Controversy Surrounding Proposed Yarbrough Bridge
POSTED: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 - 7:03pm
UPDATED: Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 2:08pm
Political Stand Off Between Congressman Reyes and Beto O'Rourke
EL PASO, TX — Ysleta Independent School District is hosting a controversial meeting about a proposed international bridge on Yarbrough.
The controversy is about a bridge that is not built and not even planned, according to the City of El Paso. Its becoming another political hot potato between Congressman Silvestre Reyes and challenger Beto O'Rourke.
YISD has invited Congressman Reyes to tonight's meeting about the bridge.
"He is the incumbent so this is a federal project and we want to make sure the incumbent was able to listen to the concerns of the community," said YISD PIO Patricia Ayala.
Ayala says this is the fifth meeting and the project has been in the works since 2009. But City Representative Steve Ortega says the meeting serves a darker purpose.
"The reality is there is no bridge at Yarbrough from my perspective. It seems to be rooted in political involvement that any sort of issue that's a bonafide concern for the school board or their students," said Ortega.
"We are not taking a political stance at all and this issue as far as any upcoming congressional elections or any elections for that matter," said Ayala.
Ortega and Beto O'Rourke, Reyes' main competition for the Congressional seat, say this meeting is a scare tactic.
"There's no proposed bridge in the Yarbrough area or really anywhere in El Paso for that matter right now and there's no reason to bring this issue up except to try to frighten and intimidate people and cause anxiety," said O'Rourke.
Congressman Reyes says that both O'Rourke and Ortega “flip flop” their stances on issues. He's referring to O'Rourke's comments on the proposed Yarbrough bridge in 2008. O'Rourke was quoted as being in support of the bridge.
“But I will tell you this the bridge is part of the MPO agenda. I don't support the bridge there because the simple fact the number one issue is staffing," said Reyes.
Beto O'Rourke refutes that he supports the building of a new bridge.
"There's a flyer that's gone out that says Steve Ortega and I wanna build a bridge in that area. That is not true I have never proposed or recommended that. There's no basis in that and for that flyer to have gone two weeks ago and today there's a meeting at YISD to try to exploit this issue and try to help Congressman stay in office is cheap politics," said O'Rourke.