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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: 26 min 24 sec ago

There’s more to the story

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 7:28am

I’m not a reporter but I can think of another couple of stories that should be told about the debt that the folks at the city have run up on us.

This and prior city councils have approved projects that have yet to be completed.

I’m not talking about the quality of life projects or the recent bond election.

According to the city chief financial officer’s slide presentation there will be another $179 million needed to pay for previously approved projects that have not been completed yet.

The city was not sitting on a $100 million secret when they promoted the public safety bonds.  They were sitting on $279 million.

Maybe that isn’t much money in our city manager’s view but it is to many of us.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

Nice try Mr. city manager

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 5:00am

I was interested to see how city council handled the $100 million certificates of obligation issue so I watched the video of the meeting.

The city manager repeatedly made the point that “there’s no story here”.  He kept telling council that if someone was to make a “report” there is “no story” since all of the money was approved “years ago” and thus there is “no story”

He was evidently trying to tell council that they had nothing to worry about with the voters not liking the issuance of the $100 million in bonds.

I believe that there is a story here.

He, city staff, and city council knew that they were going to need to issue the certificates of obligation but kept that quiet while the $413 million bond issue was being considered by the voters.

A more honest group would have told the voters that the $100 million would be brought at their first opportunity after the bond election.

We deserve better



Categories: Local Blogs

They don’t care what the state says

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 5:00am

If you have any doubt about whether the folks at the city have found a way around the 3.5% maximum property tax increase that the state imposed last year take a look at this slide from a recent city council presentation:

The way they will get more money is to issue debt.

We deserve better



Categories: Local Blogs

Open line Saturday

Sat, 11/16/2019 - 5:00am

What’s on your mind?


Categories: Local Blogs

Going backward

Fri, 11/15/2019 - 5:37am

Speaking of city taxes, take a look at this slide from one of the presentations to city council:

Are they proud of the fact that Dallas has been able to stay basically flat with their tax rate and Austin has been decreasing their tax rate while we have suffered a 33% increase in taxes?

Why would they present a slide with two cities that make our city government look bad?

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

Different times

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 5:00am

I came upon this piece of local history the other day:


Categories: Local Blogs

City debt

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 6:59am

As part of the requirements the city must meet before city council can approve the $100 million of certificates of obligation the city must notify us of what their current debt situation is.

From their notice:

the current combined principal and interest required to pay all of the City’s outstanding public securities secured by and payable from ad valorem raxes on time and in full is $1,818,279,445.84 (iii) the estimated combined principal and interest required to pay the certificates of obligation to be authorized on time and in full is $173,780,312.50;

The $100 million will turn out to be $173 million by the time interest is paid.

Before issuing the new certificates of obligation, and before issuing the $413 million that the recent election gave them, and before issuing the $180 million for the multipurpose performing arts and entertainment facility they will have to pay out $1.818 billion dollars.

That does not include the approximately $400 million that the police and firefighter pension plans are underfunded by.

Let’s add this up:

Existing debt                              1,818,000,000   (that’s 1.8 billion)

         New certificates of obligation       173,780,000

Police and fire pension                  400,000,000

Recent bond election                    413,000,000 (that’s without interest)

Total                                 $2,804,780,000 (that’s 2.8 billion dollars)

Our city population is about 685,000 people.

Each of us owes about $4,094 at this point.

We deserve better



Categories: Local Blogs

Certainly not honest with us

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 5:00am

One week after the voters approved $413 million in bonds for the city they are back at the trough getting ready to issue $100 million in certificates of obligation without our approval.

Could this be a coincidence?

Or did city staff know that they would ask for the $100 million while the voters were considering what to do about the $413 million?

Would you have voted yes in the bond election if you knew that they planned to pile on more debt without our approval?

If you don’t have an opinion read this slide:

They planned to do this when they passed the budget.

Shame on them.

They clearly planned to put one over on the citizens and they did.

Is there anyone at the city that we can trust at this point?

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

Veterans day 2019

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 5:00am

Today is Veterans day, a day where we honor those who have served in the United States armed forces.

