Where's The Mayor?


POSTED: Monday, February 7, 2011 - 5:15pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - 4:04pm

EL PASO - We've received dozens of calls to our newsroom asking why Mayor John Cook hasn't made a public appearance during the blackouts and water shortages.

We called his cell phone today and he's been in Austin with his family on vacation the entire week. He says he planned this trip months ago and didn't want to cancel.

"Did they want me to restore their water? I'm not a plumber," Mayor Cook said in a phone interview today. He said even if he was here, he wouldn't be much help.

"All I can do, being the mayor of the city is talk about it, and direct people and I'm doing that long-distance," he said.

But not everyone agrees. On our website, one viewer writes, "If he is so worried then why is he on vacation? Must be nice." Another writes, "Mayor Cook is on the EPWU Board and should have done something to prevent this from happening."

"At this point I'm not ready to point fingers at anybody," Mayor Cook said. He said he called city manager Joyce Wilson and asked her if she wanted him to fly back, but she told him they had everything under control.

"I think I've been very accessible," he said. "As a matter of fact I'm driving right now outside Johnson City doing an interview with you."

He said city leaders will start holding someone accountable, but not until after the storm clears.

"After we get everything restored, which is our main priority right now, we're going to sit back and try to find out what went wrong, and if there is anything that we can do," Mayor Cook said.

But the mayor remains on the open road for a short while longer.

"We're hoping to get in town by eight thirty this evening," he said. We asked the mayor if he knew his own pipe situation at home, and he says he'll find out when he gets there.

Comments News Comments

Well for the least I can say my comments were edited by News Channel 9 when I made an earlier post so perhaps my opinion are a valid arguements but the journalism isn't quite trustworthy and ready to provide our city with what they really need to hear...IMPEACH MAYOR JOHN COOK.

Does anyone else think that perhaps our Mayor should step down and stop recieving awards for things he really doesnt deserve?? Personally, I believe that El Paso has not improved in any way with Mayor Cook under office at all. El Paso and it's community strongly believe that a positive change and commitment to this city in it's respect to this culture, can and will accept new direction and leadership. If El Paso really were to speak up there are more important issues to discuss about the future

This is Ms Wilsons salary $216,743 it is amazing that she had no clue there were no emergency response plans that governed utilities.

For all the negative comments about Wilson, where's your proof? If you have bad feelings toward her I want to know why. Is it because she's a woman?

As far as Mayor Cook goes, he doesn't earn enough money as mayor to cover the cost of canceling his vacation. We don't pay him enough to expect him to get on TV and tell us everything will be ok. Is that what you elected a Mayor to do? I'm sure you could have received that type of assurance from a Pastor or Priest, but Cook is a Mayor.

Mayor Cook strummed his guitar while El Paso froze

Can you spell IMCOMPETANCE
The Mayor was probably strumming on his guitar, that is about all he is good for.
The utilities are all totally incompetant and have no clue so what do you expect.
We are a tin pot city due to these clowns in charge.
Time to replace them, the city manager is also clueless.
God help us if we ever get a major disaster in this city.

P G Hack Horizon City

With so much fault during this crisis the city wants us to pay $72 for water permits to repair our damages. The city has not even applied for disaster relief from Gov Perry and clearly doesn't understand state legalities, but I guess you have to be present in the office your elected for to understand all available options

You complainers disgust me. So what if he was in Austin!! In Austin or El Paso, the only thing he was able to do is phone calls. i don't see how him being here would've made me feel more comforting. As a mayor or LEADER, his job is taking care of issues we CAN control.

I think that first and for most the laundry mats and restauraunts should have been closed since Wednsday. The mayor could not have the water and electrictiy up and running just by being here in town. It's mother nature and it's not the end of the world!

He's has a responsibility to the people of EP as a leader. So what defines a leader?

A person who shares the ups n' downs and helps the people they lead. So where was he when we needed a leader in a emergency. Oh yeah he had to ask Joyce for permission to come back from a place that had water,lights, and heat.

To me it says, your responsibility to your people came next to zero.

His job is just a waisted paycheck from the tax payers pocket.

What a bunch of complaining losers you all are. What difference does it make where the Mayor was during this storm? He's NOT a plumber! The city was in the great hands of Joyce Wilson, that's her job and she did it very well. Why must some people always look for someone to blame?
I too spent a couple of days mopping up my son's house. We've all done what was needed and are all smarter for it. The Mayor did not show up to help us mop and we're not even mad at him.

