January 31, 2019 600 AM
I am disappointed and angry at the decision of the County Commissioners Court last Wednesday at a meeting in Presidio to award a Late Night Mixed Beverage Permit permission to a Marfa businessman.
First, let me be clear, I have no issue with Mr. Crowley or his businesses in town. I frequent the St. George, the St. George pool and am an associate member of the HSG fitness center. I also appreciate the many in-kind contributions Mr. Crowley and his group have made to the public here through both his businesses and the non-profit Crowley Theater. I do believe his group has proven to be a responsible seller of alcoholic beverages and is qualified to receive a liquor license for his proposed new project on the grounds of the old Stardust Motel/San Jacinto Courts just outside of Marfa city limits. As a businessman, Mr. Crowley has a right, and some may argue even a duty, to request a permit from the county to serve beer, wine and liquor until 2am any and every day of the week. He stated at the Commissioners Court meeting that his motivation for requesting a late-night hour permit is for the interest of the economic viability of his new project.
My gripe about this issue is not with the Crowley group.
In July of 2016 representatives from El Cosmico requested permission for late night hours from Commissioners (El Cosmico is a block outside city limits) and an overflowing room full of citizens came to express their opposition to late night hours in general in the Marfa area. Commissioners listened to the input of their constituents and commented on their own. County Judge Cinderela Guevara presented her opinion that this is a “huge public safety concern”. At that time, many citizens and Sheriff Dominguez registered their opposition in their comments.
Commissioners Court voted unanimously not to approve, despite promises from the Cosmico group that they would only serve late hours during the weekend of the Trans-Pecos Festival. Economic viability of the festival was the Cosmico group’s stated motive for pursuing this issue.
This time around, the item appeared on an agenda posted over the MLK day holiday weekend and the meeting to discuss and vote on it occurred in the City of Presidio at 2pm on a Wednesday, hardly a day convenient for any working person from Marfa to make a two-hour commute to voice his/her opinion. I was unable to attend the meeting (and I do not have a vote as it is) but saw the agenda when I came to work Tuesday morning and contacted Commissioners Bentley, Knight and Aranda. I urged them separately to postpone the item and have it heard in the proper venue. My phone number for Commissioner Cabezuela was out of order, but I thought this item would be postponed and heard at the next meeting in Marfa, so I did not attempt to track him down. Surely at least a majority of the Court would agree this should be heard in Marfa given the lip service our current Commissioners Court and Judge give to transparency and duty to the interests of their constituents, I thought. However, I had my doubts and met privately with the Judge in the Judge’s office to protest the location of the agenda item’s hearing and also the incorrect and misleading way it was listed on the agenda. The action item was listed as being brought by Tim Crowley, when the Judge herself placed it on the agenda. I urged her to ask for postponement, as I had also urged Commissioners Aranda, Bentley and Knight. This was only to assure that people who will be directly affected by the repercussions of drinking hours going until 2am (at only one venue, for now) could know about the agenda item and voice any concerns. The Judge told me she “hoped Commissioners Court would do the right thing and have it here” (in Marfa). I reminded her several times in a very assertive manner that she has and had the power to make that motion and cast that vote. I also reminded her that as she had been a candidate who accepted political donations from Mr. Crowley in the past, the appearance of impropriety was and should be of concern to her.
Now, due to the lack of any one of the five members of Commissioners Court taking an aggressive stand for a chance for the Marfa area community to have input into this decision, and to caving in to a stated threat from Mr. Crowley that if the item was not approved then and there at that meeting in Presidio, the matter was fully approved with very little debate. Issues including economic parity and fairness to groups such as the El Cosmico and any and all operators holding alcohol permits within the city limits of Marfa, adjustments to law enforcement practices, public safety after midnight in an overall sense and the lack of late night Uber, Lyft or an alternative safe ride system were not considered and will now need to be addressed. This particularly rushed and opaquely presented item will now require the City of Marfa Council, Commissioners Court and other agencies to react. There will be lasting repercussions of unknown degree.