By the way the official spelling does not include an apostrophe.  The day does not belong to the veterans but instead is about them.

Memorial day is a holiday in May where we honor those who died while serving in the United States armed forces.

Armed forces day also occurs in May.  It is a day where we honor those currently serving in our armed forces.

I thank all of our veterans.

Freedom is not free.


Categories: Local Blogs

EPISD shrinking even faster

Sun, 11/10/2019 - 5:00am

EPISD enrollment is evaporating.

According to their newest five year budget forecast the average daily attendance at the district is down 1,829 students this school year.

Have you heard anything about cutting back at the central office?

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

Open forum Saturday

Sat, 11/09/2019 - 5:00am

Tell us what’s on your mind.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

This is really stretching it

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 5:00am

Earlier this week the voters authorized $413 million of bonds for the city.

Evidently that was not enough.

The Tuesday, November 12, 2019 city council agenda has this item on it:

Discussion and action on a Resolution approving and authorizing publication of notice of intention to issue certificates of obligation in an amount not to exceed $100 million.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

Bond issue results

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 5:00am

The voters have spoken.

Both bond issues passed.

Approximately 9% of the registered voters came out to vote.

The bonds passed with roughly 59% voting in favor.

That means that about 5% of the voters committed us to $838 million in debt.

In this case we don’t deserve better.


Categories: Local Blogs

UTEP is changing

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 5:00am

According to an article in the Times UTEP is having to cut its budget.

The new president is asking the deans and vice presidents for suggestions as to how they can cut their respective budgets.

It seems that in the past the “executive leadership” made those decisions.

I applaud Mrs. Wilson.

The ultimate decisions will have to be hers but at least she is giving her subordinates an opportunity to participate.

This is better


Categories: Local Blogs

Please vote today

Tue, 11/05/2019 - 5:00am

If you have not already voted please do so today.

This is the last day you can vote on the proposed bond issue.

My property taxes increased $800 dollars this year.

A large part of the quality of life bonds have yet to be sold.  When they are sold our taxes will go up further.

Those of us that live in the EPISD district are now paying more than $3.07 per hundred dollars of valuation in property taxes.

That’s three percent of your property’s value every year.

That puts us at the highest property tax rate among the 50 largest cities in the United States.

What the city is asking for is a blank check.

If they need new buildings the should figure out how much they will cost and then ask us for the money.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

Keep trying

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 5:00am

I spoke with an acquaintance the other day that did not know about bond election Tuesday.

He does now.

Talk with everyone that you can.

Ask them to go vote.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

Self service or no service?

Sun, 11/03/2019 - 11:01am

Someone sent this in:

I heard the other day that Walmart was going to be closed Christmas day.

Evidently they want to give their two checkers the day off.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

Open line Saturday

Sat, 11/02/2019 - 5:00am

What’s on your mind?

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

More legal fees

Fri, 11/01/2019 - 7:50am

Talk about money.

Many of us have experience trying to get our attorney to do something quickly.

In the downtown multi-purpose performing arts facility case the attorneys on both sides evidently are thinking ahead.

At issue currently is an injunction that prohibits the city from tearing down buildings.

The anti-tear-down faction was given an unfavorable ruling by a local bench judge.

Within moments the anti-tear-down lawyers filed an appeal with an appeals court.

Shortly thereafter the tear-down lawyers filed a motion with the appeals court asking the justices to recuse themselves because of allegations of partiality.

These are lightening fast actions coming from lawyers.

Without an injunction prohibiting the tearing down of the buildings the city will probably move to do so within hours.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

And the winner is

Thu, 10/31/2019 - 5:00am

The district 6 city representative has just announced that she is a candidate for the state legislature.

State law considers that to be an automatic resignation from city council.

Now we have to pay for yet another city election.

If she had resigned a few months ago we could have voted on her replacement next week without paying for a special election.

Rush job

The city plans to call for this special election December 14, 2019.

That does not give potential candidates much time to run an effective campaign.

I wonder who the powers-that-be have chosen.

This is another example of flagrant disregard of the voters.

We deserve better


Categories: Local Blogs

by Dr. Radut