It's a beautiful day....thanks to God for all His blessings. I am doubly blessed to be the Mother of 3 wonderful children....they are amazing people! More on that in the next blog entry....but for now, I need to get some thoughts out about politics here in El Paso, Texas. They seem to be as pathetic as national politics.
I have to admit I am totally shocked that there are only 345,000 or so REGISTERED voters here in this city of over 750,000 people. The vote that throws most of the same ones back into the council chambers was accomplished by less than 10% of the city's REGISTERED VOTERS. So, 1 person is dictating for more than 9 other REGISTERED VOTERS the management of this city &, to a great extent, what will happen in their lives. Are you comfortable with that?
I notice the re-elected mayor said this is wonderful because it shows (in his mind anyway) the support for his "progressive council" & pride in all their accomplishments. SAY WHAT? In what world does he live? The lessons he SHOULD get (but won't) is the voters are completely apathetic about him & the rest of his crew. What he SHOULD be saying is: we need to engage more voters in the process. But he & his cronies won't do this because then they might be found to be less than forthright & someone else would be elected. Elections are planned down to the exact days to be held, normally anticipating the lowest turnout because then the outcome is pretty much already decided. Those already in office use every opportunity to get their name in the paper & on the news, in front of potential voters, because that name recognition will serve them well instead of the challengers -- no matter how much advertising they buy.
Cook strikes me as a con artist & thus far he seems to be doing everything to reinforce this perception. If you are a person with lots of money, I am sure you are important to him & his cronies as they bob & weave & slide all around expanding city government & spending money the city does not have. All the while, he & the council talk about low taxes, low cost of living, great schools, storm-water runoff, etc. That last one didn't work out quite as well as he wanted as the few voters who did show up displayed the good sense to leave storm-water management with the PSB rather than putting it into the hands of political appointees.
Frankly, when has a politician EVER improved your life? Seriously, I would like to know. I am certain there must be individuals out there who have a story of being helped with a specific problem. However, every time politicians get into the mix, there is usually an outcome that is neither wanted & oft-times unintended. How, exactly, has Cook being the Mayor helped you in some way that is helpful to others also?
A case in point: who thought up building 'round-abouts' on residential streets & decided this was a valid idea in a quiet neighborhood? Things were going along fine. I never had a problem at that intersection & quite frankly, it is not one that is heavily traveled. The ones using the main street where the 'round about' was built are the residents of this housing area. I have come close, just about every time I go that way, to being hit by other drivers who simply drive in & never look to see if others are coming. Good grief! the street is barely wide enough for a car to park on each side of the street & 2-way traffic to continue. So, the city puts in this absurd 'round about'. Assinine does not even begin to describe how foolish this was & what a waste of money!
Now there really IS congestion (& danger) when someone tries to park near the houses on the corners nearest to the nightmare 'round. People approach & if they need to make a turn, go the wrong way to 'cut the corner' & not go around the circle. WHY IS IT HERE? Take the damn thing out! I have watched youngsters try to cross the street (there is a school about a block away) & with no stop signs drivers ignore them. I am afraid there will have to be a serious injury or death of a child before anyone in 'power' acknowledges the absurdity of the situation & removes this nightmare. I pray I am wrong, that someone in the city will wake up & remove this traffic hazard before someone gets hurt.
Why are parks, sports facilities & pretty downtown ideas thought up by Cook & associates a good idea when social services is suffering under the weight of so many people in need & so few workers to help them? Maybe those in need can just go sleep in one of the pretty little 'green' areas. I'm sure it will make them feel better. Why isn't more money available for police officers & firemen? Why isn't more money available for the El Paso Animal Control people? Where is the priority for these vital services? It is being spent for El Paso to be pretty for visitors that will be attracted if the council just does ???? (fill in the ? mark with some inane idea).
Why is giving money to builders for new office or retail space a priority when the Northeast has so much of both sitting empty? The Northeast does not exist except as an aside from Cook that he 'came from the northeast' as though that makes him 'one of the common people'. Wrong. The situation in the Northeast worsens every day that no new businesses open. Why are there no incentives for companies to locate in the Northeast? There certainly is a lot of space to from which to choose. So, Cook being from the Northeast, how has this helped the area?
The council jets off to visit other places & see how they do things; they fly off to meetings; they trip the light fantastic & get paid to play. There are such things as internet meetings & DVDs & info provided many ways other than spending time & money jetting around! As businesses cut back, pare expenses, the council continues with business as usual.
Residents pay higher & higher taxes - WHY DO THEY SIT STILL FOR IT? geez....
My father's property tax statement just came. It is common knowledge the housing market, even in El Paso with more incoming military personnel, is down. So please, someone, Cook? anyone on the 'progressive' council? explain how his taxes went up for 'improvements'? There has been no work done because he lives on a very tight, fixed income. This house needs a new cooler, new windows, new soffit & fascia, concrete work in the driveway & sidewalk, landscaping front & back, just to mention a few needed 'improvements'.
So, please explain the IMPROVEMENTS? Where the heck are they? He & I am know exactly what needs to be done & neither of us can afford the work. Where is the help for him with this 'progressive' council? Oops. He's not wealthy. I am not wealthy. Therefore, the only time he counts is elections & THAT rates an electronically generated, prerecorded phone message. Thanks for caring about your constituents.
So, Mayor Cook, as you bask in the glow of your victory, realize the grass is growing & the roots are getting deeper.
This new term will not be a repeat of the last one. You will now have to deal with that pesky 'silent majority'. We are getting louder. If you do not listen & learn, you can kiss your political dreams bye-bye. And that goes for your 'progressive' council also.