Former Mayor Wages War on City Council

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POSTED: Monday, September 10, 2012 - 10:44pm

UPDATED: Monday, September 10, 2012 - 10:45pm

A former El Paso mayor is waging war on city council. Ray Salazar says he's fed up with the council's actions and now he's taking action. He plans to file petitions to have six representatives recalled and removed from office.

"This is the worst council i've ever seen," Salazar told Newschannel 9.

At the center of the debate is the push for a new Triple A baseball stadium. The proposed stadium would be built where city hall now stands. Salazar was mayor from 1977 to 1979 when city hall was constructed. He helped build it and now he wants to help save it. On Monday Salazar filed a notice of intent with the city clerk to recall the first of those city representatives, Cortney Niland.
he says five more filings will follow.

"The voices that need to be heard have not been heard. I don't believe that six members of city council represent the population of about 700,000," explained Salazar.

Targeted city representatives are fighting back. In a statement provided to Newschannel 9 Representative Niland said, "I'm not surprised. Progress is usually met with resistance. It's unfortunate the vocal opposition is trying to hijack the election with these tactics. I'm hopeful most el pasoans understand what is truly at stake here is the direction of our city. I was elected to do a job and i am doing that job to the very best of my ability."

Representative Susie Byrd tells Newschannel 9 that many representatives aren't eligible for recall because its their last year of service. She also says a petition can't be filed by a resident unless they live in that representative's district. She's also upset by the former mayor's actions, and says, "I think it's unfortunate that Mayor Salazar has never engaged us. I think this is the kind of destructive politics that keeps our community down."

As for Salazar, he's not deterred. He says he won't up until all six council representatives are gone. He and his supporters need to gather a minimum of 283 signatures to make a recall possible.

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