El Paso

Chair of County Historical Commission resigns

Chair of County Historical Commission...

EL PASO, Texas - The County Historical commission held its regular meeting at the El Paso County Courthouse Tuesday.

The meeting covered several topics. One included a discussion about members of the commission speaking to media and how they should represent themselves.

The talks came after recently appointed County Historical Commission chair Joseph Nebhan wrote a letter openly disapproving Duranguito property owners acquiring permits to demolish buildings, calling the move "repugnant."

After the talks Nebhan resigned -- closed his files and walked out.

"I resigned today specifically because the historic commission is no longer about history or the preservation," Nebhan told ABC-7.

While some members of the commission expressed they approve of the rules and regulations set in place, Nebhan says politics and legalities have overshadowed the commission.

"We can't do our job ... we can't talk to anyone. It's a very heavy-handed management," Nebhan said.

In Feb. the county attorney's office determined members of the historical commission violated the Texas Open Meetings Act -- when they conducted a vote via email.

Chair and vice chair members Bernie Sargent and Max Grossman were ousted shortly after.

"These last six months have been horrible. I have very serious questions about why everything went on in January," Nebhan said.

Nebhan feels the bureaucracy has affected the commission's standing within the state as well. For the past 12 years the historic commission has been recognized by the state.

"It's the first time in 12 years the commission did not make exemplary commission in the state of Texas," Nebhan told ABC-7.

Commissioner Rick Kern also resigned Tuesday evening.
 

Nebhan tells ABC-7 the move will not affect the recent approval of an architectural survey the county just gave the go ahead for. The survey will determine if there is any historic value in the Duranguito neighborhood among other areas of the city.


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