Inc., 07/01/12.


Josh Hunt tells the El Paso Inc., “In order for us to acquire a Triple-A team, we need the approval of Minor League Baseball and its
leagues. Now that we have approval from the city that a ballpark will be built, league approval will be our next step. But, for us to secure that approval, we must showcase El Paso as a preferred Triple-A baseball market. And we feel to do that, we need a non-compete clause in our term sheet with the city.” “Josh Hunt: Mountainstar Sport Group; Senior VP, Hunt Companies,” El Paso Inc., 07/01/12.
06/29/12
Stadium proponents speak before the Pacific League's executive committee in Dallas.


Bill Burton writes Joyce Wilson, William Studer, Cortney Niland, and Ann Morgan Illy at 9:10am mentioning a photo of them with baseball caps at the June 26, 2012, City Council Meeting. He mentions to Joyce Wilson: “Joyce, will you forward this to Steve, Susie, and Dr. Noe? I can't find their personal emails.” Email obtained via the TORA.


This is possible evidence that the El Paso City Council used personal emails to conduct city business which is against the law as it circumvents the Texas Open Meetings Act.
Late June 2012
Stockton, Calif., made a slew of public investments, including a sports arena, and
moved its City Hall in an effort to stimulate its Downtown area. It filed for bankruptcy last week.” Gray, Robert, “Josh Hunt: Mountainstar Sport Group; Senior VP, Hunt Companies,” El Paso Inc., 07/01/12;


Cook threatened to veto the sale of tax bonds to pay for the $50 million stadium and the
demolition of City Hall – if a November ballot measure to raise the hotel tax on visitors fails.” Crowder, David. “Cook: Ballpark del is locked in,” El Paso Inc. 07/09/12
07/09/12
Mayor Cook flips and declares his support for the stadium. Crowder, David. “Cook: Ballpark del is locked in,” El Paso Inc. 07/09/12. Rep. Eddie Holguin states, “Yes, there is discrimination against the tribe (Tigua), there has always been discrimination by the government against Native Americans...” “Ven racismo en trato a Tiguas,” Diario de El Paso, 07/09/12.


City Attorney Sylvia B. Firth states in an email to Joyce Wilson (11:00am) “I spoke to the Mayor this morning about his statements in the media regarding financing the stadium. He did not understand that there are alternative financing methods in the event the 2 percent HOT increase does not pass and that council essentially has decided to move forward whether or not the voters pass the HOT tax increase. He (mayor) needs someone to explain to him how you plan to pay for the construction in the event the HOT increase does not pass.” Texas Open Records Act Request of E-mail correspondence.

11:25am. Wilson emails Representatives Steve Ortega and Cortney Niland a “draft of your press release....” “let me know if this is close to where you want to go. I can get staff to assist (underlined for emphasis).” Wilson's press statement for the representatives admits that the “ability to host professional sports in El Paso for the foreseeable future” is “jeopardized,” “perhaps in our lifetime” she adds. “This has been a two year process (sic), not something that just came up recently. Yes, it is a risk. Yes, it will be disruptive in the short-term.” Wilson states that “City Hall needs between $12-30 million to modernize it for long-term use. We can either spend that money for the current site or the same amount for an alternative site.” Email obtained via TORA.

At this point in time, she is referring to the Blue Flame Building which is 45 years older than the City Hall Building.

11:35am. Wilson writes Bill Burton on advise how to word a press statement from City Council. “It appears the mayor did not realize there was an alternative funding option outside of CO's.” Email obtained via TORA.

David Crowder of the El Paso Inc. writes to Joyce Wilson: “Well what can I say? It seems that the mayor was wrong all around and that Inc. (El paso Inc.) was as well. The veto override issues is now corrected and we will be following that up. Cook now says that Cos (Certificates of Obligation) would not be used if the hotel-motel tax fails because it would not be legal, according to Brandon, based on state law. So, if voters turn down the HOT tax (Hotel Occupancy Tax) increase, it appears there is a back up mechanism in place over which the mayor would have no power. He said today that, as he now understands, the stadium deal is now a fait accompli, a done deal, on the basis of council's action two weeks ago.” Email obtained via TORA, 11:57am.

