Thursday, April 28, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
In yesterday’s El Paso Times was a story that PSB/EPWU was hiring a new public information specialist and that “the PSB voted to create the new position long before the shortage [February freeze] occurred.
Will you please email me the minutes of the PSB meeting at which there was a vote to create the new position?
Jim H. Tolbert
Publisher, El Paso Naturally
Our legal department is in receipt of your request and will respond.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
If the world we live in becomes unsafe for wildlife it certainly will not be a very safe place for people. That’s why we need to learn to share our world with nature. We simply cannot maintain a healthy environment any other way.
I hope you will join this facebook group and encourage others to join you. Sharing El Paso with nature is simply the right thing to do. Before we can share we have to know who we need to share El Paso with. This facebook group is designed to help.
Share El Paso, help others in El Paso learn to share our city with native plants and wildlife.
Friday, April 1, 2011
Get 1548 signatures! That’s the overwhelming message that came back after my last e-letter. I was inundated by email from people who want to preserve the natural open space of the Transmountain Scenic Corridor and they want to sign the petition. Many of them are willing to gather petitions stat!
1. People want an alternative to the Paseo del Norte overpass. That overpass will make development of the land possible and inevitable. They want an alternative that means saving the open space.
2. Only the petition has the potential to allow the citizens to vote on preserving the land around the proposed freeway. A board member of the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition said, "I thought the petition would put this on the ballot for voters to decide how they want the public land managed which would in turn requre the City Council to honor that directive from their constituents."
3. One petition gatherer remarked: “I love the mountains and conserving the beautiful things about El Paso and for those reasons I will not throw in the towel.”
There have been some misconceptions about the petition. Know two things:
1. The petition and its language are perfectly good.
2. There are other ways to preserve land as natural open space besides a Natural Open Space Zoning.
There is a reason for ONE petition being done TWICE: the first to go to Council and the second, should Council disapprove, to go to the voters. The petition out there now IS the same language as before because the petition used before never went to Council. It failed to have enough valid signatures because there were “amateurish mistakes” – incomplete birthdays, a different address than on the voter certificate. The Municipal Clerk and her staff worked honestly and deliberately. The gatherers of the petition made the mistakes and were unaware of what they could do to help validate signatures.
It is true that a zoning category of the city is Natural Open Space (NOS) – one way to preserve the land as natural open space. It is also true that Council can’t rezone the land NOS for a period of time since they voted recently against an ordinance to do just that. HOWEVER, the petition calls for preserving the land as natural open space which doesn’t necessarily need an NOS zoning category. The land can come under a conservation easement; it can be re-dedicated as park-land; it can be deed restricted. There are other ways to preserve it in perpetuity as natural open space. Thus, even though Council turned down an ordinance to re-zone the land as NOS and cannot re-consider that ordinance for a year, El Pasoans can still petition to preserve the land as natural open space (descriptive words in lower case not a Zoning title in all caps.) Again, there are at least 3 ways available to preserve the land: a conservation easement, dedication as parkland, deed restriction. (Sorry for the repetitiveness – but these misconceptions are still out there.)
The petition and directions are available at www.franklinmountains.org. Time is of the essence. Read the instructions before you sign and/or gather petitions. If you gather, be sure you are also a signer.
Finally, when representative democracy fails, there is the people’s choice of an election as it is written in the City Charter of the City of El Paso.