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Wed July 29, 2009
The El Paso City Council fails to Override Mayor Cook's Veto
By Melissa Aguilera
Las Cruces, NM – The ongoing billboard controversy in El Paso seems to have no end in sight. Yesterday, the City Council failed to override Mayor John Cook's veto of a billboard ban after just four representatives voted in favor of its implementation. The Council needed six votes to overrule Cook's rejection.
District One Representative, Ann Morgan Lily, who proposed the ordinance calling it a quality of life issue expressed her disappointment in the Mayor.
"I believe this is really most disrespectful for the Mayor to disregard good public policy and the majority of vote on council. And even more disrespectful to remove the issue from the public scrutiny and propose a backdoor Clear Channel structure deal. In fact it's more than disrespectful it's down right offensive to take these actions. The veto was not the best decision for the people it was the best decision for Clear Channel."
Clear channel outdoor in El Paso owns about sixty-percent of the billboards in the Sun City.
Cook has introduced a compromise ordinance which is significantly more lenient on the billboard industry.
Next week the El Paso City Council will review the legal issues surrounding any requirements on digital billboards since they were previously approved without a limit by the Council.