A forum led by local preservationists in the fight to save Duranguito from becoming the site of the 2012 voter-approved downtown arena took place Saturday afternoon.
Houston businessman J.P. Bryan, who has been financially backing local historian Max Grossman’s litigation against the City of El Paso, moderated the event.
State Senator Jose Rodriguez, who has been a strong supporter of preserving Duranguito, introduced remarks and a virtual presentation at the forum.
Saturday evening County Commissioner for Precinct 3, Vince Perez, sent a letter to Rodriguez and local media which reads as follows:
“Dear Senator Rodriguez,
I received your letter inviting the Commissioners Court and the City Council to an event regarding the future of El Paso’s downtown.
Unfortunately, your recent efforts to actively work against all city council incumbents in this election cycle have eroded the confidence of many local officials regarding your leadership and your ability to advance our community’s legislative priorities in Austin. It is tactless to campaign against local representatives in your own district, only to invite them disingenuously to a forum moderated by an individual who donated $20,000 toward their ouster, without making any attempts to reconcile differences and move forward for the best interests of our mutual constituencies.
No El Paso senator in recent memory has taken the steps you have to unseat so many local leaders in your own senate district. Unfortunately, your decision to actively oppose local municipal leaders has only sown division and discord. It is difficult to conceive that after these efforts you retain any ability to bring our community together on any issue, let alone the future of downtown.
Many serious questions remain. Will you advance the legislative priorities of the same governing body you sought to unseat? Will you work to unseat more of your own community’s elected leadership if they disagree with you on this or other matters?
One can only assume that these efforts are further indication of your intention to retire at the end of your current term. As our senior legislator, I sincerely hope that you will work collaboratively with all local elected leaders, despite impassioned differences, to advance our community’s critical priorities in your final session.”
KTSM reached out to Rodriguez’s office for comment and received the following response from Rodriguez’s District Director Sito Negron:
“The Senate Office has been busy collecting thousands of soccer balls and greeting cards for the kids at Tornillo, helping organize the Preservation Forum, and preparing for legislature. This frankly is not worth spending time on.”