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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: 33 min 36 sec ago

Not really $100 million

Thu, 12/12/2019 - 5:00am

The city is required to make certain disclosures when it intends to issue certificates of obligation.

This came from their notice of intent to issue $100 million in certificates of obligation:

In accordance with Texas Local Government Code Section 271.049, (i) the current principal amount of all of the City’s outstanding public securities secured by and payable from ad valorem taxes is $1,189,489,193.84; (ii) the current combined principal and
interest required to pay all of the City’s outstanding public securities secured by and payable from ad valorem taxes 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; (iv) the maximum interest rate for the certificates may not exceed the maximum legal interest rate; and (v) the maximum maturity date of the certificates to be authorized is August 15, 2045.

According to the city the $100 million will turn into $174 million by the time we pay the bonds off.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Franchise fee my foot

Wed, 12/11/2019 - 5:36am

City council is about to foist another tax increase on us.

As it is our city owned water utility is  being charged $3.55 million per year to use our city owned streets.

The charge is in the form of a franchise fee.  That amount gets passed on to the water utility customers.

The city wants still more money from us so they are going to up the franchise fee by almost $3 million next year.

The next thing we know they will be wanting to charge us rent to live in the homes that we own.

By the way I doubt that any of us knows what “INFRASTRCUTRE” is.  I guess that’s why this is an estimate.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

City fines

Tue, 12/10/2019 - 5:00am

I was curios about how many traffic tickets the police department writes.

Failing to find the counts on the city web site I did find a list of fines for various offenses.

Some interesting ones:

  • Animal not confined $95
  • Possession of fireworks $174
  • Watering on wrong day $145
  • Watering on [sic] wrong time $120
Vehicle fines
  • cell phone violation $114.10
  • changing lanes–failure to signal $158.10
  • cutting through property $143.10
  • disregard barricade $143.10
  • driving with bright lights $143.10
  • following too closely $158.10
  • jaywalking $65.00
  • straddling lanes $158.10

What’s with the dimes?

You can see the city’s fines here http://www.elpasotexas.gov/municipal-courts/fines-and-payments

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

You evidently don’t know what’s good for you

Sun, 12/08/2019 - 4:54pm

This slide shows what the recent bond issue looked like when it first was being discussed:

City council thought that was too much so they lowered their bond request to $413 million to fund the police and fire projects and eliminated the streets, public health, and animal services portions.

Gosh that was thoughtful of them.

One week after the voters passed the $413 million bond city staff brought council a request for $100 million in certificates of obligation to fund projects that were already being built but that most citizens did not know were not paid for yet.

They probably thought they would not get their $413 million if the public knew about the $100 million.

Now less than two weeks after springing the $100 million problem on us they are at it again.

In the Monday, December 9, 2019 special city council meeting they are going to ask for yet another $46 million in certificates of obligation.

What for?

Do you remember the $10.9 million they dropped from the July 22, 2019 plan?  That was for animal services.

Guess what?  It’s back:

They did not want us to vote on this so they will just issue certificates of obligation.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Open line Sunday

Sun, 12/08/2019 - 5:00am

We wrote about Pearl Harbor in yesterday’s post so we missed open line Saturday.

What’s on your mind?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

A date that will live in infamy

Sat, 12/07/2019 - 5:00am

Our entry into world war two came after a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on this day (December 7) 1941.

On August 12, 1941 congress approved an extension of the selective service act by one vote.  The country was certainly divided on that issue and on the idea of intervention in the war that was going on in other parts of the world.

A short four months later, after the Japanese attack,  the pendulum of public opinion shifted and men and women voluntarily entered the military service by the millions.

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

One of the biggest law firms in town

Fri, 12/06/2019 - 5:00am

Let’s look at the position summary for the city attorney’s department according to the fiscal year 2020 budget.

They have:

  • a city attorney
  • a deputy city attorney
  • a legislative attorney
  • four senior assistant city attorneys
  • a trial section supervisor
  • fifteen assistant city attorneys

Compare that with EPISD that has a general counsel and an assistant general counsel.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

Categories: Local Blogs

211 call center

Thu, 12/05/2019 - 5:00am

Did you know that the city operates a 211 center that refers those in need of services to agencies that can help?

