El Paso, TX (KDBC) — There may soon be a silver lining for the Village of Vinton to improve desperately needed infrastructure for the community.
There have been many explosive city council meetings and a lot of controversy surrounding Vinton's economic development. Frustrated residents have regularly accused three city council members of sabotaging their community's efforts to improve infrastructure, and in particular, install a proper wastewater and sewer system.
"Vinton is growing as it is. The West side, just the whole West side is growing as it is and we cannot have people try and stop the growth," said Maria Hernandez, a resident of Vinton.
The Texas State Senate passed legislation on Thursday that will help residents hold their local elected officials accountable for blocking development efforts for the community.
With the support of State Senator Jose Rodriguez, State Representative Joe Moody passed two bills in the Texas State Senate that will give the voters of Vinton the power to hold a recall election to remove officials they believe aren't living up to the high standards of public office.
"The voice of the people should decide what they want and what's best for them, not three people to decide what's best for the village," said Victor Meleno, resident of Vinton.
Residents of Vinton have often expressed outrage over what they say are tactics used by the three council members to prevent any business from being accomplished at council meetings.
According to records, Martha Garcia, Maria Medina, and Juvencia Rios-Ontiveros regularly attend city council meetings but leave immediately after attendance is taken, so that the council doesn't have the majority of members needed to get anything done.
The new legislation marks them "absent" if they do not stay for the entire meeting so that the required number of council members are present to do business.
"Vinton is full of good, honest, hardworking people and a few bad apples at the top are doing terrible damage to the Village," said State Representative Joe Moody in a statement.
"We really want to have people that really reflect what we want, what the people of Vinton want," said Hernandez.
The new legislation will now have to be signed by Governor Rick Perry.