El Paso City Rep. Larry Romero is on a golf vacation in Georgia. He is also still asking City Council to excuse his absences from meetings, and still getting a taxpayer-funded paycheck even though he is not doing any work to earn it. The question on everyone's mind is, how do we put an end to this paid vacation that Larry Romero is on?

Up until now, Council has been excusing Romero's absences with a vote on the Consent Agenda. All the items on the Consent Agenda are voted on collectively, and unless a city rep asks to have one pulled from the Consent Agenda and voted on separately, there is no way to determine who voted for each item. That's where City Rep. Claudia Ordaz comes in.

I spoke with Ordaz earlier this morning and asked her if she was going to pull the Romero item from the Consent Agenda in future meetings. She said -

'Yes, we will be taking the absences item separately, out of the consent agenda. From what we learned, council actually does have the the authority to revoke his pay if he gets three unexcused absences. It's absurd that we continue to excuse his absences when he has made it clear he is no longer returning to work. It's not right. We'll see how the rest of council votes.'

Knowing that an election to fill Romero's seat comes up before the three unexcused absences can be racked up, I asked Ordaz if it was worth it to even bother, and which meetings would she be breaking out the Romero item. She said -

'All meetings. (He could rack up the three unexcused absences). With the packed District 2 race, it may most likely go into a runoff which will delay someone filling his seat.'

That delay would give Council ample time to put an end to Romero's free ride.

I hope Rep. Ordaz can make this happen, and that other city reps do the right thing and allow the three unexcused absences to happen. Romero has benefited from El Paso taxpayers long enough. It is time that his free ride ends.

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