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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: 23 min 54 sec ago

Not Brio, Adagio actually

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

In November of 2018 we wrote about the Alameda Brio being late.

We were originally told that it would start running in early 2018.

The Sun Metro web site contained this notice in December of 2018:

The other day we saw this on the Sun Metro site:

It’s getting late in 2019 so they better hurry.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

 

Categories: Local Blogs

Trust us

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 5:23am

This is what the bond issue will look like on the ballot:

Do they know what they are going to build?

They have a list of facilities but they put this footnote on each slide:

Amounts listed are preliminary estimates subject to change. Actual use of any approved bond funds
will be determined by subsequent action by City Council.

Do they know how much each building will cost?

No, they have not gone out to bid–they are just guessing.  Many of us can remember how that worked out with the ballpark/city hall move.

Can someone send us a graphic of a blank check?

We deserve better

Brutus

 

Categories: Local Blogs

Who are we giving to?

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 5:00am

DavidK over at Refuse the Juice wrote this piece the other day.

It explains a lot about our lack of influence in congress.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Guilty because we say so

Mon, 10/07/2019 - 5:00am

Take a look at this press release from the city:

New efficiency

We don’t know if Dr. Morgan is guilty or not.  We do know that the city’s press release says “The officers arrived and through the investigation found that Morgan had assaulted his wife”.

Didn’t it use to take a jury trial to make that kind of statement?

Someone needs to teach these people what fair is.

Maybe they don’t want to be fair.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Mushrooms

Sun, 10/06/2019 - 5:00am

Somehow members of our city council have gotten the mistaken impression that they are not allowed to talk with people  that are involved in litigation with the city.

Actually the ones that have restrictions on whom they may talk with are the attorneys involved in the case.  Those attorneys may only deal with their opponents through the opponent’s attorneys.

The actual people involved are allowed to deal with each other as they please.

The very idea that anyone cannot speak with their elected representatives is absurd, but this is another way that city staff keeps council in the dark.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Saturday is open line day

Sat, 10/05/2019 - 5:00am

It’s Saturday, tell us what’s on your mind.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Give aways

Fri, 10/04/2019 - 5:00am

The city enters into “380 agreements” with various companies in order to incent a company to add more employees or move an operation into El Paso.

The city’s internal auditor wrote this about his findings related to “380 agreements”.

Note that even though the companies failed to do what they promised they still got paid.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

A thought about the bicycle riders

Thu, 10/03/2019 - 5:00am

Daniel Lopez made this comment the other day:

We should register bicycle path users and charge a similar organized sports user fee like the parks department does for soccer etc.., after all there’s no such thing as a free lunch. 

Interesting thought

We have to obtain a drivers license in order to drive a motor vehicle on a public road.

Why shouldn’t bicycle riders be required to be licensed if they want to ride on public roads?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

EPISD still losing students

Wed, 10/02/2019 - 5:00am

Unfortunately EPISD’s enrollment problems continue.

We’ve written before about them losing students every year.  EPISD getting smaller faster gave a recap of where they were in the 2018-2019 school year.

The first six weeks numbers are out for this year.

On August 27, 2018 they showed an enrollment of 57,103.

As of September 13, 2019 they were at 55,434 students.

This continues their loss of about 1,600 students every year.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Improvements, not new construction

Tue, 10/01/2019 - 5:00am

Max, one of our regular readers made this point in his May 29, 2019 comment  that was the posting of a letter to the mayor and city council:

Up until a few days ago we completely missed his point.

He wrote:

The relevant 2012 ballot called for “multipurpose performing arts and entertainment and library facilities improvements.” There is nothing in the ballot about building a new structure. To fulfill the promise in the ballot, the City would renovate the Abraham Chavez Theatre, which is already a multipurpose performing arts and entertainment facility, and bring it up to contemporary standards for approximately $35 million.

The ballot language

THE ISSUANCE OF $228,225,000 GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS FOR MUSEUM, CULTURAL, MULTI-PURPOSE ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT AND LIBRARY FACILITIES IMPROVEMENTS, INCLUDING NEW CHILDRENS MUSEUM, CULTURAL HERITAGE CENTER, AND INTERACTIVE DIGITAL WALL.

Improvements

The ballot called for improvements of museum, cultural, multi-purpose arts and entertainment, and library facilities.  It did not call for new facilities in those areas.

In fact the language was specific and asked for authorization of a new museum for children, cultural heritage center, and a digital wall.

The other projects were to be improvements of existing facilities.

The wording is clear.

We thank Max for pointing this out to us.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

More, gimme more

Mon, 09/30/2019 - 5:00am

City council has an agenda item on their Tuesday, October 1, 2019 agenda that would modify a deal they cut with the owners of the properties that we commonly refer to as Monticello.

The backup material includes an amendment to the contract but does not show what will be changed.

It took a little digging but we found the original contract and compared it to the proposed revisions.

It seems that the original contract refunded 100% of the increase (because of the building that they were doing) in city property taxes through 2017, 50% through 2027 and 25% through 2032.

The new deal gives them 100% of the increase from 2020 through 2022, 50% from 2023 through 2032, and 25% from 2033 through 2037.

The owners will also have to increase property values less in order to be eligible for the tax payments.

Originally they were required to meet at least 50 percent of this chart:

Under the revision they must meet a much lower goal of 50% of this chart:

 

In return they will give up the tax rebates from the facility known as Top Golf.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Bicycle plan

Sun, 09/29/2019 - 5:00am

Part of the city’s published bicycle plan is to achieve silver level designation from the League of American Bicyclists.

Here is how we were last rated:

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Saturday open line

Sat, 09/28/2019 - 5:00am

It’s Saturday.

Tell us what’s on your mind.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

We’ll spend it the way we want

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 5:33am

If the city needs to borrow money to replace old buildings or build new facilities wouldn’t it make sense to take the projects out to bid and figure out how much money they will actually need instead of trying to get us to sign a blank check that they can use however they want?

A blank check is what they want.

Read You’ve been warned.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

The gift that keeps on giving

Thu, 09/26/2019 - 5:00am

The city’s internal audit department issued a report after reviewing the Economic and International Development department’s handling of incentive agreements.

Take a look at this:

Is anyone surprised?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Trying to learn more

Wed, 09/25/2019 - 5:00am

This was the first thing to appear on the city’s web page the other day:

Try going to it at elpasotexas.gov.

Then try to “learn more”.

Nothing happens.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

More shortfalls

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 5:00am

The city’s Firemen’s Pension Fund had an unfunded liability of $138.9 million on January 1, 2016.

Two years later on January 1, 2018 the number was $166.1 million.

With the police shortfall at $233.9 million the public safety pension funds are unfunded by $400 million.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Missed an anniversary

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 5:00am

I missed an anniversary yesterday.

On September 22, 1862 President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

This was better.

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Policemen’s pension fund

Sun, 09/22/2019 - 5:00am

What is the situation with the city policemen’s pension fund?

As of January 1, 2016 it had an unfunded liability of $179.9 million.

As of January 1, 2018 the unfunded liability had risen to $233.9 million.

This is sad.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Saturday

Sat, 09/21/2019 - 5:00am

What’s on your mind today?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs


by Dr. Radut