demo_leadershipAs most of you already know I have been battling with the city for a set of images that I had requested through an open records request. My request was for any images of immediate-past elected officials found in any of the city representatives’ computers. There have been numerous allegations of city officials using city issued computers and or staff members to conduct political campaigns therefore I figured that there might be images of campaign materials on the city representatives’ computers.

After going-back-and-forth with the city on whether the money orders I was sending them were an acceptable form of payment I finally received four DVDs of images scraped from their computers. As I started organizing the images in order to analyze them I came across the one that graces this article.

To say that I laughed out loud is an understatement. My office mates were curious as to what I was laughing at so I showed them the image. They were curious about the captions but not being from El Paso the humor was lost to them. However as the day went on they kept asking me why I was laughing so hard.

I simply said, “This image unfortunately represents El Paso politics”. As I explained the background of each individual represented on the picture, one person quipped “now I understand why you write about El Paso politics”.

Sadly, this is what El Paso is about.

Except for resizing the image to fit the allotted space on my website and adding my blog’s logo the image is exactly what was sent to me in my open records request. All of the captions are the original ones that are on the original photograph. I did not modify or add any other captions.

Of course the immediate question on everyone’s mind is who created this image. Unfortunately the answer is not easily forthcoming.

The photograph was included in the DVD labeled “Districts 3&5” under a file folder named “5REP”. The image file is date stamped March 4, 2012. The image itself is labeled “421”. The original file was 640×480 pixels; I modified it by reducing the width down to 500 pixels and increasing the height by adding the white bar with my logo to 500 pixels.

As for who created it, obviously I didn’t have much to go on but I knew it came from Michiel Noe’s city computer so I emailed him using the city’s website. The city website does not allow you to attach files so I described the image to him and asked him if he knew the source of the image.

Noe responded within minutes. He wrote; “I remember the picture.  It was one that I saw on some mass mailing or Facebook of something similar.”  He added; “I’m very sorry but I don’t remember exactly where.  I remember that I had some questions about it so I saved it.”  He concluded that he doesn’t remember “ever following up on it”.

So there you have it. At this point we don’t know who created the image and who it was meant for.

However and unfortunately for El Paso I would argue that it is not only funny it may not be too farfetched.

Enjoy it because this little image cost me $266.25 in fees therefore someone else is probably having the last laugh at my expense.

And no, it is not a Halloween prank!

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

3 replies on “Sometimes Open Records Make Me Laugh, Unfortunately for El Paso”

  1. With all the “dishonest” city and school district officials surrounding us, we could start a picture gallery!

  2. Ooooh, Ooooh, that was me who did that! I am the person who added those captions to the picture. I posted it on my Facebook profile along with others like it. Dr. Noe is on my Friends list along with other City Reps who are not necessarily my friends or political allies. I’m glad to see that my message is getting out to them. For the record I don’t hold back knowing they are watching what I post. I want our “leaders” to know what we think about them without hiding behind a pen name of fake profile.

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