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City of El Paso debt=$2,670,400,000, county and school district debt=$1,600,000,000. Total $4.27 billion. Your share $19,350
Updated: 35 min 2 sec ago

Springing things on us

14 hours 46 min ago

The city actually has several city charter amendments that they hope to get us to approve.

This one is horrible.

The current city charter allows them to add an emergency ordinance to a city council agenda only two hours before the meeting.  That allows them to ambush us with surprises that we cannot react to.

Evidently that is not enough for these people.  They want to reduce the time required to one hour.

I cannot think of a single emergency that would really justify only one hour of public notice.

State law does allow the city to hold emergency meetings.  They can only do this for reasons of “urgent public necessity” and are at least required to give the news media notice.

Let’s see if they remember to put those restrictions in their amendment.  I wouldn’t bet on it.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

Categories: Local Blogs

What should happen here?

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 5:00am

According to an article in El Paso Inc. an El Paso call center recently tricked  city inspectors during a site visit.

The Inc’s headline was “CALL CENTER EVADES CORONAVIRUS ORDERS”.

They wrote “Supervisors at a GC Services call center apparently hoodwinked a city inspection team Thursday by sending call takers on break before inspectors made the rounds to see if the company was adhering to social distancing and other regulations imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.”

The Inc. interviewed multiple employees that “all said they were still working side-by-side” instead of having six feet of distance between them.

The city and county have issued directives prohibiting that kind of situation.

It appears that we not only have violations of the local directives but we have managers deliberately trying to cover them up.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

Categories: Local Blogs

An end to transparency

Mon, 04/06/2020 - 5:00am

The city is planning to have a city charter election this November.

Some of the things that they are thinking of changing don’t sound like good ideas to me.

Take this one for example:

They evidently want to exempt their advisory boards from the open meetings requirements.

Why?

Their slide explains it.  “Increased productivity and freedom of discussion among advisory boards”.

In other words the board members can get together and plot and scheme away from public view.

These people are out of control.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

Categories: Local Blogs

Request for donations

Sun, 04/05/2020 - 5:00am

ElPasoMatters sent us this the other day:

Why?

This is what they say:

While I respect Mr. Moore personally I did not like his editorial policy while he was with The El Paso Times.  In my opinion he was an enabler of the nonsense that we saw and continue to see coming out of city hall.  It seemed to me that taxpayer  money did not matter to him.

He sees five “information needs in coming months”:

  • We are already being adequately told about how to protect the health of our families
  • Solutions-focused information–I don’t know how he could possibly help
  • Ensuring that the needs of our most vulnerable populations are being met–beyond his control
  • Accountability reporting–that would be nice
  • Election coverage–facts, or opinion?

I hope that ElPasoMatters survives.

I won’t be giving them any money unless I see them as part of a solution instead of part of a problem.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Open line Saturday

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 5:00am

It’s Saturday.

What’s on your mind?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

A wise old saying

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 5:00am

I heard this the other day:

“We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason.  We should listen twice as much as we speak.”

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

A fair question?

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 5:00am

Elrichboy over at elchuqueno.com published an interesting post about the the ownership of El Paso Electric and The El Paso Times.

It seems that the same investment firm has significant ownership of both companies.

We should have at least expected the Times to tell us that.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Power play foiled

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 5:00am

City council rejected an ordinance that would have required three city council members to agree to put an item on their agenda.

No one would say where this came from but it is a bad idea.

Any city council member should be able to place an item on the agenda.

This is better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

No competition

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 5:00am

The city’s Emergency Measures ordinance has some unfairness built into it.

Why for example do bookstores have to close yet Walmart and Target are allowed to sell books?

How are title companies essential?

Sporting goods stores are closed but you can buy those items at Walmart and Target.

Why can you buy clothes at Walmart and Target but department stores and local shops are closed?

Should the city prohibit the sale of certain items instead of letting the big box stores do whatever they want?

We deserve better

Brutus

 

Categories: Local Blogs

Does nobody care?

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 5:00am

The Tuesday, March 31, 2020 city council agenda has this item on it:

That the Mayor be authorized to sign an Interlocal Agreement between the City of El Paso (“City”) and the University of Texas at El Paso (“University”), for a period of 12 months, whereby the parties agree the University shall assist the City by assigning University employees, faculty and/or staff who are trained in, among other issues, nucleic acid extraction and PCR methods, to assist the City and the City Department of Public Health in the testing of community specimens for COVID-19.  This Interlocal Agreement requires the City to reimburse the University for services and equipment in an amount not to exceed $200,000.00 over the term of the Interlocal Agreement. Got it

The public health department needs help in its laboratories.

Don’t understand

What we don’t understand is why the city has to pay UTEP.  Clearly there are a lot of UTEP laboratory trained people that have reduced work loads right now but are still being paid with public money.

Why can’t these people just volunteer?

Or absent volunteers why can’t UTEP just reassign the duties of a few of them while the need exists?

Why do local taxpayers have to fork over $200 thousand dollars?

Won’t the city have to assign an administrator to handle the billing?  Won’t UTEP have to assign an administrator to create the bills?  How much will that cost?

Leadership

Do the leaders involved think that the only way to get things done is to pay people?

Could it be that they would never think of doing something for the public good for free and thus cannot imagine anyone else doing it?

