Anger over an El Paso City Council vote earlier this summer that could lead to the mixed-use development of open space near the Franklin Mountains on the west side of the city has prompted an effort to recall Mayor Dee Margo.
Margo, along with a majority of the council, had voted in favor of creating a Tax Reinvestment Zone that would allow for the revenues of certain taxes to pay for infrastructure construction on land partly made up of the Lost Dog Trailhead.
That portion of the land in question, leading to the Franklin Mountains, is used daily by joggers, walkers, and bike riders.
The sidewalks, sewer systems, and streetlights infrastructure would be built to support a mixed-use development that could see the construction of nearly 830,000 square feet of retail and office development, as well as just under 9,500 individual housing units.
According to the official proposal for the new taxing district, a hotel, amphitheater, and both aquatic center and athletic center, may also be a part of the development.
Zachary Gonzalez, an open space advocate in El Paso, has officially filed papers with the city clerk’s office launching a petition that would allow voters to officially recall and remove from office Mayor Margo.
Gonzalez says his campaign is spirited by the Mayor having cast a tie-breaking vote in the City Council that ended public discussion on the Tax Reinvestment Zone question.
In order for the first phase of the recall effort to succeed, the petition would have to secure the signatures of just under 6,600 people and submit them to the clerk’s office by October 10.
Gonzalez has said his goal is to obtain more than 7,000 signatures.
By Garry Boulard
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