Is your City Representative lying to you?

As I wiped the sleep from my eyes this morning, I fully expected to see those damning emails in today’s paper. You remember. From KVIA:

[District 8 Representative Cortney Niland] made the accusation after the Railroad claimed, in a recent article in the El Paso Times, it has not had any discussions with the city on the sale of a rail yard for a potential arena site.

Niland said the city has recorded calls and emails proving the city did reach out to Union Pacific.

Emails travel at close to the speed of light, or at least 60 mbs, whatever that means.

So, if they’ve been doing their due diligence, your City Rep has probably seen those emails. They’ve heard those recordings.

If those emails and recordings exist.

Union Pacific disputes the City’s account. From the El Paso Times:

However, Union Pacific spokesman Jeff DeGraff on Tuesday reiterated that railroad officials did not have discussions with the city regarding the sale of property for the arena.

“I have confirmed with our team working in El Paso that we have not had discussions with the city regarding the sale of property for the arena. We regularly communicate with the city and their representatives on a number of items and issues in El Paso, but the conversation regarding the arena has not happened,” DeGraff said in an email.

So far, only City Attorney Sylvia Borunda Firth and Representative Cortney Niland have publicly claimed that the City talked to Union Pacific about the rail yard site.

What does your representative tell you?


  1. As a great alternative, the most obvious track for the City to pursue with the railroads is what has been done in several large urban centers around the Untied States: an “air rights” lease. This avoids the environmental nightmare, as well as the actual purchase of the property from the railroads. The arena could be built OVER the rail tracks, not interfering with their operation. I find it strange that, with all the smart people involved in this process, this idea has never surfaced publicly. If you want to know if it works, look at New York City or Chicago…..

    With $180 Million budgeted, and using an industry-standard 20% allocation for land cost, the citizens of El Paso would have $36 million more to spend on arena construction, if they didn’t have to buyer the land. Some of that would have to go toward the structural design of the spans over the rail lines, but we might realize enough gain on the project cost to actually see a larger arena…which many of us have been saying since the bond was approved. The cost of the lease with the railroads could be covered by the nice, fancy private box owners’ rent in the new facility!
    Just saying….
    Dave Etzold

  2. Let’s be honest here. The rail yard site does not benefit anyone and is simply a diversion to deflect criticism of councils action over the site selection. Honestly the arena should not be built as the city cannot afford it.

    1. My city rep dodges most controversial votes to appear less of a liar than he is. Finding him is like finding a unicorn. A big fat sweaty lying unicorn.

  3. The city can’t afford it? The bond was passed with the residents of El Paso in favor of it. The rail tracks is the best option because it doesn’t displace families. The future of our great city looks bright. #hatersgonnahate

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