12:16pm. Joyce Wilson writes to Bill Burton, “...it is being diffused now Mayor fully understands that he make a big mistake (sic) He doesn't want to kill the project He wasn't here on 26th and did not really understand council's action.” Email obtained via TORA.

At 2:30pm, Bill Burton send Joyce Wilson an email that contains evidence that his firm “edits” her letters regarding the ballpark. Email obtained via TORA, Dated July 9, 2012.

Around July 9, Bill Burton and possibly Joyce Wilson meet with the Insights Museum Board of Directs. She later tells Bill Burton: “Also had a great meeting with Insights Board They will be a player and supporter of the larger vision.” Email obtained via TORA, dated July 9, 2012, 4:15 PM.


07/10/12
Astronaut Daniel Olivas pays his last visit to the Insight Museum saying that his visits to the museum inspired his career. “Posible última visita de astronauta a Museo de Ciencias Insights, “Diario de El Paso, 07/07/12. On the demolition of the Insights Museum, Joyce Wilson says, “"Insights leadership has been aware for some time that their tenure on that site would be limited. Even if this would not have come forward, there had been other plans to build out that site and make better utilization of the acreage than what exists now." Smith, Mathew, “Petitioners question downtown ballpark,” KVIA Channel 7. July 25, 2012.
07/18/12
El Paso Times reports that City Manager Joyce Wilson plans to create a “One Stop Shop” for city services in the 1940s era Blue Flame Building, which is owned by Paul Foster. “El Paso City Hall: Employee Relocation Organized,” El Paso Times.


An internal city of El Paso audit that was released Thursday shows nearly $1.2 million in accounting irregularities in the city's Consolidated Tax Office, which collects property taxes for the county's 34 taxing entities, officials said.”

The audit, which was first reported by KFOX, shows that money from the Property Tax Overpayment Account -- where overpayments are supposed to be held for at least three years until taxpayers request a refund -- was instead used to pay for operational expenses in connection with the tax office. That resulted in the office's annual budget being under-reported, officials said. “


07/22/12
Voters opposing the undemocratic process of the City Council regarding the demolition of City Hall and the building of a ballpark, gather at Memorial Park to begin a petition initiative to recall the June 26 vote. “Reúnen firmas vs estadio de béisbol,” Diario de El Paso, 07/22/12.
07/24/12
In a 2:49pm email from Bill Burton to William Studer, cc to City Manager Joyce Wilson, Burton admits that he does not want the public to know the true cost of the Downtown Ballpark: “I need to have an 'official' number that we can use for the estimated tax increase of an average-value home in El Paso. When Horrow was here we talked about “less then 5 cents” per $100 valuation... it that still correct? I just need a figure to plug in to get people from thinking this is going to be a huge number. Help...?” Email obtained via Texas Open Records Act.
07/25/12
Quality of Life Voters for Democracy hold a press conference in front of the El Paso County Court House announcing the start of their petition. They allege closed meetings in violation of the Open Records Act, access by lobbyist to the city manager, and that voters should make the decision regarding quality of life issues. Although the City Manager and ballpark supporters state that they have been working on the ballpark two years, and did not informed the public about this or had no time to take the issue to the voters, Joyce Wilson: "I believe in an ideal world, the Council would have liked to put it on a ballot, but throughout this process when we started the whole Quality of Life bond election, we were very clear publicly that there was a possibility or prospect of Triple-A baseball. The reality is the opportunity came forward and a commitment and a decision had to be made by the city." Smith, Mathew, “Petitioners question downtown ballpark,” KVIA Channel 7. July 25, 2012.
07/27/12
Even though not disclosed to the voters or city representatives, City Manager Joyce Wilson tells the El Paso Times: “"The perception is that there was no transparency, and that is absolutely not true,' said Wilson, who added that the possibility of a baseball team and a new stadium had been discussed for about two years. 'I believe it's the most extensive analysis anyone has ever done on any project in the city.'” “Officials with the Coalition for Responsive Government said they want to rescind the council's decision to demolish
City Hall and to finance a Downtown sports complex. The coalition said it supports a ballpark but objects to the demolition of City Hall.” “City Rep. Cortney Niland, who represents Downtown and voted in favor of the resolution, said...the problem may lie in poor communication.” “'Where we have failed as a council is to communicate well. I don't think we've done a good job at getting our message out to the community...' Niland said.” Ramirez, Cindy. “Groups seek signatures to save El Paso's City Hall,” El Paso Times, July 27, 2012.


