The city would like your input, please give it to them

March 22, 2019

The city is conducting another “Chime In” survey.

This one is focused on next year’s budget.

Take the survey here.

Let them know what you think.

We deserve better

Brutus


Destination El Paso documents some of its failures

March 21, 2019

Only in El Paso!

The city’s Destination El Paso department provided this presentation as part of the backup material for a city council agenda item on the Monday, March 18, 2019 special city council meeting.

The special city council meetings are not well attended by the public so the city likes to handle things that they don’t want us to know about during those meetings.

The topic was a presentation about the results we have been getting out of the department.

One slide showed their measurements for fiscal 2018:

Then they presented their 2019 fiscal year slide.  The fiscal year starts in September.  The end of February would mean that half of the fiscal year had passed.

They point out a 14.6% increase in the number of people that attended conventions and meetings in 2019 over 2018.

What they don’t point out is the 14% drop in income in 2019.  Evidently getting people to meetings is important to them and the money that gets generated is not as important.

Then they tell city council what to expect for the rest of the year:

They show Sun City CRITS (“a premier cycling series”) will have 2,800 in attendance and will generate $1.1 million for the local economy.

RISE cycling symposium will have 2,500 in attendance and will generate $2.2 million.  This will be their inaugural event.  In other words they have never done this before and have no idea what their results will be.

Then they go on to tell us what to expect after this year:

The department did not address what the have for us in 2020 or 2021.  Instead they tell us that in 2022 they think some things will happen.  Add up the numbers, they aren’t very good.

Then they drop this slide on city council:

In the private sector changes would be made.  This however is El Paso.

We deserve better

Brutus


EPISD–changing the game

March 20, 2019

The EPISD board of trustees is having a board workshop on Monday, March 25, 2019.

The purpose of the workshop?

(To discuss Board Policy ELA [Local] which would allow the District to authorize partnerships with eligible entities/organizations to provide innovative schooling options for students)

Here is their proposed definition of a partnership:

A PARTNERSHIP MEANS A DISTRICT-AUTHORIZED CAMPUS CHARTER ESTABLISHED IN ACCORDANCE WITH STATE LAW
IN WHICH THE BOARD CONTRACTS TO OPERATE A DISTRICT CAMPUS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH AN OTHER ELIGIBLE ENTITY AS
DEFINED BY LAW.

They do propose to limit who they can partner up with:

THE DISTRICT SHALL PARTNER WITH  NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES, AND INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION.  THE DISTRICT SHALL NOT CONSIDER APPLICATIONS FROM CHARTER SCHOOLS.

This is a game changer.

We deserve better

Brutus


Taking a chance

March 19, 2019

On the city council agenda for Tuesday, March 19, 2019 we have this resolution:

From the RISE web site:

With the inaugural event in June 2019, RISE has developed an innovative approach to identifying, developing and nurturing cycling talent in athletes of all ages and from all athletic disciplines.

Our overarching goal is to help these athletes become cyclists for life, and to help them achieve their personal cycling goals through the development of life skills, creation of a collaborative network of cycling experts, and improve athletic performance on the bike.

This is their inaugural event, yes the first time they have done this.

Evidently wanting to get in on a good thing the city is promising to pay the group $435,000 and to host the event for five years.

This might turn out to be a good thing but no one knows for certain.  In particular we don’t know if we will want the company or the participants to come back after the first year.

By the way the city promised to do this back in November we are only learning about the money this week.

We deserve better

Brutus

 


EPISD–please learn to follow the rules

March 18, 2019

Does the EPISD board of trustees do anything right?

The snippet below is taken from the bottom of a recent application to be placed on the election ballot for a district representative:

Notice that the bottom portion is “TO BE COMPLETED BY CITY SECRETARY OR SECRETARY OF THE BOARD”.

Who is the secretary of the board?  From the latest board meeting minutes that they have gotten around to publishing:

Ms. Carrasco is neither the city secretary nor the secretary of the board of trustees.

Do these people even know that there are laws controlling what they do and how they do it?

In this case Texas Election code 144.004.

We deserve better

Brutus


El Paso Times subscription costs

March 17, 2019

This came in from a loyal reader:

 

Got my subscription [for the El Paso Times)] renewal  invoice in the mail yesterday:  $469.20.

 

I called the 800 number and spoke to JV.  He thanked me for being a long time subscriber (he insisted he was in El Paso, but sounded a lot like he was in Calcutta).  I said that I hoped the bill was for a five-year renewal period, but he replied that it was only for a year.

 

I pointed out that I paid $260 in 2016, $261 in 2017, and $330 in 2018.  I then asked to speak to someone with authority.

 

After a short pause to check, JV told me that he will send a new invoice for $336.

 

Candidly, the main reason I subscribe to the Times is that they deliver my Wall Street Journal.


Your turn

March 16, 2019

It’s Saturday so it’s your turn.

Brutus


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