Why did they publish this?

February 16, 2020

The February 9-15, 2020 issue of El Paso Inc. had an interview with our first city manager.

They wrote:

Then came … a $44 million ballot item for a new ballpark that more than 70% of voters supported…

Not true

The voters were never asked to approve a ballpark.  They were asked to approve using hotel occupancy taxes to pay for it.  If the voters declined approval the bill would have been added to our property taxes.  This is what we voted on:

VENUE PROJECT AND HOTEL OCCUPANCY TAX PROPOSITION

“AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF EL PASO, TEXAS, TO DESIGNATE THE MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL STADIUM PROJECT AS A SPORTS AND COMMUNITY VENUE PROJECT WITHIN THE CITY IN ACCORDANCE WITH APPLICABLE LAW AND TO IMPOSE A TAX ON THE OCCUPANCY OF A ROOM IN A HOTEL LOCATED WITHIN THE CITY, AT THE MAXIMUM RATE OF TWO PERCENT (2%) OF THE PRICE PAID FOR SUCH ROOM, FOR THE PURPOSE OF FINANCING SUCH VENUE PROJECT.”

Wrong amount

The Inc’s $44 million number is not true either.

Back in August of 2015 we wrote Latest ballpark numbers and showed our portion of the cost to be over $64 million.

The Inc reporter has been around a long time.

Why would he blatantly misstate the facts?

We deserve better

Brutus


Open line Saturday

February 15, 2020

It’s Saturday.

What’s on your mind?

We deserve better

Brutus


Penny plan

February 14, 2020

In 2018 local voters approved a “penny swap” program for EPISD that transferred money from the debt service budget into the operations and maintenance budget.

What would happen if we implemented a “penny plan” with our city budget?

Such a plan would cut real spending by one penny out of every dollar that our city government spent the year before.

We deserve better

Brutus


Spread the wealth–locally

February 13, 2020

In Thinking that money grows on trees we saw that the city spent $750,000 on those things that have sprouted up on Airways.

They call it public art.

Without getting into a discussion about whether we should spend money on public art, or another discussion about how much we should spend (currently 2% of city capital spending), maybe we should talk about how we spend the money that we have allocated for public art.

Wouldn’t our community have been better off if the $750,000 had been broken apart into smaller projects commissioned with local artists?

Let’s say they had broken the money up into ten $75,000 projects.

We would have public art in more places and we would have supported ten locals.

We deserve better

Brutus

 


Call for articles

February 12, 2020

In the past readers have sent us articles that they feel deserve the attention of the followers of this blog.

We take this opportunity to remind everyone that we would enjoy posting guest articles as long as they are civil and are not personal attacks on individuals.

We deserve better

Brutus


Strange words

February 11, 2020

I was listening to a presentation the other day where two economists were interviewed about the short term future of our economy.

Each was an adviser in  a presidential administration, one democrat and the other republican.

I heard both of these economists, who might properly be categorized as one liberal and the other conservative, refer to tax cuts as “incentives”.

When did government not taking money from us become an incentive to us?

We deserve better

Brutus


Saddling our kids with debt

February 10, 2020

It looks like EPISD is going to sell that last of the 2016 bonds.

Note that they expect to have them paid off in the year 2048.

Today’s 17 year old high school senior will be 45 years old.

We deserve better

Brutus


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