Questions arise whether the ballpark will fit in the City Hall premises without closing Sante Fe Street, demolishing the Scottish Rite Temple, building over the Union Pacific right of way, and demolishing the Sunset Heights Historical District. Former City Council Representative Alejandro Lozano. Molinet, Jugo. “¿Cabe estadio en terreno del City Hall y museo que serán tirados?, Diario de El Paso, July 28, 2012.
07/29/12
Rep. Carl Robinson states that he is “worried the growing backlash could impact the success of the quality of life bond, which he supports.” “If you disrespect the citizens and you alienate them, they may not come out and vote or they may vote down the bond. This issue with the baseball stadium and tearing down City Hall could be a lightning rod and the lightning could strike down the quality of life bond.” Grey, Robert. “Carl Robinson: Northeast City Representative,” El Paso Inc., July 29, 2012. After receiving criticism that Foster wants taxpayers to renovate his buildings, Foster tells the El Paso Inc. that about rumors that he is offering to “vacant Blue Flame to the city for $1 a year as a new City Hall and to remove the asbestos, install new heating and cooling and replace the elevators.” Foster says the city could have to upgrade the HVAC and get new elevators. Crowder, David. “Foster: Baseball Deal on Track,” July 29, 2012.

El Paso Inc. reports “Organizers are accelerating efforts to form a political action committee to back the proposed
$468-million quality of life bond, concerned that growing opposition to a new Downtown ballpark might spill over into the bond election. Although the ballpark is not part of the quality of life bond issue, organizers of the El Paso Tomorrow PAC say the backlash against the city’s decision last month to build one in Downtown has made them aware of the need to get out and educate people on why they should approve the bond in November...The PAC is launching an advertising campaign in newspapers this weekend and has just begun raising
money...The PAC is an offshoot of the El Paso Tomorrow Advisory Board, a group that includes members of the influential Paso del Norte Group and the Downtown Management District.” Gray, Robert, “New PAC to Promote Quality of Life Bond,” El Paso Inc., July 29, 2012.
07/30/12
Quality of Life Voters for Democracy announce they have collected over 1500 signatures on their petition to make it mandatory that quality of life issues like arenas and stadiums have to go to the voters. Molinet, Julio Antonio. “Completan mil 500 firmas contra estadio en el Centro,” Diario de El Paso, July 30, 2012.

The Pacific Coast League's executive committee...announced it had unanimously approved the preliminary application review (PAR) application by MountainStar Sports Group, bringing a Triple-A team one step closer to being moved to El Paso.” Martinez, Leanard, “City Could Buy El Paso Times Building in City Hall Deal,” KVIA News 7, POSTED: 07:29 PM MDT Aug 06, 2012 UPDATED: 03:43 PM MDT Aug 07, 2012.
07/31/12
Quality of Life Voters for Democracy turn in over 2500 signatures to the El Paso City Clerk.
08/01/12
The Triple A baseball league, the Pacific League announced that it has given preliminary approve for MoutainStar to purchase the Tucson Padres. Molinet, Julio Antonio. “Aprueban equipo Triple A para EP… y crece oposición,” Diario de El Paso. Aug. 1, 12.


