Skip to Content

ElPasoSpeak

Syndicate content elpasospeak
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 40 sec ago

Citizen led bond election

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 5:00am

The slide below was part of a recent special city council presentation.

Take a look at item 15

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Follow up on campaign event costs

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 5:14am

Back on April 29 ABC-7 reported that our city government had billed the Trump campaign $470,417.05 for services rendered during the president’s recent campaign event in El Paso.

They further reported:

ABC-7 is continuing to obtain more documents on the cost of President Trump’s rally, as well as Beto O’Rourke’s campaign kick-off event in March.

Has anyone heard anything?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Six sigma failed this time

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 5:00am

The mailer below arrived in my mailbox Tuesday, May 14, 2019.

It has the 2018 garbage holiday schedule.

How could this happen?

Did the post office deliver them six months late?

Did someone at the city just spend a bunch of money for mailing and printing and not bother to look at what was being sent?

Did the printer make the mistake?

How much did this cost the customers?

Will someone be held accountable?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Runoff election day

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 5:00am

The runoff elections have been scheduled for Saturday, June 15, 2019.

We deserve better.

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Someone isn’t thinking

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 5:00am

Take a look at this picture:

The red letters to the left say “Emergency Walk In Entrance” and point to the staircase under the walkway.

The red rectangular sign on the right points to the emergency room entrance up a flight of stairs.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

 

Categories: Local Blogs

Saturday

Sat, 05/18/2019 - 5:00am

It’s Saturday so the blog is open to your thoughts.

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

EPISD voting

Fri, 05/17/2019 - 5:00am

Evidently you do not have to live in district 7 of EPISD in order to be a board member representing that district.

In the spirit of the situation would it be ok for those of us who live in other districts to go ahead and vote in the upcoming district 7 runoff?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Scare tactics

Thu, 05/16/2019 - 5:00am

The Times reports that the city chief financial officer is suggesting that the city close public swimming pools, libraries, and recreation centers next year to help balance the budget.

Enough!

Evidently he feels that we cannot afford to operate these facilities.  Yet the city continues to spend money developing new properties like splash parks, cultural centers, arenas and other such things.

Build then close

Will they close these new facilities too right after we build them.

If we don’t have enough money to operate what we have then we certainly should not be building more.

Personally, I don’t believe that he is serious.  Instead I think that he is just a front man trying to justify a coming property tax increase.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Charles O’Hara road

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 5:00am

The Tuesday, May 14, 2019 city council agenda has an item on it seeking approval of a resolution that indicates the city’s support for four road projects.

One of them is a project that would connect loop 375 to NM404 at I-10, through what we call the Anthony gap.

The slide evidently came from the Texas department of transportation.

If built the bypass would allow 18 wheelers to bypass I-10 through the city.

This would be better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

BRIO situation

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 5:00am

Can this be excused or somehow be explained away?

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

EPISD graduation ceremonies on Memorial Day

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 5:00am

Dan Wever sent this in:

  • Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. In other words, the purpose of Memorial Day is to memorialize the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

He asks “Why did the EPISD schedule 3 graduations on this day?”

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Battle of the bulge

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

What will our local governments do if our state legislature puts a cap on how much they can raise taxes from one year to another?

Look for them to start charging more fees  to use facilities that we already own.

The city has been quite successful in moving fees over to the water department and thus increasing our monthly bills.

We are now seeing charges being imposed on the use of facilities that we financed with the so called quality of life bonds.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Open line Saturday

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

It’s open line Saturday.

Let us hear what’s on your mind.

We deserve better.

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Next danger point for Lost Dog

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

Congratulations to the supporters of Lost Dog.

As we know the election will force city council to pass an ordinance that protects the area from development.

City council can in the future pass a new ordinance that would override the ordinance thus making the land available for development.

The city council representatives are not likely to do this from fear that overriding the initiative  ordinance will hurt their chances for re-election.

The next regular city council election will be in 2020.  Three of our current city representatives will not be eligible for election but will sit in office until new members are sworn in, so they could vote for a new ordinance between the election and swearing in day.

The period between the next election and when the winners take office is the most dangerous.

