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City rep. Eddie Holguin responds to critics of Shawver Park light display

By: Gina Benitez
EL PASO, Texas -- After taking heat from the national media, city representative Eddie Holguin responds to critics of the Shawver Park holiday light display he spearheaded.

As KFOX 14 reported, the display made national headlines Tuesday when a cable news anchor mocked it.

"Unfortunately, these critics are missing the entire point of why I did this," said El Paso city representative Eddie Holguin. 

It's a $25,000 project spearheaded by city representative Eddie Holguin. 
But some say the project isn't worth the price. 

"We literally had a month, less than a month, to prepare for this and get the displays in place," said Tracy Novak, interim Parks and Recreation director for the city of El Paso. 

The City of El Paso's parks and recreation department says it usually needs six months to complete a project like this. 

So with the budget and time constraints, officials feel they did the best they could. 

"I challenged the company to give us the best displays they could with the funding that we had available," Novak said. 

A total of $25,000 was allotted for the holiday light display. 

Just over $11,000 was actually used on lights, $8,000 on security, and $4,000 put on reserve. 

Our story first aired Sunday, then was picked up by national outlets. 

CNN mocked the display. 

Holguin held Wednesday's press conference he said, to clear up any misinformation. 

Some critics say he did it for political gain. 

Holguin just threw his hat in the race for county judge Sunday. 

"No, absolutely not. You all know my voting record, you all know that I have always stood with the citizens of El Paso, you all know that I have always fought against government spending," Holguin said. 

He says it's all about the holiday spirit and those who are knocking it are missing the message. 

"2,500 people on opening night, 300 to 500 people daily, from the time they turn on the lights to the time they get turned off, is a success," Holguin said.

Holguin suggests the critics take a look at it through a child's eyes.

"I wish we could have had a larger scale event but we can't afford it right now and I cannot in good conscience support a larger expense. I am working hard with representatives Limon and Acosta to have the Shawver Park event sponsored by private businesses," Holguin said.

He hopes to collect enough donations to completely pay for the display.

 

 

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