You can learn more about the center here:

https://www.elpasotexas.gov/public-health/services/211-call-center

This is better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Another city two step

Wed, 12/04/2019 - 6:15am

It seems that senior city staff and our mayor don’t want to appoint a committee to oversee the use of the $413 million public safety bond.

You should recall that the city added this footnote to their bond literature:

Actual use of any approved bond funds will be determined by subsequent action by City Council.

Why don’t they want a committee of citizens to oversee the spending?

Could it be that they plan to divert the money away from police and fire needs?

City council is not managing the city manager well.  They need to exert their authority.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Public schools

Tue, 12/03/2019 - 7:31am

JerryK posted this comment the other day.

I believe that it deserves some attention.

The purpose of education is not to produce a workforce. It is to create educated, responsible citizens capable of thinking for themselves.

The Duluth News Tribune printed this the other day:

Communism is soaring in popularity. More than one-in-three millennials view communism favorably. So does nearly 30% of Generation Z. Millennials’ support for communism grew by nearly 10 percentage points over the past year.

 

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

EPISD not the biggest hogs

Mon, 12/02/2019 - 5:00am

This slide is part of a future EPISD finance and administration committee meeting:

It looks like the city is leading the way on tax increases.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Being in charge

Sun, 12/01/2019 - 7:41am

We’ve heard a lot about our president not heading the advice of the military in regard to the punishment of some members of the military.

Evidently some people think that the subordinates are in charge.

The president is the commander in chief.

Whether his decision was the right one or not he had the right to do what he did.

The next thing we know the privates will be telling the generals what to do.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Please keep it civil

Sat, 11/30/2019 - 5:00am

What do the readers think about having an official or national language in the United States?

What do other countries do?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Not true

Fri, 11/29/2019 - 7:02am

Here is another example of the poor legal work being done by our city attorney’s office:

The majority of qualified voters did not approve bond issuance.

Only 8% of the qualified voters bothered to vote.

Of the 8% that voted 59% were in favor.

That means that 4.7% of the qualified voters voted to approve the bonds, not the majority of the qualified voters.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Thanksgiving sentiment

Thu, 11/28/2019 - 5:00am

We wish all of you a peaceful and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

We have a lot to be thankful for.

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

EPISD telling the truth

Wed, 11/27/2019 - 5:00am

This slide comes from an EPISD public relations and marketing committee presentation:

Was this a Freudian slip?

Did they mean to say “source of pride and innovation”?

However they certainly are a source of price.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Political correctness going overboard

Tue, 11/26/2019 - 5:00am

Evidently a substitute teacher at a local high school recently told a student to “speak English, we’re in America”.

Now LULAC is calling on the Texas Education Agency to revoke the teacher’s teaching certificate.

No one that I know of was there to witness the event so we don’t know what (if anything) led up to the event.  We don’t know the teacher’s background.  She might of been trying to give what she thought was good advice.

If you are of the view that the teacher’s instruction was inappropriate, does this rise the level where she should lose her license?

Maybe counseling would be in order.

Maybe a reprimand would be appropriate.

Maybe we should thank her for trying to help a youngster.

We seem to be losing our sense of scale.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

Categories: Local Blogs

What is Mexico thinking?

Mon, 11/25/2019 - 5:00am

I’m hearing a lot of talk around town about the people suing Walmart.

Personally I don’t agree that Walmart should be held liable, some people see it differently.

What is more troubling to me is that the government of Mexico is helping with the lawsuits.

According to an NPR report Mexico also plans to seek the extradition of the shooter.

He should be tried in the United States where he evidently committed the murders.

Mexico should have no say in this issue.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Reversed roles

Sun, 11/24/2019 - 8:59am

If you watch the video of the city manager where he tells city council that there is “no story here” in regard to the $100 million of certificates of obligation that they are planning to issue you will see that he is lecturing, no telling city council what to do and say.

It seems that they have all forgotten his place.

He is supposed to work for city council, not the other way around.

This is not good.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Open line Saturday

Sat, 11/23/2019 - 5:00am

It’s Saturday.

What’s on your mind?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs


by Dr. Radut