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El Paso County Historical Commission brings in new leadership

The El Paso County Historical Commission ushered in its new chairman and vice chairman at the County Courthouse on Monday.

Two current members Joe Nebhan and Ron Leiman, were selected for chair and vice chair, respectively.

But there are new members from all over. One is the owner of Tricky Falls, a nightclub in downtown El Paso. Another member owns the group that maintains Concordia Cemetery, and one is the president of a San Elizario historical society.

The meeting Monday took longer than usual. The members said it's just a matter of adapting to new roles.

As KFOX14 reported, El Paso County commissioners voted for a changing of the guard for the historical commission. Chairman Bernie Sargent and Vice Chair Max Grossman were voted out of their respective positions.

Both Nebhan and Leiman know there’s a long road ahead of them.

"Those are big shoes for me to fill,” Nebhan said. “But, I'm looking very much forward to working with everyone that is sitting on the commission and all of our volunteers. We cannot forget our volunteers."

"It's going to have to evolve. We're going to continue to be very interested in preservation, outreach, education,” Leiman said. “All of the things that we've been doing, we'll continue to do those things, and with new members we'll look at others."

Nebhan said that he personally would still try to stop the city from building an arena in Union Plaza to protect the historical buildings.

"Personally, yes. I definitely stand behind the work that has been done by Bernie and Max did for Durangito,” Nebhan said. “I mean, absolutely, it was a very important part."

Getting the historical markers the commission needs to preserve buildings is easier said than done.

"In regards to markers and stuff like that, the process is long and arduous,” Nebhan said. “I mean, we have to get the right, correct research done first to go and put in the right script, the right verbiage. Not to be offensive to anyone."

Leiman said it’s up to the commission to continue the fight. But he said previous positions could make the decision easier.

"We support historic preservation and there are some important buildings there that we would want to support. We've already done a resolution to that effect as a commission,” Leiman said.

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