He's not a plumber and now we know he aint much of a Mayor either! you were able to help someone in need. You're telling me the man holding the highest elected office in this city couldnt find a way to directly use the recources at his disposal to help one single El Pasoan? City Charter: "The Mayor shall be recognized as head of the City government for all ceremonial purposes.." so he couldnt do one thing in town, albiet ceremonial to help? Lets find somenone who can!

I was appauled by Mayor Cook's reply "Did they want me to restore their water? I'm not a plumber". He was not here to witness those who suffered with no water and electricity for days. Instead of having empathy for those in need and understanding the city wass in crisis he makes comments like that. He is an elected official and as such should be acting in the best interest of those that elected him and if that requires him to cut his vacation short he should have done it.

You idiots keep putting him back in office along with idiot Sylvestre Reyes and you wonder why El Paso is a third world city.

...I think that the mayoral position is just ceremonial--and should be done away with once Cook finish his term...

...we should start a petition to do away with this wasted position, and save ourselves some money...

...the city manager did a pretty decent job--that's what we need...

...we should also scrub the various city positions and do away with those that we do not need...

...heck let the city council rotate the ribbon cutting ceremonies...

What a load of BS from our "Mayor".
An elected official, especially seated as the Mayor, should be HERE during a crisis. And I disagree with the previous poster that said this wasn't a life or death crisis. YES it was! Turning off electricty to anyone on oxygen w/o any kind of notice is life and death to many!Zero degrees with NO heat IS life threatening!
We have alot of elderly, that live alone in this god forsaken place. They couldn't see to navigate safely!
You won't get MY vote John!

Well after reading all this, all I can say is El Paso did a good job and held together very well. Mayor or no Mayor It could have been worse people could have began luding and going crazy I have been in a Hurican and a Combat Zone AKA Iraq. Wake up people we are blessed lets not take that for granted but instead thank god that we pulld through without a repeat of Katrina or even Jarez.

This was AN ACT OF GOD. The crisis was handled
as effectly as could have been done. No one could have changed anything.

Its not about whether or not he could of changed anything, its about El Paso having one of the worst natural disasters in its history and our mayor vacationing instead of showing the leadership we expect from someone in his position. He should resign if not apologize for his stupid comment to those who were left out in the cold...... I voted for him before but now I will make sure to work diligently in the next election to get him out of office which I doubt he will run again for....

This was NOT an ACT OF GOD! It just got cold. I understand most people here have never been in COLD weather before, but most other US cities get COLDER weather than what we just got without much problems. Let's not go crazy calling this an ACT OF GOD!

Just curious...how many people replied to this blog from their Blackberries or Android phones...from their car? I'm not saying...I'm just saying...

The truth of the matter is that everyone wants mayor Cook to be in town so they can publicly persecute him for what has happened. Don't forget that the position of being Mayor is prospectively open to anyone with the nerve to take that responsibility on...anyone who thinks they can do a better job is more than welcome to "apply" for the position...I would be willing to bet the majority of the "constituants" complaining don't have enough credibility within their own peers to be elected.

Well we all know how mother nature can dominate but I have heard numerous times that our power plants are outdated. Shouldnt that be something to take into account. If Cook is on the board for water utilities he should have known that our plants were historic and outdated but then I guess he was learning how to play his guitar. what a crock?! Why can't leaders stop acting and actually be for the people the way they say during the election period. Be a man and do your job. Get involved!!!!!

I agree. On the other hand, this isn't the first time Cook has been elected mayor...we elected the guy AGAIN. Insanity, by definition, is the act of continuing to perform the same behavior expecting a different result...who should we blame?

All of you people are disgusting. You make it sounds as if all of this is the Mayor's fault and not mother nature's. So he went to visit his family big deal. He's human. Your anger and blame are misguided. You really should be directing your anger towards the people who are responsible... El Paso Electric. Quit being sheep and look at the big picture. If the President can go on vacation why can't Mayor Cook?

Did our president go on vacation during Katrina? No, nice try Joyce.....

ha ha you cant even compare this to Katrina.... did u forget that it took FEMA 7 days to get water to New Orleans???

Although it was uncomfortable, this is not a life and death situation. He has the right to work on our situation by phone and delegating to his City Manager and enjoy his prescheduled vacation!

what kind of mayor goes on vacation during this kind of crisis? Goes to show what kind of person the city elected to represent the city really also driving and doing a telephone conference WTF is that isnt there a law on no talking and driving get his ass out of here. teach el paso people for electing him...

Actually, the law doesn't say you cannot talk and drive, the law reads that you must have a "hands-free device", sorry, just clarifying...

