I mentioned in PART 1 that a lawyer went on record and admitted that the arena project could be put up for a public revote by negotiating some legal hoops.
This would be our current city leaderships worst nightmare and they are doing everything possible to avoid that scenario because of their commitments to the investors, special interests and wealthy property owners.
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The most basic thing about a legal and binding contract is that it has to be worded in exact and unambiguous language that leaves no room for guesswork or interpretation. Any lawyer worth their salt understands this.
The city would like us to believe that they have been straightforward with us from the beginning of what was to become the 2012 QOL bond.
And at this inception, what is now being called the arena was a much more vaguely worded “Multi-Purpose Cultural and Performing Arts Center”.
The city’s use of this vague description I believe was intentional.
It is my theory that city leaders who drafted the 2012 Quality Of Life Bond had no earthly clue just what exactly it was from the get-go. They figured they would throw out an ambiguous description that could be just about anything and then after the public, not knowing exactly what it was either, might just vote “yes” and approve the bond.
Once the bond was approved, city leaders at some point after, could work out the details as to just exactly what a “multi-purpose cultural and performing arts center” is.
An arena it is not.
They’ve reworked their silly putty description into an indoor sports complex where D-league basketball and indoor soccer teams will play. But they will bring a ballet troupe in to perform and Voila! It is now a performing arts center.
This entire approach to having put the MPCCPAC/A on the ballot is in my estimation cause for breach of contract by the city. A contract must be clearly stated and defined and this particular item on the ballot was anything but. It is open to interpretation and 50 people given this vague description will come up with 50 different animals.
This alone is grounds for a revote on the “arena”.
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And what about the fact that the actual ballot language made no mention of where the MPCCPAC/A would be located?
A ballot in a sense is a legal document and if certain language is omitted purposefully or accidentally, then that ballot, I would think, can be called into question as being misleading and without merit.
Again, lawyers worth their salt know this!
But they are adept at playing word games. This is why I filed an ethics complaint against City Attorney Sylvia Borunda-Firth.
After having filed my ethics complaints against Mayor Leeser and the 4 City Council reps involved in the walking quorum, the legal document that explained to me the process regarding the filing of ethics complaints indicated in plain english that the City Attorney would contact me within 20 days with an answer to said complaints.
20 days is 20 days in a legal document. Her excuse was that she assumed that it didn’t include weekends, holidays or city days off so she sends me her answer after 32 days. This is our City Attorney making assumptions regarding plainly stated legal documents that any 6th grader wouldn’t interpret any differently than what is stated.
I bring this up because this is the EXACT WORD GAME the city is currently playing with the public regarding the language of the MPCCPAC/A which has now become the “arena”, a clearly different use of the $180,000,000 allotted for the project.
You’ll notice that many proponents of the arena are reverting to publicly and on camera calling it the Multi-Purpose Cultural and Performing Arts Center instead of the arena. I was surprised to hear my District 2 opponent Jim Tolbert calling it that at a recent KTSM forum we participated in. Up to now, he had always called it the arena and just like that he’s conspicuously calling it the MPCCPAC.
Why? Maybe it’s because the City Attorney has advised them to because of the fustercluck this amateurish use of contract language has embroiled them in
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One last legal possibility comes to my mind —
The 2012 bond as stated by our city leaders is a binding contract between El Paso taxpayers and the City. El Pasoans agree to fork up X amount of our hard-earned tax dollars in exchange for the City providing us with Quality of Life projects A, B and C.
Have you heard that the City came up short on some of these projects because they were incorrectly quoted (code for under-estimated)?
In other words, they cannot provide us with A, B and C as they agreed to unless they find a way to get more tax dollars to finish the job, preferably without us knowing.
THIS IS A BREACH OF CONTRACT.
Placita San Jacinto had a shortfall and they weren’t able to put in public restrooms (imagine that…). A couple of other projects also came up short and need additional funds to complete.
Here is how our city leaders made an underhanded attempt to get the funds to pay for it without our knowledge.
Dr. Michiel Noe and Claudia Ordaz tried to set the stage for issuing Certificates of Obligation totaling $44,000,000 that would have finished the underfunded projects along with some others. You may remember that Mayor Leeser threatened to veto their attempt should it go any further because he knows what COs are (Certificates of Obligation).
A CO is a cheap trick that lazy and conniving City Councils use to issue new public debt to pay for things WITHOUT our permission, WITHOUT our participation and WITHOUT our vote. This abuse of power has become a serious problem throughout Texas, but in particular in El Paso where our city leaders have gotten us on the financial hook for over half a billion dollars through the use of COs over the years.
All this WITHOUT our vote. Most people in El Paso don’t even realize this is happening.
That is why Mayor Leeser warned Noe and Ordaz of his impending veto…he understands that as a city, we need to live within our means and issuing this type of underhanded debt just continues the trend of saddling El Pasoans with some of America’s highest property tax rates in respect to our yearly earnings.
So there you have three possible grounds for Breach of Contract by city leaders, preparing the foundation where we can put the MPCCPAC/A up for a revote with better options and let El Paso voters determine what course of action to take with the $180,000,000 earmarked for the project.
*** NOTE: Keep in mind, everything I mention here on my blog is entirely speculation. But speculation based on common sense, something that appears to be in short supply among our current city leaders.
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