in Houston, Texas
Will it matter if El Paso voters reject downtown stadium in May? Council to hear stadium bills next week
Thursday, Sep 06, 2012, 01:30PM CST
By Curt Olson
baseball

It remains unclear if El Paso voters will get their say on the construction of a minor league baseball stadium, and if they do get that opportunity, if it will have any significance.

El Paso City Council will discuss ordinances next week that advance the acquisition of a Triple A minor league baseball team, the construction of a stadium for that team, and relocating city operations to make way for the stadium, the El Paso Times reports. In the same meeting, council members will discuss a certified petition calling for a public vote on the stadium plan.

The issue is one of timing. If the referendum were held during the the May election and voters rejected the downtown stadium, would that deter anything that appears to be on a fast track between now and then? An initial petition calling for a referendum in November did not have enough qualifying signatures, a detail revealed even though the City Council refused to discuss the matter in the open.

City Council members offer mixed responses to the new petition, from predicting it will have little impact to asserting that some council members have been having second thoughts, according to KFOX in El Paso.

After City Council voted in the spring for a stadium for what looks like will be the Tuscon Padres of the Pacific Coast League, many citizens demanded the opportunity to vote to either confirm or reject Council’s vote. The $50 million stadium to be built where city hall stands forces city leaders to examine other options for city operations, which include the El Paso Times building and a second building.

***
Contact Curt Olson at curt@texaswatchdog.org or 512-557-3800. Follow him on Twitter @olson_curt.

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Photo of baseball by flickr user theseanster93, used via a Creative Commons license.

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