Now we know who drives the truck.

I lifted this from the Paso del Sur’s Facebook page about their meeting with elected officials last Friday.

For all practical purposes, [City Manager Tommy] González and [City Attorney Sylvia Borunda-]Firth have been to this point the true driving force behind the arena project. They are the ones who are not only most directly involved in implementing the wishes of the binational billionaires behind the arena plan, but they’re the ones calling most of the shots. They’re not elected officials, so they’re not supposed to be this City’s legislators or main decision makers. But they are.

The City Manager publicly stated recently that the underlying philosophy that guides him (and his style of City management) can be summed up as “first we win, then we listen.” It was exactly what the City had done. They voted on October 18 to place the arena in Duranguito, only five days after announcing their intention to do so, and two months later they began to talk about needing to listen to the residents.

. . .

[The City Representatives who attended the meeting] told us that they were withdrawing their support from the arena at Union Plaza because the City Manager and City Attorney had consistently misinformed them about the arena. [District 2 Representative Jim] Tolbert said he had believed them on the lack of historical importance of Barrio Duranguito. But, he explained, after walking through the area the day before, he could see what great potential it had for historical and cultural heritage tourism.

The City Manager’s staff, Tolbert informed us, had also misinformed about the retaliatory Christmas evictions. They falsely stated that the reason Don Luciano sent the three elderly residents the eviction notices was for failure to pay rent. When we provided him with the residents’ rent payment receipts for the month of December, he said he realized this was another lie the City Manager and City Attorney staff had told him.

Like I said in Who’s driving this truck?

City Staff is supposed to answer to City Council and City Council is supposed to answer to the voters.

If City Staff doesn’t answer to City Council, they don’t answer to anybody. City Council needs to get out of their comfort zones and meet some real El Pasoans, instead of just listening to staff.

Now, apparently, the City Manager and City Attorney have lost the trust of City Council.

In the words of the famous twentieth century philosopher Roger Staubach, “If you don’t have trust inside your company, then you can’t transfer it to your customers.”

Desperate times call for drastic measures. These are desperate times.


  1. Tolbert loves finding someone else to blame for his mistakes. Bottom line, Tolbert and the rest of Council did no homework themselves, did not involve the historic or local community and now they are moonwalking back their unanimous vote. Tolbert had friends in the historic preservation community. All he had to do was ask for their input. He failed to do that and now he’s looking for a scapegoat.

  2. Evicting the elderly at Christmas. A PR disaster. Don Luciano just screwed himself and his buddies out of a few million dollars in profits. That’s probably why Ann Morgan Lilly went all gangsta against the Mayor at a quiet neighborhood restaurant. She couldn’t handle the stress of seeing the grand scheme evaporate in one fell swoop. I can’t wait for Billy Abraham to get into the mix and inject some common sense and compassion into our community again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *