EL PASO, Texas - City Representative Cortney Niland has asked for a different seat at City Council meetings, citing a hostile work environment and "unwanted touching and grabbing" by City Rep. Lily Limon.
"I think the best thing to do is to ask her (Niland). I'm totally baffled. I wouldn't be able to add anything to it. I don't know what to tell you," said Limon when asked about the request for a new seat arrangement.
Mayor Oscar Leeser responded to Niland's email, saying she could switch seats with City Rep. Ann Morgan Lilly. Niland sent the email requesting a new seat last Tuesday after the city council meeting.
Niland on Wednesday said she was "happy to talk about city business" but declined to comment on this particular issue. In her email to the Mayor, Niland also wrote Limon made bullying comments to her.
Limon and Niland have vastly different policy ideologies. Niland focuses on downtown redevelopment and economic development initiatives to make El Paso a competitive city and lure in companies who will create jobs. Limon has spoken on railing in city spending and focusing on basic services to constituents and city infrastructure.
City Rep. Eddie Holguin said disagreeing with other city representatives is "part of the public discourse."
He sat next to former City Rep. Steve Ortega for about eight years. The two rarely agreed on anything.
"We were always on the complete opposite of the spectrum of political views but when we left the council meetings, we were always very cordial to each other. You have to have a thick skin to be in politics," Holguin said.
Holguin said he's never heard of another City Rep. asking to sit somewhere else. "On certain occasions, you hear under the breath remarks but you don't take them personal."