So we passed mobile phone ordinances for safety and he's giving a phone interview while driving. Great example to set Mayor!

Also, Wilson really comes across very condescending and really annoys me. I think EP did fine before her position was created and we really don't need her.

My question for YOU is...

How do you know he doesn't have ONSTAR?

You do know THAT is a hands-free device as in (phone for your car) and in some models, one can sync their blue-tooth mobile to work as well, ALL WHILE driving.

Wow, technology is something isn't it?

Mr. Cook no you are not our plumber, you are our mayor!! You took an oath when you took office to help your constituents. If you are not up to the job then you should resign. We do not need a mayor of convince but one who is going to be there when we truly need him.

That is why I didn't vote for him. He is self serving and has nver represented El Paso well. El Paso needs a different and inviting personality. Not this dead beat. Everytime I listen to him speak, he puts me to sleep. He has such a boring personality.

Mayor Cook, if you don't want to take responsibility for this city, then don't run for Mayor, please. You are the LEADER of this city and you should have been here so you could empathize with what the people in this city were going through. Your sarcastic comment about not being a plumber is the wrong answer and not what a true leader would say. A leader stands by his city, not abandons it in a crisis situation. This is the same attitude you took when I asked you about cleaning up this city.

And people wonder why the educated El Pasoans leave the city. Look at what the leadership you have, John, Beto, Sue, and Joyce? am glad I left, and quickly. Remember, by September you will be Juarez II. Look who has bought new properties in Rim Road, Country Club Road and by the Golf Courses.

The city manager is not an elected official, but the Mayor is, and has responsibilities to be accountable. Even if its just a face of government. The city manager and the county judge took that task on and where in the forefront of this crisis while the mayor enjoys the Texas Hill Country. Thank you ladies for doing the best you could do in such a demanding situation. Lets focus on lessons learned and what plans failed miserably by the Utilities serving this region.

your a poor example of a Mayor....Cook!! I think we are better off if you just stay over there!! Excuses dont run the world,,,,nor do yours.

I think we should throw the Mayor out of office and get somebody in Mayor Cooks place that will be here through thick and thin

Many El Pasoans know that the Mayor is about half of the time over weekends out of El Paso. Why do you think many city employees don't work on Fridays???????

Why are people upset with the Mayor? What is he going to do? Play his guitar and make it all better? He can't do anything about it right now. That's reality. People need to quit trying to blame someone. Things happen. The whole city suffered. The Mayor can't do a thing about it. And he's Mayor. He can do what he wants with the money he worked for. You all are just bitter.

Do you mean to tell me that he was driving along talking on his cellphone? You got to be kidding!

Joyce Wilson is an employee of El Paso. Mayor Cook is the honcho, the boss, the commander, the chief, the old man in charge. He should have been here, not over there. Wake up El Paso.

Wow what an answer from our Mayor im not a Plumber!!! And you're not a musician either and you keep playing your idiotic guitar, I hope El Paso will have a better answer in the next election we dont want you as our Mayor either!!! Enjoy your vacation hope your eating your BBQ sauce cause your the only one who likes it or use it to lube your guitar and stick it up where the sun dont shine!!!

IF Mayor Cook was here, what is everyone actually expecting him to do? all he could do was say the same thing EVERYONE else is say, like he said he isn't a plumber, this event was caused by Nature not by Cook. We're doing fine without him, so there shouldn't be people being so upset with him.

This just goes to show OUT OF TOUCH the Mayor is
Hope he took his guitar along to keep himself entertained He is suppose to be the leader of El Paso
His remarks about what we want him to do,shows how he is so disconected with the city We want a mayor with a little more backbone
He did nothing for the Northeast as a Rep and he has done nothing for the city as a mayor
Hope he holds himself accountable for deserting the city in a major crisis before he starts pointing his strumming finger

Well Randy Johnson the jeweler doesn't want to be our plumber either so let's call someone else to fix this that also doesn't possess the ability or power to solve the problem call Chuck Debroder and yell at him too.

thanks for showing us how much you care for the citizens who elected you.

Act like a leader. Those comments are not one of a strong leader. The mayors quotes:
"Did they want me to restore their water? I'm not a plumber,"
"All I can do, being the mayor of the city is talk about it, and direct people and I'm doing that long-distance,"

I'm sure all the people without water or damage for broken pipes love the leadership roll and support for thier city leader

Cook should be fired for his actions and his lack of concern for the people of El Paso. Yes, I voted for the man. But rest assured, that won't happen again. And by the way, the city manager should be fired as well.

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