We deserve better

Brutus

 

Categories: Local Blogs

Wise guy

Sun, 03/29/2020 - 5:00am

It seems that at one time or another I have offended many of our readers.

While never intended, if it is the cost of stimulating public interest in our local situation then I guess it must be.

At 16 years old Benjamin Franklin wrote this under the pen name Silence Dogood:

I am very sensible that it is impossible for me, or indeed any one Writer to please all Readers at once. Various Persons have different Sentiments; and that which is pleasant and delightful to one, gives another a Disgust. He that would (in this Way of Writing) please all, is under a Necessity to make his Themes almost as numerous as his Letters. He must one while be merry and diverting, then more solid and serious; one while sharp and satyrical, then (to mollify that) be sober and religious; at one Time let the Subject be Politicks, then let the next Theme be Love: Thus will every one, one Time or other find some thing agreeable to his own Fancy, and in his Turn be delighted.

I thank you for your continued interest in the blog.  My preference would be that some of the comments the readers make about each other be more civilly constructed.  A point can be made without being rude.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Open line Saturday

Sat, 03/28/2020 - 5:00am

It’s Saturday.

What’s on your mind?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Why tell the truth when a lie is more dramatic?

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 5:00am

Maybe I have this backward but if the current idea is to keep people from congregating the announcement below doesn’t make sense:

The streetcars may be the safest public places in town.

I suspect that the real reason for doing this is to save money, an effort that I support.

Honesty seems to be in short supply from the city.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Forgetting what it’s all about

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 5:00am

At the Tuesday, March 17, 2020 city council meeting I believe the mayor made a motion to delete the pledge of allegiance from the agenda.

No explanation was given.

I would hope that city council supports our country.

Maybe they thought that they were too busy that day.

Shame on them!

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Not today

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 5:00am

In 1722 Silence Dogwood wrote her first letter to The New-England Courant a Boston newspaper. Silence Dogwood was a pseudonym used by the 16 year old Benjamin Franklin.  Evidently his older brother, the owner and publisher of the Courant would not print his pieces so Benjamin wrote under the persona of a middle-aged woman.

It began,

Sir,

It may not be possible in the first Place to inform your Readers, that I intend once a Fortnight to present them, by the Help of this Paper, with a short Epistle, which I presume will add somewhat to their Entertainment.

And since it is observed, that the Generality of People, nowadays, are unwilling either to commend or dispraise what they read, until they are in some measure informed who or what the Author of it is, whether he be poor or rich, old or young, a Schollar or a Leather Apron Man, &c. and give their Opinion of the Performance, according to the Knowledge which they have of the Author’s Circumstances, it may not be amiss to begin with a short Account of my past Life and present Condition, that the Reader may not be at a Loss to judge whether or no my Lucubrations are worth his reading.[2]

Not now

Much of public comment today is based upon a partial reading of material and is made based upon personal bias and not upon the merit or lack of merit of the piece.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Switching gears

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 7:59am

Maybe The El Paso Times would be well served to follow the lead of the The New-England Courant which in 1721 was a publication that published literary pieces and humorous essays as well as local news.

The Courant was popular because it published content that interested the public.

Unfortunately much of what we read in the Times today was already published by various electronic methods.

They could cover also cover local issues more thoroughly rather than just passing on what the local government agencies want us to see.

Many of the functions of our local governments are shut down right now.

At least we don’t have to worry as much about whatever corrosive action they are taking.

I think I’ll take my own advice and publish some works that you might find interesting.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

A lesson in life

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 5:00am

I wonder if our sudden difficulties will help younger generations understand that what we have can be taken from us without warning and that they should not expect life to always be easy.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

A message from Max Grossman

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 5:00am

This came in from Max Grossman:

Dear Friends, As long as the media refuses to report this, I will keep repeating this information every few weeks. On December 10, Moody’s Investment Service announced that in the event of a recession of similar severity to the 2008-09 downtown, El Paso will be one of four cities (including Detroit) in which “adjusted net pension liabilities will rise by more than 100% of revenue.” Data-Z, a subsidiary of Truth in Accounting, whose mission is “to educate and empower citizens with understandable, reliable, and transparent government financial information,” claims that “El Paso is a Sinkhole City without enough assets to cover its debt.” Just look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average today. At one point it sank to 20,387, down from the February 16 high of 29,569, a difference of 31%! The talk among the pundits is no longer about whether we are heading into a recession because of the world health crisis, but about how severe it will be. QUESTION: What will our City do to avert the financial calamity which Moody’s, one of the top financial reporting firms in the world, has explicitly warned El Paso about? I have stated it many times and will state it again. The City Manager, Mayor, and City Council Representatives have placed us on a financial path that could lead to disaster. Even as our homestead tax burden is second only to Detroit, and even as world markets are plunged into chaos, they still insist that our government should be in the entertainment business, providing us with stadiums and waterparks! Max ******************************* We deserve better Brutus
Categories: Local Blogs

Open line, this time Sunday

Sun, 03/22/2020 - 10:48am

What’s on your mind today?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Saturday

Sat, 03/21/2020 - 5:00am

Let’s postpone open line this week to Sunday.

There are a lot of employees and businesses hurting right now.

I ask that you consider going to a local restaurant and ordering curbside–they certainly need the business.

Please feel free to send us names of restaurants that you intend to support.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs


by Dr. Radut