An important final hurdle for the demolition of City Hall in order to build a Downtown Ballpark was cleared Tuesday.
It shouldn't be long now before El Pasoans hear the sound of jackhammers, cranes and other construction equipment, because after about an hour discussion and passionate pleas by petitioners, in a confusing vote, City Council voted 5-3 to approve a petitioners' request to repeal the resolution to build a ballpark. But then turned right around and voted by an identical 5-3 margin, with representatives Eddie Holguin, Carl Robinson and Emma Acosta voting against it, to delete the question from the May 11 ballot.
Cty representative Cortney Niland explained it this way:
Council had to vote the petition up or down, but a vote down would have automatically put it on the ballot. However, by agreeing to repeal their resolution and with City Hall expected to be demolished before the election to make way for the ballpark, the petition carried no weight. So they deleted the City Hall question from the ballot.
"We have a contractual agreement with the ownership group," Niland said. "We've always said we would stand by that. The judge said everything we've done is to the letter of the law and we have full authority to do that and so we continue in the process."
Rep. Emma Acosta added: "We did exactly what the petitioners wanted. Unfortunately the way it was written was badly written and so it really accomplished nothing and i think that the repeal of the resolution indicated that."
There was some talk Tuesday that there was still time to get together another save City Hall petition, but council members ABC-7 spoke with believe this was the final hurdle when it comes to the ballpark, meaning demolition of the building will come within the next month or so and the ballpark will begin to rise.