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Home | Tag Archives: el paso arena

Tag Archives: el paso arena

Op-Ed: City Hires Firms to Run Us Through the “Spin Cycle” Again

On Saturday, Sept. 6, the El Paso Times ran a guest column written by two individuals representing companies hired by the City to create what I believe is a damage-control narrative designed to twist facts and misrepresent the reality about how progress and quality of life is attained here in our city.

This is my personal response to their El Paso Times column – Jud Burgess

*

Mr. Bill Burton and Ms. Rodriguez, I take offense at your highly spun and lip-glossed opinion column attempting to present serious issues about El Paso’s future as simple as calling citizens to join your hastily produced “movement” called El Paso Forward, a media blitz designed to put El Paso on spin cycle in the midst of the current negative perception the public has of City government and how it treats El Paso’s citizens.

I know how advertising works* and Mithoff-Burton Partners along with the Raben Group PR firm are engaged in an attempt to change the current negative perception as these types of firms are hired to do. Advertising is all about manipulating facts to create a perception that sells an idea, service or product.

(* I’ve had my own successful 30-year business as a graphic design studio and have avoided working with ad agencies due to the pervasively disingenuous business culture.)

You present a saccharine and manufactured view of El Paso on the precipice of greatness and call it reality without any connection to real facts. Every administration has been declaring El Paso on the cusp of a renaissance and exploding growth but none have delivered it. Your “El Paso Deserves It” video subjects are multi-million dollar Quality of Life projects that have nearly all been underfunded.

Let’s call it what it is…a propaganda campaign to help usher in the sure-to-lose-millions, heritage and culture killing, taxpayer-abusing El Paso sports arena FUSTERCLUCK.

It’s a multi-media spin cycle effort designed to keep citizens ignorantly happy while City leaders continue jacking up the price tags of their pet projects like the ballpark and the now $60 million children’s museum while insultingly underfunding and haphazardly combining the $5 million Mexican-American Cultural Center with the beloved downtown library.

One major problem with your invitation is you neglect to inform El Pasoans that it will continue to plunge us deeper into serious and almost insurmountable debt at this point. All to appease our City leaders who more than likely hired your firm at taxpayer expense, the ultimate cruelty but not surprising given our mayor who has proven to have an insatiable appetite for issuing taxes every which way but loose.

Your column refers to community grumbling — a thinly veiled and insulting reference to the thousands of El Pasoans who demand government transparency, citizen participation in improving our city, ethical behavior from our public servants and an end to abusive taxation and expensive QOL projects.

Without so many words, you paint us as people who are holding progress down and hurting the misguided efforts of city leaders who in all truthfulness are taxing us into oblivion as the wheels of “progress” begin to come loose.

Since when is progress accomplished on the backs of El Paso’s taxpayers?

Since when is progress measured by how deep in debt City leaders subject our citizens to?

We are El Pasoans who want to see El Paso thrive but not by over-taxation and continued tax breaks for the wealthy at our expense.

We want to build pride by embracing the heritage, culture and people of the real El Paso…not the bland and derivative fake Starbucks culture that City leaders and real estate investors always seem to gravitate to.

Join the movement to hold city leaders accountable and put a stop to their reckless spending in the name of “progress” and “quality of life”.

**

Jud Burgess is a local graphic designer, business owner, and blogger who is involved in local activism efforts.  judburgess.com  /  James No Bond on FB

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The El Paso Herald-Post welcomes guest columns, open letters, letters to the Editor and analysis pieces for publication, to submit a piece or for questions regarding guidelines, please email us at news@epheraldpost.com

Paso del Sur Announces Citizen’s Initiative to Save Duranguito from Demolition for Arena

Paso del Sur, a grassroots organization that works with barrio residents to defend their neighborhoods and their right to respect and dignity, announced that they are initiating a city-wide citizen’s initiative to exclude Barrio Duranguito from the City’s eminent domain demolition plan.

The official announcement of the Citizen’s Initiative will take place Tuesday, 8:15 a.m., January 24, 2017 at El Paso City Hall.

The citizen’s initiative reads as follows:

“We the undersigned voters and residents of El Paso oppose the forced displacement of people and businesses for the purpose of erecting an entertainment arena and hereby petition the city to pass and enact the following ordinance:

“BECAUSE THE CITIZENS OF EL PASO RECOGNIZE AND RESPECT THE CULTURAL AND HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE OF THE UNION PLAZA DISTRICT, INCLUDING THE RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD KNOWN AS BARRIO DURANGUITO, THE CITY OF EL PASO SHALL NOT CONSTRUCT A MULTIPURPOSE PERFORMING ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT CENTER (ARENA) WITHIN THE DISTRICT.”