08/04/12
El Paso Times publishers and Paso del Norte Group member Sergio Salinas announced that the second floor of the El Paso Times building is for lease. Martinez, Leanard, “City Could Buy El Paso Times Building in City Hall Deal,” KVIA News 7, POSTED: 07:29 PM MDT Aug 06, 2012 UPDATED: 03:43 PM MDT Aug 07, 2012.
08/06/12
City announced that it may purchase the El Paso Times building. The El Paso Times had been pro-ballpark and had been known for its lack of in-depth reporting regarding the ballpark controversy. Martinez, Leanard, “City Could Buy El Paso Times Building in City Hall Deal,” KVIA News 7, POSTED: 07:29 PM MDT Aug 06, 2012 UPDATED: 03:43 PM MDT Aug 07, 2012.

City manager says putting City Hall into multiple buildings will save taxpayers' money” says the title of a KFOX news story. “Mayor John Cook told KFOX Friday that he doesn't like the plan. Cook said that too much money has been put into City Hall to simply demolish it and he thinks the stadium could be built elsewhere.” Dupont, Ric. KFOX, Updated: 9:03 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6, 2012 | Posted: 4:26 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6, 2012.
08/07/12
The Texas Watchdog reports: “El Paso City Council rejects open discussion about aspect of $50 million stadium plan.”

Possibly inexplicably oblivious to the El Paso area public corruption scandals that have destroyed public trust, half of El Paso City Council quashed a move to bring a discussion into the open about the planned baseball stadium.

'We use this term all the time that we want to be transparent,' City Rep. Carl Robinson was reported saying. 'If we really believe in the word being transparent we should be transparent to the people that have filed the petition and let them know whatever they’ve done is all for naught.' Robinson’s comment came during an effort by council to waive its attorney-client privilege and discuss the stadium vote petition timeline in public, just as they had earlier in closed session. Council’s legally allowed to do that, but the move died, 5-4, with Mayor John Cook casting the deciding vote.” Olson, Kurt. “El Paso City Council rejects open discussion about aspect of $50 million stadium plan; petition likely too late,” Texas Watchdog, Aug. 9, 2012.



08/08/12
El Paso City Council votes to purchase the El Paso Times building and the Gallery San Isidro for $22 million. The Gallery San Isidro is conveniently one block from bookstore/press (Cinco Puntos Press) of the parents of Rep. Susy Byrd, who have convincingly just put it up for sale. Rep. Suzy Byrd made a motion for the city to buy the Galeria San Ysidro building 801 Texas Avenue. Byrd has been a critics of EPISD transparency? Owned by Karam Properties, the city recently overpaid for a building from Karam whose appraisal value was lower than the purchase price. The City hired RJL Real Estate Consultants & TVO North America to recommend property for the city to buy in which to move city services. RJL is currently the agent for 701 Texas — Cinco Puntos Press. Both consultant companies have executives who are members of the Paso del Norte Group. Connecting the Dots: El Paso Ballpork Chart, Anonymous; “Estiman pagará Ciudad más de 22 mdd por edificios de EP Times y ex galería”, Diario de Juarez, Aug. 8, 2012.

Activist Lisa Turners mention the conflict of interests in that the El Paso Times editorial board had endorsed the stadium and demolition of City Hall. Molinet, Julio Antonio. “Estiman pagará Ciudad más de 22 mdd por edificios de EP Times y ex galería,” Diario de El Paso, Aug. 20, 2012.

Mayor Cook admits that he belies that the stadium will not be the economic catalyst that is being portrayed. Molinet, Julio Antonio. “Se opone el alcalde al proyecto… tardíamente,” Diario de El Paso. July 8, 2012.
08/09/12
Diario uncovers that the El Paso Times has apealed its building tax appraisal since 2004. Figueroa, Lorana. “Evade EP Times pago real de taxes,” Diario de El Paso, Aug. 9, 2012.
08/12/12
Former Mayor Larry Francis writes an op editorial to the El Paso Inc. He states: “...the baseball stadium, which in my opinion is an absolutely
disastrous idea that will lead to both a financial and a structural Armageddon to the detriment of our city for decades to come.”

