Re: “Letters,” May 10-16, 2020 page 6A:

I am deeply disappointed to note that all members of City Council except Representatives Annello and Rodriguez voted to go ahead with the “arena” project in light of our dire economic situation.

El Paso is literally in debt to the tune of more than $4 billion. Our bond rating has declined. 50,000 El Pasoans are now unemployed, many of them in the hospitality industries. At least 400 city of El Paso employees have been furloughed.

So to vote to continue any major project this time is a slap in the face to all of us who own property knowing that our already outrageous property taxes may be increased to help pay for this boondoggle. I have owned a home in El Paso since 1986 and plan to retire there in less than a year.

Even if the voters think they voted for ‘an arena,’ which was not the language on the ballot, this is not the time to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on any project, given the extreme financial urgency of our situation.

And as to Ms. Lilly’s assertion that she’s embarrassed to be a UTEP graduate because of Max Grossman’s efforts to sound the alarm about our economic predicament, I am proud that such a distinguished and highly credentialed art historian as Mr. Grossman is on the UTEP faculty. Her disparagement of Mr. J.P. Bryan as some “outsider” is a flagrant attempt to mislead the public about his affection for our city and the fact that he donated $200,000 to The Tom Lea Institute, established by Adair Margo. Shame on her.

I sincerely hope the city reconsiders its position on going ahead with any major projects at this time. We simply can’t afford it. We are broke.

- Walli Haley

Colorado Springs, Colorado

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