El Paso City Council Talks About Getting Rid of The Office of Mayor
Does El Paso need a mayor? Should the mayor have the power to vote on agenda items and have veto power at the same time? Those were the questions being discussed at yesterday's City Council meeting.
Right now, a person who is elected mayor cannot vote on day-to-day agenda items. The mayor can break a tie, or veto a vote. Former Mayor John Cook could have stopped the downtown ballpark construction with a veto, but he chose not to.
Some City reps think the mayor should have a regular vote, while others say if the mayor were to get to vote, the mayor shouldn't have veto power. That's probably a good idea because a vote and veto power would sway the balance of power away from City reps and all the way over to the mayor.
El Paso's current mayor, Oscar Leeser, says he thinks the office of mayor is already weak enough and if Council wants to make it weaker, it's "kind of a bad deal." A committee is looking into City Charter changes regarding the office of the mayor, but in order to change the Charter, the issue would have to go before voters. City Council is expected to make a decision in August about putting a measure about the mayor's office on the November 3rd ballot.