The baseball stadium is being proposed as the cornerstone of a new revitalization for El Paso’s Downtown; however, the economic and structural drain on city government and ultimately the taxpayers is horrendous. The list of problems with this deal is massive and well-documented in the past two weeks by our citizens. The investment percentages by the city versus the team owners are lopsided and unfair, to start. There is zero return or repayment by the team owners.”

Albuquerque, N.M., gets about $700,000 rent per year and a percentage of all concessions. We get $50,000 per year – not the $200,000 advertised. We are giving them the stadium and parking garage for free. The most troubling aspects of this are the scattering of city government around town, the secrecy of
negotiations, the lack of disclosure to our citizens of the cost and impact, and an apparent deliberate attempt to conceal the whole process from our citizens. We can no longer trust city government. Since this will not work, we will be faced with building a new city hall at some time in the near future.
Paul Foster, possibly unwittingly, summarized our problem in a recent interview. It will take a
repopulation of Downtown by business and government, filling our buildings and drawing private investments in order to rebuild Downtown. He had admitted that the employees of his own company “did not like living in El Paso,” so the company moved to Phoenix.”

If we cannot keep his company, who can we get to come to Downtown?...the baseball stadium, as proposed, is a bad solution. As a former mayor, I would ask Paul Foster and Woody Hunt to step back and re-evaluate this entire deal. The burden on the city is much too one-sided.” Francis, Larry. “City Hall Armageddon,” El Paso Inc. Aug. 12, 2012.
08/19/12
David Crowder, writing for the El Paso Inc. states points out that in Oklahoma City, the ballpark was voter-approved. This is unlike El Paso: “It was the first of three ambitious Metropolitan Area Projects, or MAPS, that Oklahoma City voters
approved between 1993 and 2009, totaling $1.8 billion.” “OKC: It started with baseball,” Aug. 19, 2012
08/19/20
El Paso Times published guest column by Stephanie Townsand Allala: “There is zero return or repayment by the team owners. Albuquerque, N.M., gets about $700,000 rent per year and a
percentage of all concessions. We get $50,000 per year -- not the $200,000 advertised. We are giving them the stadium and parking garage for free."

Contractual negotiations apparently covered a two-year period with no public knowledge. Even assuming some part of the negotiations had to be kept private, the city did a poor job in ending up with one of the worst deals for any municipality in Triple-A sports. Joyce Wilson, a member of Paso Del Norte Group, proponent of the stadium, acting in conflict as El Paso City Manager and c”hief negotiator for the city, had two years to discuss this with Paul Foster and Woody Hunt.
Those meetings apparently sometimes included select City Council members -- in particular, Susie Byrd, Steve Ortega, Cortney Niland.”

And after two years, suddenly there's no time for a thorough public vetting?” Townsand Allala, Stephanie. “Stephanie Townsend Allala: Group circulates new petition on stadium,” El Paso Times, August 19, 2012.
08/20/12
Voters occupy City Hall hall by setting up tents and tables at the Insights Museum parking lot near City Hall. Former Mayor Ray Salazar speak to the crowds. Guavara, Karla. “Inicia actividades movimiento 'Occupy City Hall' en El Paso,” Diario de El Paso, Aug. 20, 2012.

At City Hall, Occupy City Hall reads emails of City Manager Joyce Wilson that were obtained via the Texas Open Records Act. In an email from Bill Burton to Wilson, he says that the city does not want to scare the public to the fact that they will be destroying the Scottish Rite Temple, closing streets, to make way for the ballpark.

Occupy City Hall reads emails from from an attorney for the MountainStar Sports Group telling Wilson how the order of the agenda for a City Council meeting should be.

They also include a 3 in the morning email from Wilson to Burton expressing her “excitement.” Según emails, administradora de la Ciudad respaldó estadio, Diario de El Paso, Aug. 20, 2012.
08/21/12
Occupy City Hall is asked to vacate after City pressures board of director of Insights Museum not to continue giving permission to occupy its parking lot. Occupy City Hall moves across the street to Cleavland Square.
09/13/12
El Paso's Immobiliare, “The Paso del Norte Group has announced its support for the three propositions in the November quality-of-life bond referendum, including the $473 million in projects and the proposed hotel occupancy tax increase to support the construction of a Downtown ballpark.” Ramirez, Cindy. “Paso del Norte Group backs all 3 ballot issues,” El Paso Times, Sept. 13, 2012.


