Where I went to college, I had to take a class in horse trading. And one of the lessons was if you’ve got a horse that’s almost blind, the first thing you tell the mark is what good eyesight your horse has.
I didn’t see him there, by River Oaks President Adam Frank must have gone to the same college. In a story in today’s El Paso Times, about how River Oaks has received a permit to raze five buildings in the center of downtown, Mr. Frank is quoted as saying “with all the stuff going on Downtown, we wanted to take advantage of any opportunities that come up.”
Right. Because with all the business opportunity going on downtown, we wanted to tear down these properties before somebody rented them.
More likely Mr. Frank wanted to get River Oaks out of the property tax liability associated with improvements on all those properties. I hope they plant trees in those vacant lots, and maybe put up a rebote fronton.
Maybe Mr. Frank hadn’t heard about the new Triple A ballpark downtown, and how that was all that was needed to kickstart a vibrant future for all those classic old buildings. Instead of a vibrant downtown, we’re going to have vacant lots, like the one at the corner of Mesa and Mills, catty-corner from the Crown Jewel of Downtown El Paso’s revival, the Plaza de los Lagartos renovation. (They were going to put a surface parking lot there, but apparently not even a surface parking lot is viable there.) Instead of a vibrant downtown, we’re going to have vacant lots, like Detroit. Instead of a vibrant downtown, we’re going to have vacant lots, like the toothless grin of Avenida Juarez and Calle Mariscal.
Friends, the most amazing thing isn’t that they duped us. We believed because we wanted to believe. We wanted to believe their pie-in-the-sky fairy tales about revitalizing our community, and attracting high-tech jobs, and (here’s a good one) that the arrival of new industry would actually reduce our property taxes.
No, the most amazing thing is that they’re still lying to us, and we’re still believing them.