Friday, September 18, 2015

Svarzbein Is Making My Days

Rep. Peter Svarzbein (Photo by Rudy Guttierez, El Paso Times)

Rep. Peter Svarzbein with Senator Rodriguez District Director, Sito Negron (Photo by Rudy Gutierrez, El Paso Times)
I didn't endorse Peter but he is beginning to surprise me in wonderful ways. I'm still concerned about a PAC that hasn't been closed and, of course, I wasn't happy about the vote on the downtown historical survey. I did think that Peter wasn't sure about all of the ramifications of that vote. He seemed to be following his heart when he should have just stuck to a campaign promise. I also think that he needs to be more judicious when it comes to promising someone a nomination and then giving it to someone else.

All water under the bridge.

In the endorsement post I stated that Peter isn't green. I was wrong. He is proving to be a real proponent of progressive, green initiatives. On the newly inaugurated bike share program, there was Peter. (Read the Herald-Post story online about the program. You will especially like their really cool map.)

Peter wants to do more for our trailheads which is about time. Peter told me that he sees trailheads as a way to make El Paso unique and to stand out. Improvements at trailheads don't need to be lavish. (Most of us don't want them to be.) Peter likes the idea of a bench, some parking spaces, a sign and a simple solar panel. [Note to Peter: think trees. Work with the West Texas Urban Forestry Council that supplied trees for the Lost Dog Trail.] His pick to the Open Space Advisory Board, Rick Bonart, was the principal architect of the Lost Dog Trail - a true representation of what our trailheads can and should be. I might add that the Lost Dog is the only trailhead with inviting amenities. No matter how much money was spent on the Palisades and how many charettes people have attended over the years, zilch, zero, nada has been done at the Palisades except for a sign and the City's refusal to travel up a perfectly adequate road to remove graffiti. 

Peter recognizes that open space preservation will encourage infill development. He argues that the construction of the trolley will encourage more attractive development along the route.

I was wrong. Peter is green. He recognizes the need for smarter development. 

Oh - and that bike share program - I sincerely hope that David K is wrong about his prediction. Scott White, the head of Velo El Paso and a strong proponent for more biking, bike lanes and public transportation, says that we should think the best of El Paso and not expect the worst. "We are the City with the lowest crime rate," he told me.

When I ran for District 2, I frequently expressed that what kept me inspired was the energy and creativity of the younger people who we need to keep and encourage. El Paso needs people such as Peter and Scott.


  1. It's a little hard to trust a politician after they've stabbed their most enthusiastic supporters in the back on their major campaign issue. Svarzbein may look good on a bike, but it's easy to "bike the walk," when you know you won't be punished for going back on your word. And when your coffers are full, because of your developer patron's grateful generosity.

    I wouldn't buy a used cycle from this man, & there are many El Paso voters who can't wait to register their disapproval of the paper conservationist. I guess you can fool some of the people all of the time.

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