We believe the recent actions of our dysfunctional City Council to reverse the decision that initially excluded Barrio Duranguito from the demolition block clearly demonstrates that they cannot be trusted to represent the interests of anyone other than a small minority of binational developers, land speculators and hoteliers who want it at Union Plaza for their own financial benefit.

On October 18, the City Council voted to use eminent domain to construct an arena in Barrio Duranguito, one of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in El Paso. On December 20, they voted to exclude Duranguito and to study other areas for the arena.

On January 10, City Council voted for a motion introduced by Representative Michiel Noe, to once again consider Union Plaza as the site of the arena. Other representatives who voted against the people of Duranguito include Representative Carl Robinson, Representative Claudia Ordaz and Representative Emma Acosta.

The people of Union Plaza have suffered long enough from the lack of respect of the City Council and the subsequent harassment of property owners who are trying to intimidate them into moving.

For this reason, the property owners, residents, and small vendors of Union Plaza/ Barrio Duranguito have chosen to appeal directly to the citizens of El Paso to help us save our homes and businesses from eminent domain demolition and forced displacement.

Under Section 3.11 of the City Charter of El Paso, citizens have the right to petition for an Ordinance, which the Council must place on the agenda for a City Council vote.

If the City Council fails to pass the Ordinance, the citizens then have the right to petition that the Ordinance be placed on the ballot for a vote by the voters in the next general election.

Those who wish to sign the initiative/referendum petition may do so at

Cafe Mayapan, 2000 Texas Ave, from 11 am -3 pm Monday-Friday

Carambola Community Music School, 200 N. Ochoa (second floor of the Cinco Puntos Press building) Contact Yahvi at: (773) 613-9303 for available hours.

Farmworkers Center, (corner of Ninth and Oregon Street) phone: 915-873-8933 on Tuesday and Thursday from 11 am-3 pm.

You can also sign the petition at the Rock House (corner of W. Overland and Leon Street) any Friday between 5 pm and 7 pm.

For more information, or for other future locations to sign the referendum, or if you wish to volunteer to collect petition signatures contact Paso del Sur at PDS@pasodelsur.org or call

Coordinator of Citizen’s Initiative: Cynthia Renteria: 915-637-3026.

Dr. David Dorado Romo, 915-630-9502

Dr. Yolanda Chávez Leyva, 915-449-2853

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Photo gallery courtesy Jon Eckberg –  Previous Herald-Post coverage HERE.

City Council Approves Arena Land Acquisition Process

The process to begin negotiations to acquire land in downtown for the development of an indoor arena was approved Tuesday by City Council. The process will begin with community meetings.

The $180 million Multipurpose Cultural and Performing Arts Center, or arena, approved by the voters as part of the 2012 Quality of Life Bonds will provide a venue for athletic, performance, cultural and recreational events in the heart of El Paso’s Downtown.

“Everyone impacted will be relocated in accordance with the law,” City Attorney Sylvia Borunda Firth said. “It is absolutely our goal to negotiate in good faith with property owners to reach agreement on purchase prices. We will work diligently to develop a relocation plan that works for each situation, keeping those who want to remain downtown in the area.”

The arena master planning area is a two-block area bounded by West San Antonio Avenue, South Santa Fe Street, West Paisano Drive and Leon Street. The City will not acquire all properties within the target area – only the smallest area possible footprint will be acquired to disrupt the fewest number of landowners and tenants.

“Our site selection objective was to find the best location possible that supports the vibrancy of downtown, builds on our existing assets, has easy access to highways, and impacts the fewest number of properties possible,” City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said.

The community meetings to be scheduled immediately will provide impacted property owners and tenants with the opportunity to discuss the land acquisition process and the development of the arena.  The arena design process will involve additional public meetings.

The City has identified a total of 22 properties for the arena footprint. Out of those parcels five are vacant or surface lots, seven are commercial, seven are residential and two are city owned. The design scope will incorporate the existing fire stations and the Firefighters Memorial Park into the arena.

Fire Station #11 and the Police Area Representative (PAR) station located on Leon Street will remain open and operational.

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