City council is scheduled to discuss agenda item number: 19.1 that was postponed last week. The item, “Clarification of ethics rules/ordinances, including clarification on Council’s ability to interact with employees without violating ethics rules” was posted by Michiel Noe. It was originally scheduled for last week’s meeting, immediately after Claudia Ordaz’ emails were made public but was postponed by Noe. Noe stated that he was postponing the item because Emma Acosta was absent and had requested that the item be postponed.

The agenda item dovetails perfectly into the many public questions about corruption at city hall. Ostensibly, the item is to discuss city council ethics, mainly in relation to city council representatives going directly to city staff, bypassing the city manager, for specific projects. Larry Romero and Lily Limon were originally targeted by the discussion item posted by Noe.

However, subsequent to the posting, questions about Larry Romero’s street paving projects have risen to the point of whether there was corruption involved in the process. Noe, himself, has called the process corrupt in the news media. Claudia Ordaz’ text messages have clearly shown that she was coached during a city council meeting on what to say about the MPO issue.

Romero’s case needs to be addressed openly and transparently. El Paso is known for corruption and for him to pretend nothing inappropriate happened only deepens the thought that corruption is still rampant in the city.

Ordaz’ coaching at the city council meeting goes directly to ethics in government and especially at city hall. Both of these issues need to be vetted openly and transparently.

However, it will likely be buried in executive session and wrapped around the “it’s all good” lie being perpetuated by Oscar Leeser.

Leeser is likely talking to city representatives about keeping things hush, hush. To Leeser it is about keeping appearances. He wants to pretend that city council is working in unison for a better El Paso and if it means silencing inconvenient facts, he will do so. He will wrap it around a façade of “decorum.”

The city attorney’s office will help him out by running to executive session when the discussion delves into specific conversations and actions. The city attorney will do this to protect the city against liability and it is exactly what she should be doing. However, Oscar Leeser will use that as cover to keep things hidden from the voters.

Claudia Ordaz will use the Larry Romero issue to deflect away from herself hoping everyone focuses on Romero. Romero, will obviously try to keep the discussion away from his streets issue.

The other city representatives see blood in the water and will likely look to try to capitalize their on their political clout by pontificating about the how they are not part of this latest fiasco. The problem is that they will look to score points and thus allow the discussion to be swayed by politics rather than by exposing the truth.

As of Monday, only Peter Svarzbein has asked to be excused from the meeting.

We will see if Claudia Ordaz sits through the meeting and engages or does she look to skip out when things get tough for her. The Ordaz texts messages has ensured that city council will be either indifferent to her plight or outright hostile to her.

Her only hope is to keep the discussion centered on Romero.

Assuming that the Internet streaming of the city council meeting does not magically cease to work, I will be updating you via Twitter @epnewsblog as the meeting progresses.

Tomorrow I plan to give you a blow-by-blow account of what transpired. That is of course if the item is not postponed or that it is not taking into executive session to keep the secrets intact.

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 “City Council Has An Opportunity to Clear Up Issues Today”

  1. I believe Svarzbein is probably not attending due to Rosh Hashanah, one of the Jewish High Holidays being on Monday and Tuesday.

  2. The first step is to acknowledge that just because it’s not illegal, it’s ok. The next step is to a knownledge there is conduct that isn’t acceptable just because it’s legal.

    Being unethical doesn’t deserve any praise as being “clever”. Nor is it what it means. Being unethical should not be minimized nor ignored. It needs to identified and corrected immediately.

    These politicians do as they please because no one holds them accountable. The unaccountability leads further abuse of accepted standards or corruption. Not being held accountable allows for organized shady groups to maintain control by manipulating the vote.

    Manipulating the vote being just inside of the law or unethical practices. Once they get away with that, voting machines develop (wink) mechanical problems. When you tell uninformed people how to vote or demonize the opposition with lies, take advantage of the ignorance, tear down signs or remove flyers from doors. Provide misinformation about voting. It’s all unethical in some cases illegal. It’s not “smart” politics at all. Ever hear of “dirty” politics ?

    When and if people take steps to hold politicians accountable, then you will see a smooth running government, not perfect but still making good decisions and keeping an eye on the budget. Why “if”, well as the blog states city council will not do the right thing. Don’t expect the county to do the right thing either.

    Look at the mess we are in because one politician believes they are smarter than the rest and makes the unethical play. They are busy trying to con each other and the public. Even thieves have an honor code !

    Look around the same faces always seem to be lurking in the shadows. Look at the financial mess and chaos. Same faces again. Review the blogs for the last couple of weeks, the same faces again !

    The greater question is “will the public do the right thing” and become an informed and independent voter ? Or will the public continue to allow the destructive behavior by not voting, being a drone voter or asking one of the older children who should get the vote. I see and hear it all the time.

  3. End Wink-Wink Government
    When 70 to 80 percent of the voters never show up well sorry to tell you nothing is going to change and the elected in El Paso know this fact. Hey they want them to stay home it assures reelection by a very small block of voters that they control. Yep you can blame the Politicians that be a fact but the real blame is the people of El Paso who are lazy and make the choice of ignorance not to engage government and participate in their own governance.

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