If the four city representatives that are scheduled for re-election in 2020 get re-elected they could vote to override the ordinance with no fear of hurting their chances for re-election.  Why?  They can only serve two terms.  If they get re-elected they cannot be elected yet another time so fear of public backlash will be minimized–they cannot run again and thus the voters don’t matter.  Combine those four with the three that will be lame ducks and you have seven representatives that can vote without hurting their chances.  They simply have to have the vote between election day and the day new members are sworn in.

City council members can still be recalled but  now it will  the signatures of 20% of the people who are eligible to vote in that district in order to call a recall election.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

One last chance?

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 5:00am

Get ready for local government tax increases this year.

There are bills being considered in the Texas legislature that would restrict the percentage of increase local governments could add to their tax rates.

Right now most local governments (not the school districts since many of them are already at their maximum rates) can increase their tax rate by around 8% every year without triggering a roll back election.

The new bills would restrict that growth.  It seems that one bill being considered would limit their increase to 3.5% per year, once again without triggering an election.

The situation has our locals concerned.  Reducing costs does not appear to be something that they want to do.

With the threat of a 3.5% cap being imposed on them don’t be surprised if they take what might be their last opportunity and hit us with an 8% increase this year.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Penny swap or dime increase?

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 5:20am

There is a problem with the “penny swap” that the voters approved for EPISD.

Quite simply there is not enough money now being generated by the interest and sinking fund (I&S) rate to pay EPISD’s debts.

Last year the voters approved reducing the I&S rate by 10 cents per hundred dollars of property valuation and increasing the maintenance and operations rate the same amount (M&O) thus leaving the combined rate the same as the previous year.

Then since the district did not have enough money to make their bond payments (I&S) they took money out of an existing fund balance.  In short they took our I&S money over a period of years and did not pay down all of the debt they could, thus creating a fund and increasing our borrowing costs.

You can see that the new I&S tax rate only generated $29 million.  They needed $40.1 million to pay their debt payments.

What they did was reduce their fund balance from $30 million to $18.9 million.  They can probably do this again next year but then they will run out of money.

They cannot take the money from their maintenance and operations fund.

The Texas attorney general ruled last year that:

“Districts do not have authority to increase the maintenance and operations tax rate to create a surplus to pay debt service
with maintenance and operations tax revenue. See TEX. TAX CODE § 26.012(16) (defining “maintenance and operations” as “any lawful purpose other than debt service for which a taxing unit may spend property tax revenues” (emphasis added)).”

The net result is that the district will have to raise the I&S rate either this year or next.

The voters got hoodwinked.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

 

 

Categories: Local Blogs

Distress

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 5:00am

This picture was sent to us recently.

The homeowner has chosen to fly our flag upside down.

It is not illegal but it sure does cause me to have a visceral reaction.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Is there something else here?

Mon, 05/06/2019 - 8:11am

The El Paso Times published a report on April 26, 2019 that informed us that over a month earlier an El Paso businessman and government board member had had an emotional meltdown over a failing relationship with his girlfriend.

The report was a step by step, almost minute by minute, accounting of what seems to have happened.

It seems odd that the Times would pick up on a personal matter that had happened over a month before publishing their article.  Was this the work of someone who wanted to put the person in a bad light.

It is also odd to me that the Times would go into such detail about the incident when they provide only the most superficial coverage of local government meetings.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Billing the campaigns

Sun, 05/05/2019 - 5:00am

According to this ABC-7 report our President’s re-election campaign has been billed $470,417.05 by the city.

This is the breakdown:

The ABC-7 I-Team obtained the 29-page invoice from the City of El Paso that details the costs incurred which totals $470,417.05.

The city’s invoice bills Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. It is broken down by reimbursement owed across six departments:

  • Department of Aviation: $6,286.57
  • Fire Department: $60,630.84
  • Health Department: $528
  • Streets & Maintenance: $6,452
  • Sun Metro: $15,577.52
  • Police Department: $380,942.12

According to the report the bill has not been paid.

I wonder what the city billed our former congressman for his event that was held at the same time.

I hesitate to publish this post from fear that the comments will turn into a flood of candidate bashing.  Please don’t.

My recollection is that we have only had to delete a few comments in the past years of publishing.

We deserve better

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs

Vote please

Sat, 05/04/2019 - 5:00am

It’s Saturday so let us know what is on your mind.

Please go vote first.  Voting is an effective way of speaking your mind.

Brutus

Categories: Local Blogs


by Dr. Radut