Many El Pasoans continually decry about how the rest of the state and now the nation looks upon the city as nothing more than a joke. Many of the readers to my blog complain about how I write nothing but the negative stuff that is the city. The individuals who complain about how El Paso is perceived should focus their anger on the insane asylum that has taken over most of the city’s government. No, I’m not writing about policy or even political factions, I’m writing about the juveniles running the city.

Frequent community activist Lisa Turner pointed out something and Diario reporter Karla Guevara Walton posted a picture of yesterday’s city council meeting that poignantly points out exactly how your city elected officials are nothing more than juveniles pretending to be adults.

This is what the rest of the world sees about El Paso, children running an insane asylum known as El Paso.


Take a good look at the picture posted by Walton on her Twitter account. As you can see, Cortney Niland is sitting next to Ann Morgan Lilly instead of where she should be sitting – next to Lily Limon. We all know that there was some sort of altercation between Lily Limon and Niland last November. There has been much rumormongering about what transpired but what we actually know was that Niland asked to be moved away from Lily Limon.

As you know, I do not attend city council meetings personally, instead I rely on the city’s online feed of the meeting to see how council deals with city policy issues. Because of that, I assumed that separating Limon and Niland entailed some sort of musical chairs where the city representatives exchanged chairs on the dais. Whether this happened or not, I do not know. However, while looking at Walton’s picture it clearly pointed out to me just how childish the whole thing is.

Notice how the last position on the dais is empty? From the picture, it looks to me like Niland was squeezed in between Ann Morgan Lilly and Larry Romero. Now take that imagery and combine it with the public fight between Limon and Niland and the only conclusion is that this is a childish fight between two adults with the end result being that one child took their marbles with them and sat with the other children in the playground.

To be clear there is only one city representative that is not sitting where she should be. What does this fact say about Cortney Niland? Is she that childish that she cannot act as an adult one day a week to do the city’s business? Although Niland is the one sandwiched in between two other city representatives it is the other elected officials that allow this situation to continue making them all children pretending to be adults.

Oscar Leeser, as the chair of the pretend adults, should have insisted that everyone take the seats that they were assigned to. If two, or more city representatives cannot behave like adults then the appropriate mechanisms of censure and public security should be allowed to do their jobs when there exists a possibility of public disorder. Leeser should let the existing laws deal with it as it does with all adults.

The problem is that Leeser knows he is dealing with children and rather than allow the façade of “it’s all good” in El Paso to be unmasked with city representatives being hauled off in handcuffs he allows this farce to play itself out in the community.

That is the problem with trying to keep lies going – the facts always have an inconvenient way of destroying the lie.

As for Niland, what does that say about the voters that elected her into office?

And some of you still wonder why El Paso continues to be the laughing-stock of the state.

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...

9 replies on “Juveniles at City Council”

  1. Martin,

    Just to give you the facts here… Niland switched places with Ann Lilly a while back. In yesterday’s meeting it was Ann Lilly who was now out of place, not Niland. And, she wasn’t out of place. I’ll have the full explanation up on my blog shortly.

  2. Limon seems to have a problem with Niland who has distanced herself, probably for her own protection, from Limon who acts like she has hormonal problems and is trying to prove that Niland is a racist. The irony is that it is Limon who hates white people (that in PC-speak is not considered racist). Otherwise you are totally right. They act as if it were a Mexican town hall meeting where every issue is debated on its personal merits since none of them can think conceptually.

  3. Martin, you and Karla are so biased against the progressives on council that *of course* this latest kurfluffle can’t be Lily Limon’s fault. Wrong. Limon is a bully. She was a bully when she was a school principal and assistant principal. She’s a bully now. She’s also an idiot who can neither think for herself nor understand the process of government (as her confused, angry ramblings at the budget hearings attest). Looking at the new arrangement of chairs, I can’t wait for her to start something with Claudia Ordaz, because that will be a fight worth watching!

  4. Lily is upset because the ORR Limon requested. Goes back to the ole saying, “if you got nothing to hide……..” And what’s with Niland putting her face in every interview and her 2 cents in the paper?

  5. Well that was extremely disappointing Martin.

    Do you vaguely recall posting this back in NOVEMBER?!?

    Now you have the gall to imply that this week’s round of musical chairs was because Niland moved? Think about it for a moment. In a little over a year, not one, but TWO city council reps have decided that they will NOT sit next to Limon. I don’t know the particulars of what exactly happened, but after watching most of the city council meetings since she’s been in office, I’m honestly not too surprised that she’s antagonizing people to the point where they refuse to sit by her.

