June 13, 1989
By David Crowder
El Paso Times
“I don’t like them closed. It’s lonely in here,” El Paso’s new mayor said.
She had to use boxes to hold the doors open because there were no doorstops – former Mayor Jonathan Rogers never needed them.
Then, in her first official act after being sworn in Monday morning, Azar signed a deed Rogers had refused since February to sign, even after he was sued by City Council and lost. The document sells nearly 11 square miles of Public Service Board land to the state for inclusion in Franklin Mountains State Park.
“Let’s sign it now,” Azar told an assistant city attorney and others. “All of sudden it occurred to me, ‘I’m the mayor; I can sign it.’”
Before the land becomes state property, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission must agree to accept it and pay the city’s cut-rate price of $52.79 an acre - $360,792 in all.
“I’m real pleased. I think she’s getting off on the right foot,” said John Sproul, a member of the El Paso Wilderness Coalition, which has been working on the park issue for a decade.
Azar, the six City Council representatives and six municipal judges were sworn in during inauguration ceremonies Monday.
“El Paso – what a great city,” Azar told 1,000 people at the civic center. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be your mayor. It will be an exciting two years. … I hope you’re as excited as I am.”
In the next two years, she said, the city will see a new baseball stadium built, its zoo expanded, the expansion o the city’s bus service, Downtown streets rebuilt, and Doniphan Drive and North loop widened and improved.
The swearing-in of Jay J. Armes as Lower valley representative was greeted by wild applause and cheers from one large section of the audience.
“Well Jay, you finally made it,” District Judge Enrique Pena said before administering the oath of office to Armes, who was elected on is third try for the Lower Valley seat.
Former three-term State Rep. Arves Jones needed little prompting in reciting the oath of office as the new Northeast representative.
“There should be a saying: “The greater the depth of gratitude, the shorter the speech of thanks,’” Jones said. “I will endeavor at all times to justify