sanjan-toilet2I have been in El Paso the last couple of days getting a closer look at some of the issues that need to be addressed. I still need to organize my research in order to share with you more detailed information on some of the city’s current controversies. Today I wanted to share a few quick comments about one issue; the San Jacinto Plaza bathrooms.

As you know, the lack of foresight to install bathrooms at the city downtown center point has been an ongoing issue almost since ground was broken for the plaza’s upgrades. The initial public posture by the city was that a bathroom was not necessary because of the “size” of the park or because there were other restroom in the area.

The city has mismanaged this project from the onset and instead of acknowledging this, the city has embarked on a public relations campaign to try and create the illusion that bathrooms aren’t needed. Unfortunately illusions cannot hide incompetency and the city is desperately looking to fix the problem by offering up quick fixes that will only exasperate the problem further.

Keep this in mind as you observe the “$1,000 a day” fines that the city is supposedly levying upon the San Jacinto contractor. I wrote “supposedly” on purpose because I believe that the notion that the contractor is being fined is only “smoke and mirrors” designed to hide the city’s own incompetence. Unfortunately, the news media has bought into this “smoke and mirrors” sales job by continuously referring to the contractor as being fined daily, without any research showing that this is actually occurring.

Consider this, on one hand; the city issues a change order to the contractor extending the deadline for the delivery of the project while arguing that it is fining the contractor for delays. Yet, the city continuously hides in executive session while extending the notion that the contractor is at fault.

I believe the “$1,000-a-day” fine is a lie.

Unfortunately, like the city, the contractor isn’t willing to talk about the issue either. I have tried but both are hiding behind the “litigation” scam.

This is how corruption manifests in the city because no one is willing to shine a light on the city’s shenanigans.

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...

4 replies on “San Jacinto Bathrooms”

  1. We have been racking our brains about this bathroom issue, and here’s our conclusion: Why is this even an issue? The old Plaza did not have public restrooms! Why does the new one need them? It is not a park, after all. It is just a center point, and used to be where all the bus routes came together. People seeking facilities had to go into nearby businesses. So, why does anybody need bathrooms there now? (I realize that there are not many businesses around the plaza anymore, but so what?

  2. John, the city sold the idea by stating it would be a park where people go and do things. A mini Central Park. Another city rep vacation and returning to the tired mantra that we have to look like NY, LA, DC, etc

  3. Bottom line is our fabulous council doesn’t want “vagrants” in their great revitalized downtown area. Lord knows they would camp out and want to use the facilities. As apposed to El Pasoans with children acomidated by something as useful as a restroom filled with businesses that denie there use. Yet they’re going to bring back restored streetcars to invite people to that area……brilliant absolutely brilliant…..come on nilandco can swing it.

  4. To all: The old Plaza did have underground bathrooms but to many “SHADY” people were hanging around & not the best smelling place either. If some smart business man starts a business with port a potties attached to the Trolleys …everybody wins!

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