I urge citizens to let their Commissioners and Judge Guevara know how much you do or do not appreciate this gesture of kindness to Mr. Crowley. I, for one, am truly disgusted, dismayed and exasperated with this particular type of bent and broken government leadership. I hope and pray that better procedures that actually take the desires of constituents and not just the “take it or leave it” demands of a powerful businessman and political donor can be adopted. I encourage every person who thinks the status quo is unacceptable to get involved in any form of local government policy. Lastly, it’s Government Policy 101 that when an offer- ANY offer- is good only here and now and on specific terms, that’s an offer that should be declined.
David W. Beebe
Current Presidio County Justice of the Peace, Pct 1
Former Marfa City Councilmember 2008-2014
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Walls are Immoral!
Thank you Nancy Pelosi, I have seen the light! Hallelujah! Brothers and sisters, can I get an A-men?!
Low walls, high morals; I get it. What’s going on over there? Without a wall, we can see for ourselves. Nothing Illicit goes on without a wall to hide behind. With this in mind, let’s start up a wall demolition company here in West Texas and begin to hold ourselves to a higher moral standard.
Real Democrats are completely opposed to walls and with good reason. Let’s start improving our villages. “It takes a village to raise a child.” Ah, the great slogans created by Democrats—a whiff of nostalgia. Let’s knock down all the walls around private residences. The word private is an onion. Peel away its layers and immoral behavior lurks inside that last carapace.
Whose privacy walls should we begin demolishing? Why, those that conceal evil Republican residences, of course. Exposing Republican faults is a Democrat party priority. That’s why Al Gore lectures about the Republican carbon footprint from the steps of his private jet. * Do as I say, not as I do. That’s leadership!—aristocratic and aloof, the way things should be. Make the little people think you are on their side. What a great president he would have made! That awful W riding a bicycle and mingling with disabled veterans—how gauche!
Making the world a better place—this is so exciting! Let’s see, we’re going to need to buy some demolition equipment. Since Republicans are the problem, they can pay for it with the money we withhold from THEIR border wall—hee hee. Now, we are going to need that skinny, pointy bar on a track vehicle to aim at the weak spot in each wall. What shall we call it? Hmm, it needs to impose Democrat morality on the wall each time we ram it. Think, think—I have it! Anthony’s Wiener! That’s it! — Anthony’s Wiener will remind us of Democrat morality as it demolishes each Republican wall.
Now, we’re going to need a wrecking ball—wait, this is big businesswe’ll need two. Think, think—let’s call them Bill’s Balls to raise our spirits and our morals each time we knock down a Republican wall by remembering the moral standards for the presidency set by Democrat Bill Clinton.
*Why does he need a plane? He’s built like the Goodyear blimp.
Reprieve: If only we could see ourselves as others see us.
South Brewster County
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To Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Democrats: Please accept the nation’s eternal gratitude for ending Trump’s unnecessary government shutdown. You provided an invaluable lesson. Surrendering would have set the stage for others.
The adults in Washington had to deal with a mess:
Fred and Mrs.’s Trump formed a malignant personality disordered bully son;
The last two years of the GOP ignored their president’s machinations encouraging imprudent actions; and
Senate Majority Leader McConnell aided and abetted; protracting the pain, refusing to schedule a vote of the Dem’s spending Bill although exactly the same as the GOP House approved in mid-December.
Noteworthy is the Air Traffic Controllers. They were the first to experience the genocide of the American middle class when President Reagan gleefully broke their union’s slowdown, https://truthout.org/video/the-consequences-of-reagan-breaking-the-1981-air-traffic-controllersstrike/. It is only fitting that unpaid controllers and TSA gate inspectors made the difference 38 years later.
Beware. Neither DJT nor petulant children instantly surrender to good parenting’s appropriate limitations – or constitutional oversight. He is likely to escalate never successfully called on his “stuff”.
The lesson however; when raising a child or taming a wild horse, is: “Never lose the battle of wills!”
Rev. Barry Abraham Zavah Alpine