More From Joyce

Here’s another email that disgraced former City Manager Joyce Wilson sent to Mayor Oscar Leeser:

Since the 2012 Quality of Life Bond passed, the mayor and city council has routinely expanded the scope of many projects, added new projects not initially funded, and raised taxes and issued debt to pay for them.  But now, after 10 years, with the most economically significant and impactful project outstanding, Council refuses to explore options other than a major downsizing and redirection of the original project, which completely violates the spirit and intent of the bond language.

The hybrid amphitheater is not a multipurpose center.   It’s a limited, seasonal music venue only.    It achieves nothing that cannot be accommodated with existing venues.   More important it hamstrings the opportunity for future councils to build a more significant project in the near future, as this bright idea will saddle the community with over $150M in unnecessary debt for years to come — for a bad project, in a bad location, that no one wants.    It’s a boondoggle and is not a fiscally responsible use of tax dollars. This is definitely not a legacy project.  And it will end up being a legacy you don’t want to be remembered for.  

Our community has no major, modern venue to support events and attractions.   Almost every city in America of El Paso’s size has a modern arena that is indoor, with at least 10,000 seats and good technology.  Our venues are nearly 50 years old or older.  One was built during World War II.  It is embarrassing and frustrating that our political leaders are not willing to step back, collaborate, and strategically rethink how to deliver this project for our community.   This is why good political leadership is important. 

You can put lipstick on a pig and call her Peggy Sue but she’s still a pig.  That’s what this project is.  

Joyce Wilson

The Long Game

Here it is, right here: “More important it hamstrings the opportunity for future councils to build a more significant project in the near future . . . .”

You thought Duranguito was safe? No, the fat cats are just waiting to take control of City Council again.

A future City Council might be persuaded to reanimate the original bad idea.

A couple of candidates have already thrown their hats in the ring, and I can guess where they’re headed.

Stay tuned.


  1. Incredible. This woman has the “huevos” to complain after her incredibly poor “leadership.” She should be embarrassed and just shut the F** up. He logic makes no sense. There is not enough funding, and never was, to have an indoor 10,000 “arena.” Her reasoning that this $150 Million project will saddle the El Paso taxpayers for years to come?” If she is so concerned about $150 Million, how about adding another $500 Million to fully fund this venue. Plus, a “location nobody wants”? How does she know? Perhaps the Oligarchs don’t want it there and keep on insisting on a downtown location.

    “Almost every city the size of El Paso has an indoor arena..” Wilson forgets that El Paso is considered a Poor City. The average median income is $45,000 and 19% live below the poverty line. The average median income in the USA is $71,000 and in Texas just a hair below $68,000. So, she is comparing apples and oranges. Just as a reminder, in yesterday’s San Antonio Express News, the sister newspaper of the Houston Chronicle owned by the Hearst Corp. was an extensive article on how HEB has ZERO plans on expanding into El Paso. HEB, headquartered in SA, is ranked as the #1 grocer in the United States, with annual sales of $38 Billion. The reason that the grocer has no plans on moving into the El Paso market is: Geographical isolation, low residents income and a SLOW Population growth….So, who exactly is going to fill this proposed arena? On top of that, how many TIRZ’s are there in El Paso besides the one the City gave Paul Foster in his “land swap.” Those TIRZ
    s are not paying money. So, again the burden is shifted to a low income El Paso citizen. On top of that, Wilson conveniently forgets to mention how El PASO is ranked #12 as the HIGHEST TAXED CITY IN THE USA. After Pearland, TX, it is the 2nd Highest taxed city in Texas.

  2. Part 2: Wilson talks about “Good Leadership.” Lets go back in time to Feb. 25, 2016. The title of the article is “Joyce Wilson wouldn’t cooperate with Ethics investigation.” In it, was the issue of then City Councilman Larry Romero and Tommy Gonzalez, working in cahoots to have the City’s financial advisor, First Southwest, be replaced by Estrada Hinojosa. Estrada Hinojosa was Romero’s previous employer and there was a delay in Wilson’s issuing the bonds to fund the Chihuahua ballpark. As a consequence of the delay, it cost the city $22 Million. Outside counsel, Ross Fischer issued a 200 page report. At the time, no one else on City Council knew of the intent to replace First Southwestern as FS had a contract with the city. After the report, Wilson threw her then attorney, Mary Stillinger, under the bus. 4 News, Feb. 26, 2016 by Jesse Martinez. Another tidbit, is that at the same time, Steve Ortega was running against then mayor Oscar Leeser. On Feb. 29, 2016, a list of 13 motions were directed to Tommy Gonzalez in order for him to keep his job. Ironically, Steve Fischer’s name is misspelled in Motion #3 (Fisher). This is an excellent review of the past and how the City has operated, going all the way back to 2016. The article can be found on KTSM’s site, Feb. 29, 2016. I encourage all of your readers to read this, because it covers Gonzalez’, Romero’s and Wilson’s part in Fischer’s Ethics Report, and covers more than I can write on here. You even covered this controversy back in 2015. Keep up the good work!

  3. Apologies for Hogging all of these comments. I suggest your readers, and the public at large, google “Joyce Wilson Controversy.” You’ll find plenty of reports. One that stands out, was how Wilson, according to El Paso Inc. stood before tv cameras and called those who opposed the then-proposed Ballpark as “Crazies, and Other Names.” (At least she didn’t call them any porcine names) Nov. 6th, 2012. Perhaps those “Crazies” weren’t so Crazy after all. Look at how the Chihuahua Ballpark has been a money losing proposition. The only reason it exists is that it is supported by the Hotel-Motel Tax. How many “fans” outside of El Paso/Las Cruces/Juarez have flocked to El Paso to see the Chihuahuas? Now, she is offering advice to Mayor Leeser, who is termed out? Should we pig out on her advice? No Thank You. Another critic of the downsized arena is none other than former Mayor John Cook. The same guy who put together a PAC to support the now departed DA, Yvonne Rosales? Yes, the same one who formed the PAC “Truth Matters,” to enlighten the good people of El Paso about Rosales, who claimed that all of her troubles were due to the media? The same man who went in front of City Council to ask why Tommy Gonzalez was being terminated? Apparently he was so ignorant that City Council/Mayor had the right to terminate Gonzalez WITHOUT DUE CLAUSE. Mayor Leeser had to patiently explain why so. Cook appears to be clueless and now he is giving El Paso “advice”? Joyce Wilson and John Cook are now offering “advice”? No Thank You, I think I will pass. But I will have some bacon with my huevos rancheros, L&J style!

Leave a Reply

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