09/22/12
Codes Inspection begins harassing occupiers at Cleavland Square over a sign.
09/16/12
Various groups questioning El Paso City Council's lack of transparency in building a Downtown Ballpark and demolishing City Hall joined forces over the weekend to discuss recent developments. These included Coalition for Responsive Government, Quality of Life Voters for Democracy, Occupy City Hall, El Paso No Se Vende, Occupy El Paso, Save the Diablos, Recall Niland, Los Lagartistas, among other groups.
09/16/12
Former Mayor Ray Salazar goes 1-against-2 as he debates City Manager Joyce Wilson and Asst. City Manager and next El Paso Tomorow PAC employee Bill Studer. Salazar gets to admit the City of El Paso is 850 million in debt.

Former City Planner Nestor Valencia publishes an op ed critical of the Downtown Ballpark. He states, “And here is the big problem. The November vote should be for the voters to decide whether or not to proceed with construction of the stadium. It is not. The vote on the tax hike is of little consequence. It matters not the outcome of the vote. Taxpayers will still be responsible for the stadium debt, which will last for many years...In the history of El Paso, projects of this size, cost, and character have always been put before the voters for approval or defeat. This is clearly a quality of life project and as such should be placed before the voters of El Paso. The stadium needs General Obligation bonds to proceed...Simply stated, a project like the stadium should not be approved at a regular City Council meeting. Council failed in its responsibility to its constituency. This project needs voter consent.”

Another major flaw is the complete lack of adequate planning, lack of alternate stadium sites to be considered, demolition of City Hall and the lack of an adequate plan to relocate City Hall resulting in the scattering of city functions at random. It destroys the purpose of Cohen Stadium.”
This process makes no public administration or business sense. It also nullifies the purpose of General Obligation funding through voter referendums.”
The citizens of El Paso are not interested in micro-managing the day-to-day operations of city affairs. They are concerned when a large sum of taxpayer dollars is on the table. Council’s responsibility is to listen to the people and protect the interest of the public.” Valencia, Nestor. “Time for City Council to Reconsider,” El Paso Inc., Aug. 16, 2012.



El Paso Inc. publishes expose on the Quality of Life Bond Surveys that the city used in the Spring of 2012. Stating that the overwhelming of survey they received were for a ballpark in Downtown El Paso, the Inc. discovers that 500 of these ballots were fradulent. 1000 ballots were for a ballpark and 500 of them were found to fraudulent. Evidence shows the department under Deborah Hamlyn former Asst. City Manager now consultant for El Paso Tomorrow PAC, the organization supporting the ballpark, decided to disregard the fraud. Crowder, David, “Stadium Tainted,” El Paso Inc., Sept. 16, 2012.


09/17/12
United Opposition to the Downtown Ballpork does a Human Bill Board at the Downtown I-10 East Off Ramp.
09/17/12
El Paso Tomorrow PAC hosts a “Let's Play Ball” event at Cleavland Square. Mostly attended by White El Pasoans, Foster-Hunt security harass peaceful counter protesters and call the police on them. Police arrive. Although they give some limited harassment and ignored agree ballpark supporters, peace was maintained. PAC gives attendees manufactured signs and T-shirts and “free” tickets.

Congressional candidate Robert Roarke announces his support for the ballpork and the demolition of City Hall.
09/18/12
City votes to reject the petition calling for the non-demolition of City Hall. Emma Acosta makes motion that the building of a stadium and the demolition of City Hall should go to the voters. It fails 4-3 with Rep. Michael Noe, Susie Byrd, Cortney Niland, and Ann Morgan Lilly voting against. The non-compete clause is removed. Price tag for the ballpark has jumped from $50 million to $80 million. Rep. Niland, Lilly, Noe, and Byrd vote down a tax reprieve for persons with disabilities and the elderly.