potholes-psGrowing up in Mexico I grew to detest the honorifics that people, with low self-esteem, tended to apply to themselves in order to give themselves a self-perceived notion of being of a special class of people. Those of you that understand the culture of Mexico have seen the “lic” and “ing” titles and know what they mean. For those of you not so attuned to the self-bestowed titles, “lic” stands for licenciado, or something akin to a licensed individual, often mistaken to be a lawyer and “ing,” refers to an engineer. Of course, there is the doctor title that is often used in the US as well.

As with everything in the Mexican culture of smoke-and-mirrors, many of these titles as self-bestowed and usually have no education to back them up with. Because of this, I am often taken aback when someone bestows himself or herself an honorific, especially in the United States.

After I contacted Peter Svarzbein’s office in order to follow up on one of my blogs, my email address ended being added to his city newsletters. Although I quickly scanned the first email, I received from his office, in anticipation of quickly deleting it as SPAM, something jumped out that made me pause.

Peter Svarzbein closed his newsletter email with “Hon. Peter Svarzbein.”

This is the first time, in the many years that I have been doing this, that a city council representative bestowed himself or herself the title “Hon.”

Yes, I understand and realize that the honorific “Hon.” is properly used as he was elected into office, however, in my opinion; it shows that Svarzbein has a very low self-esteem problem that he seems to be trying to compensate with by attempting create illusions about his persona.

Although I had not intended to bring this particular issue up, as there are many more problems with Peter Svarzbein’s actions towards those that put him into office, his last email newsletter just poignantly showed me what you could expect from Peter Svarzbein for the rest of his term.

Nothing but self-indulged flights of fancy centered on an individual who actually believes that El Paso is New York City, or some highfalutin city with plenty of disposable income to throw around for appearances sake.

His newsletter on Friday, October 9, 2015 centered on two specific topics.

The first is the Sicario movie and the second was potholes. I know some of you are thinking, potholes is probably the number one thing a city representative should be spending time on as that is likely the most important thing on the minds of the voters. I agree.

Peter Svarzbein, though, admitted that many of those that voted for him are most concerned about potholes. “Many of our calls concern potholes,” his email states. Svarzbein then goes on to tell you, the voters, to call the city’s 3-1-1 number. Incredulously he goes into detail about how the city sends a “truck and crew” to “outline the pothole by using chalk to draw a rectangle around the pothole.” Svarzbein continues with a detailed explanation about how they go about repairing the pothole but I will spare you the details, as I am sure you get the gist of it.

However, Peter Svarzbein isn’t done with you just yet; he conveniently offers a link to a “short video of the pothole repair process.”

In other words, you shouldn’t be bothering Peter Svarzbein with mundane stuff like potholes because he has more important things to do to make El Paso “a world class capital of the border.”

This brings us back to the Sicario movie, a movie that is apparently consuming all of Svarzbein’s time. In Peter Svarzbein’s mind, somehow the movie taught him that the “real question is: how can our district, city and region be more competitive globally?”

Peter Svarzbein, in a self-indulged eureka moment has decided that the solution to El Paso’ many problems is “to maximize our film industry.” Yup, you read that right.

The next time you need a pothole repaired in your neighborhood don’t bother calling Peter Svarzbein because he is too busy polishing his “honor” title and trying to make El Paso “a world class capital of the border” by bringing Hollywood to film the dilapidated streets for their next horror B-movie.

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...

5 replies on “Peter Svarzbein and Pot Holes, Oh Yea and Hollywood on the Border”

  1. I met this joke and he couldn’t keep his stories. First time I met him, I was taken aback because there was no hello or introduction. It was if “you need a street fixed or anything just call me, here’s my card. Then he proceeded to tell where he grew up, another state. Later after the meeting, he obviously didn’t remember me because he changed his story and now he was from El Paso.

    The conversation went wrong immediately when I asked to discuss a couple of issues. He argues, doesn’t discuss nor listens. Your opinions don’t matter and you WILL NOT get a word in. I felt like it was Dem. pundit James Carville. He is very rude and arrogant. Watch him when he speaks with individuals. His sense of royalty is obvious.

    He has nothing to offer to the district nor the city. His only claim to fame was he was being known as the trolley folly. Now he has become a movie critic and has the nerve to tell movie producers which story lines are suitable.,

    His inability to discern the difference between a fictional action film from a documentary has made El Paso a source of jokes and an embarrassment. And his appearance is very disgusting. That cro magnon and disheveled look is not cool at all. But it does match his personality. He hasn’t done one damn thing for the district or the city !

    What cave did District 1 find this joke. Surely, there are more qualified and suitable people to hold that position.

  2. Hang in there, I haven’t given up. In the meantime, I will continue my advocacy work, stay up-to-date with district/city current issues and quietly listen to my District 1 neighbors.

  3. On the few occasions where I addressed city council it was customary to begin with a formal greeting that I spoke as, “Honorable Mayor and Distinguished Council.” No one complained and they listened to me. I have no problem with honorifics for elected officials, especially CC. Someone willing to put up with as much shit as they do for next to no pay deserves at least a good title 🙂

  4. Jerry, the side bennies make up whatever is lacking in salary.

    If this was a normal council they might merit some recognition. But they have done nothing except waste tax payers money, cat fight, scheme against one another, hide facts via executive session, mismanagement projects, build legacies, embarrass the city’s.

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