Did El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez Break Laws To Pay For Stanton Street Speed Humps?
How would you like to call up City Council and get speed bumps put on your street without having to go through the mess and hassle of following the rules?
It looks like that is exactly what happened in the case of speed humps that appeared earlier this year on Stanton Street in front of Cathedral High School. The project was pushed through, according to the El Paso Times, by El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez and City Rep. Larry Romero.
Romero and Gonzalez have a few connections that have raised eyebrows recently. Romero pushed to have Gonzalez's salary raised by $60,000, and Romero's brother was hired by Gonzalez and his wife to create a consulting firm that would handle Gonzalez's speaking engagements.
Romero is also a Cathedral High School graduate.
Gonzalez says after he went to a couple of neighborhood meetings, he directed City staff to get the speed humps installed. City Council never signed off on the $9,000 humps because they went around the Neighborhood Traffic Management Program that you or I would have to go through to get similar traffic calming devices installed in our neighborhoods.
Speed humps are only supposed to be used in residential streets, not arterial streets, such as Stanton. A memo from the head of the City's Streets and Maintenance Department even said speed humps shouldn't be put on streets like Stanton because "traffic avoiding these devices will be diverted into more residential streets, which is opposite of what is desired."
Gonzalez said he never saw that memo.
It seems that Gonzalez and Romero worked very hard to get around the City's stated rules for traffic calming devices. I wonder if they would work that hard for taxpayers who have traffic problems in their neighborhoods?
In case you are wondering who paid for the traffic humps to be installed - you did. The money came from the General Fund that is made up of, among other things, property taxes and sales taxes. That is money from your pocket.
The song-and-dance being put on by the City Manager and City Rep. Romero is sure getting old. If you would like to let Gonzalez and Romero know what you think about this latest wrinkle in their relationship, call the City Manager's office at 212-0023. City Rep. Larry Romero's office number is 212-0002.