    Now you turn around and try to spin it against one city council rep while ignoring the elephant on the dais? Come on man. Fine, you have an agenda, but posting stuff like this makes you look like just a crazy guy in Florida who happens to have a blog and is obsessed with El Paso. Even without knowing all the details, you know that Niland moved to Lilly’s seat LAST YEAR and yet you wrote this post trying to blame her for what’s going on?

    Just connect the dots like you love to do. After several YEARS on council Rep Niland happily sat in her assigned seat and did her job like an adult (more or less). Limon is elected and within a few months Rep Niland demands to be moved to the other side of the dais. Rep Lilly (also a long term council member) graciously agrees to switch seats and life goes on. Fast forward several months later and now Rep Lilly is also demanding to move to move back to the other side of the dais? Is it really that hard to believe that maybe the problem is rep Limon? Just go back and review how she has acted in the last year. She’s condescending and arrogant to people who do not agree with her and she acts like a bully who got to perfect her “art” as a principle dealing with children who can’t fight back. She’s mastered that irritatingly dissmissive “I’m talking to you like to you like you’re a 5 year old” tone that only the worst educators seem to rely on. Yet, you actually thought that no one would remember your comments about Niland? You honestly believed that no one would find it strange that you’re trying to smear her when we all know she’s been sitting in her new spot for most of the year and hasn’t seemed to have any seating issues with Reps Acosta or Robinson?

    What’s the deal Martin? Why go to such lengths to trash your reputation like that? I may not agree with you on various issues, but I was hoping that you really weren’t this disingenuous. I’m really disappointed in you man.

    1. Drakovic,

      Thank you for your comments. However I believe you missed the whole point. Except for Ann Morgan Lilly, Lily Limon and Cortney Niland no one knows exactly what has transpired. And even all three of them have a distorted view of what has happened because each has their own perception. However there is only ONE fact that is undisputable – Cortney Niland is NOT sitting where she needs to sit to conduct the city’s business. Everything is conjecture and innuendo.

      Oh, and by the way I linked to the November article in my write up.

      Thank you for reading my blog,

      1. Martin,

        Thanks for pointing that out. I didn’t notice the link the first time around. Given what you were talking about and the tone you took, it didn’t even occur to me that you would link to that since you conveniently left out the fact that Niland has been sitting in her current spot for what 7, 8 months? I don’t see Acosta or Robinson getting upset with her. I seriously disagree with her on a LOT of issues, but in general she seems to behave about right for a grown adult city council rep

        I think you missed my point as well. Niland had a problem with Limon. That’s fine. She talked to the Mayor and Lilly decided to help the situation along by moving to sit next to Limon. Now, Lilly has apparently indicated that she will NOT sit next to Limon for one more city council meeting. Trying to act like Niland is the child is incredibly disingenuous. We can disagree about the politics behind their various proposals and votes all we want, but at the end of the day, I think we can agree that until Limon came onto council the various members of council were able to sit in their assigned places without having to play a game of musical chairs.

        Now, after just one year, TWO city reps have refused, without airing their issues in public, to sit next to Limon. That doesn’t exactly scream child-ish to me. Childish would be airing all the dirty laundry and screaming about what a horrible b*** Limon is (for instance). Yet you’re still blaming most of this on Niland? Come on, that’s outright intentionally dishonest. Just watching city council on a regular basis, the one person who is most often patronizing, dismissive and just outright rude to staff and fellow council members is Limon, and that’s just the stuff we see on camera. Do you honestly believe that off camera she’s better? That the camera and microphones always and only catch the worst of her behaviour? Seriously?

        I happen to think that if her behaviour on camera is any indication of what kind of person she is, I could easily see someone not wanting to sit next to her or be anywhere near her during contentious city council meetings. Similarly, the mayor could be letting Lilly and Niland sit where they were this week in order to avoid any legal issues that they might bring forward due to how Limon behaves. I could certainly see legal advising that this is the safest solution that produces the minimum legal exposure for the city.

        I wonder what you would say if a month or two from now we see Limon moved the the furthers position away from the rest of the city council if she starts in on Ordaz. Would it then be a case of Ordaz and Niland ganging up on LImon?

        In your world, I suspect it would be.

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