Not their kind of sports

December 7, 2016

Once again our city has found a way to run off a good thing.

The El Paso Border Youth Athletic Association (EPBYA) is an established non-profit organization that has been creating educational and developmental opportunities for children through athletics for a number of years.

They have been trying to negotiate with the city to locate some of their programs at Cohen stadium for years–back to the time of our former city manager.

The group is not asking for handouts.  They are willing to pay the bills.

The Cohen stadium plan included setting up a national youth world series baseball facility that would have brought talent from all over the country to play at Cohen stadium.

After years of trying to work with the city EPBYA has decided to move on.  They are now working with our county government to use improve Gallegos park in Canutillo.

Take a few moments to examine the association’s web page.  Their program called “The Base” is a 14,000 square foot indoor facility of batting cages and pitching tunnels right here in El Paso.  The facility does not cost the taxpayers a dime.

I guess the city thinks that they only have room for tax payer supported, for profit, sports.

We deserve better


State funding of public schools

December 6, 2016

This came in from Mr. Tim Holt:

The article explains much about the way schools are financed in Texas.

We deserve better


Naming names

December 5, 2016

Weeks after the story about the $2.9 million payment made on behalf of the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA) came to light the El Paso Times has finally printed the name of the CRRMA employee involved.

It would not have been hard to do that earlier since the authority only has one employee.  Word around town is that the Times did not want to tarnish the reputation of one of its protected ones.

Now we know that the employee in question is Raymond L. Telles.

The board of the CRRMA consists of these members:

Susan A. Melendez

Joseph D. Wardy

Les Parker

Joe R. Fernandez

David C. Nemir

Yolanda Giner

Martha Y. Reyes

If you know any of these individuals you might want to tell them what you think about the loss of $2.9 million.

We deserve better


No time for transparency

December 4, 2016

We wrote Checking your work two weeks ago and pointed out that the Sun Metro web site was not showing their Mass Transit Board’s agendas or minutes.

The Mass Transit Board is composed entirely of city council members.

As of today the problem still has not been fixed.

We know as a fact that members of city council read this blog.  Have they ignored the problem or are they trying to hide something?

Would someone be kind enough to call Sun Metro?  They list 915/212-3333 as their phone number.

We deserve better


A tax increase for the refinery?

December 3, 2016

Dan Wever brings up an interesting point:

Something I do not understand.  Looking through some old records I have, I found that the EPISD paid Western Refining Company  $5,432,688.29 in June of 2013.  This was a payment that a lawsuit Western Refining won required the EPISD to pay back taxes that had been collected for them.    I tried to find out the whole story in the newspapers but only found that is 2014 the company was evaluated at 1.8 billion and the company said that this was way out of line and was suing again.  Then last week we were told the company had been sold for 6.4 Billion. 
I wonder just how much tax money was lost because of the court and appraisal people’s inability to evaluate this company’s proper tax rate.   
All of the taxing entities should go back to court and try and get their millions of dollars back that they  had to repay since 2008.  Also, we should look at the payments to the Company in Austin that does this type of appraisal and try to get our money back, something like $340,000 a year. 
What am I missing on this deal?
Western owned several refineries and many operations.  Tesoro paid $6.4 billion for more than just the El Paso Refinery.  The deal undoubtedly also included compensation for future profits.
I doubt that any of the taxing entities will be able to re-open the old lawsuit.  It has been settled.

That having been said we should hope that there is a way to look under the covers of this deal between two publicly traded companies.  The corporate lawyers and accountants have probably done a good job of combining the numbers so that it will be hard to tell what they valued the El Paso refinery at.  Then again they may have slipped up.

Any increase in taxable value of the refinery will probably only benefit the taxing entities in future years.

In A dollar here, a dollar there we wrote about a current school board member’s inability to do some simple arithmetic.  She had written that an increase in the refinery’s value from $280 million to over a billion dollars was “about a 200% increase”.

We deserve better


City debt

December 2, 2016

I guess that I should be proud to be thinking similarly to Rich Write over at,  The link should take you to an article he posted on November 28, 2016.  The post below was written on November 26 but was not scheduled to be posted until today:

The Texas comptroller keeps track of each city’s debt.

This clip came from the comptroller’s web site last week:


It tells us that from 2005 to 2014 our per capita debt increased by 83.9%.

Quality of life bonds

We probably should expect that with the $470 million or so of quality of life bonds that we approved.



The comptroller’s analysis shows the quality of life bonds substantially unissued.

We deserve better



Coronado High School stadium

December 1, 2016

Someone just told me that the plans to rebuild Coronado High School include building a new stadium to replace the old one.

Can anyone enlighten us?

We deserve better


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