Good start

September 22, 2018

It seems that we now have a city representative who is trying to help the citizens.

From the Tuesday, September 18, 2018 city council agenda:

30.3. Discussion and action to request that the City Manager direct staff to provide a presentation and update to City Council on any and all resources, actions, and current plans to mitigate the traffic congestion on Mesa Street and other arterials affected by the GO 10 infrastructure reconstruction project, to include impact on the Sun Metro Brio program.
 
  Representative Cissy Lizarraga, (915) 212-0008

This is better.

Brutus


Its time to fix this

September 21, 2018

The ongoing problem of excessive overtime at the police department is in the news again.  The KVIA published this piece  after this El Paso Times article came out

The KVIA piece points out the case of a sergeant that made over $60,000 per (each) year in overtime in both 2015 and 2016.

This is simply poor management.  The department has a lot of “brass” (lieutenants and above) on the payroll.  Either they are playing favorites, or they are not paying attention.

Most of us can understand the need for some overtime.  Unfortunately there are individuals that are gaming the system and their bosses are not stepping in.

We deserve better

Brutus


Just plain dumb

September 20, 2018

Can this be true?

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According to the Examiner, O’Rourke’s campaign had rented out a Veteran of Foreign Affairs Hall for a campaign rally in Navasota, TX, and requested that the VFW Post 4006 Commander Carl Dry take down the American flags in his building ahead of the event.

From the Navasota Examiner:

“I do not normally attend rental events, but I attended Saturday to make sure things ran smoothly,” said Dry, who noted there were only two requests he could not allow at the VFW Post. “They wanted to open the doors (to the Flight Deck Lounge) and I couldn’t allow that and they wanted to take the flags down, I didn’t only say no, I said hell no, you don’t take the flags off the wall. I can’t believe any American would ask us to do that and I don’t know why he wanted them down or what he was going to put up instead.”

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We deserve better

Brutus


A note from Dylan Corbett

September 19, 2018

Mr. Dylan Corbett is running for city council district eight.

He responded to our invitation to send in a post.

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Dylan Corbett is running to be El Paso’s City Representative for District 8.

 

Anyone familiar with local El Paso politics today is overwhelmed by a dreadful feeling of intractability.

Whatever the issue, we’re consumed with backbiting and the inability to find common ground, and it feel like we’re just a day or two away from backsliding.

There are problems aplenty.

No one can deny that our roads and infrastructure are in less than great shape.

Our exploding debt tops out at over two billion dollars, more than Austin and Fort Worth. Crippling budget overruns for Quality of Life projects are the order of the day. Property owners and renters are paying a higher percentage of the city’s budget, an unsustainable prospect for the veteran, retired couple and young family our city needs.

Now that our population has flatlined and the gold standard of economic development has become Top Golf, the promise downtown redevelopment held that El Paso would attract investment and living wage jobs is on shakier ground.

The crisis we face, however, is not financial but one of leadership. Our current political class is straitjacketed by a narrow vision of development, one that privileges short term gains over sustainability and political job security over the common good.

Some of our elected leaders have been corrupted not so much with money as by overly cozy relationships with developers eager to advance private agendas. Their disconnectedness has been funded by low voter turnout. Our city council is overwhelmed by a city manager more intent on burnishing his resume than on laying the foundations of stable growth that will benefit our children. And subtle racism and dismissive attitudes have generated self-inflicted political wounds like the Duranguito and Mexican American Cultural Center fiascos.

Our city’s destiny shouldn’t be small horizons and endless knife fights over checks signed years ago. What is needed is humble leadership to bring our residents together to address the challenges of tomorrow.

We need new revenues to fund our core commitments, but that will require building a sustainable economy for the long-term. We can rethink the meaning of quality of life, build on our unique strengths as a border community, leverage our assets like our open space, and invest in our historic communities south of the highway.

We also need to overcome ancient rivalries that continue to poison our democracy. To do that we’ll need compromise and dialogue with all our city’s residents but we also have to address the real problems of injustice, prejudice and inequality that still grease the wheels of our economy and politics.

Politicians lose their legitimacy when they’re no longer able to compromise. And when they’ve become indifferent to the community.

The good thing is that none of our problems are really intractable. We just need to vote for leaders up to the challenge.

 

 


EPISD–a parent’s comments

September 18, 2018

A loyal reader sent this in:

I simply must express my deep disappointment with EPISD’s instructional technology.  I’m a parent with one still in EPISD.  I have expressed concern about the technology with my AP, but things don’t get fixed.
Technology is fragmented:  My HS student and I use too many different online services.  Teacher specific websites with notes (mostly on Weebly), Schoolology and online textbooks, 3rd party smart phone apps like Remind used by some but not all teachers, Parent Portal for grades and attendance, services like https://www.commonlit.org/ for an English class, emails from teachers with handouts/policies (one attachment per email due to EPISD rules means my inbox is flooded with emails and attachments vs. those being housed and organized online), plus more.  Can’t this school district get a single integrated online learning system like Canvas or Blackboard? If not, then something else but this fragmentation of learning supports must end.
The free computers are starting to break.  But when they do, the family is charged for repairs like broken screens.  Well, kids do need to be careful with their belongings and pay for negligence.  But, accidents do happen and I wonder why families must insure the equipment at their cost (about $200 for a repair of a two year old laptop I think).  I tend to think that if a child is required to carry a laptop then the authority who required such is responsible for upkeep and replacement; the child doesn’t have money and parent didn’t make a decision to issue laptops; this was an EIPSD decision.  I wonder what happens when a family can’t afford the fee to fix a broken laptop.  I’m not against technology, but this computer centric initiative was rolled-out without enough thought.
Finally, and this isn’t a total technology issue, the active learning really is not working – listen up EPISD – I’m telling you that active learning, no matter how good in theory, is not working.  You are hurting some kids with this ill conceived approach.

The Wizard

Constitution day

September 17, 2018

September 17 is Constitution Day.

On September 17, 1787 the delegates to the constitutional convention signed their finished document.

We hope that our teachers will take a moment to explain this to their students.

Originally the Constitution had seven articles.  Articles 1, 2, and 3 described the powers and working of the three branches of government.

We hope that our citizens will take a moment to remind our elected officials that the Constitution exists.

We deserve better

Brutus

 


What’s this about?

September 16, 2018

It seems that one of our city representatives wants at least one of our city facilities to pay for itself.

From the Tuesday, September 18, 2018 city council agenda:

30.4. Discussion and action to direct the City Manager and City Attorney to draft an ordinance requiring the end user of the Eastside Sports Complex to be charged a fee no less than the amount needed for operations, maintenance and capital improvement of the park, not covered by the PID & TIRZ and to tie the collection of the fees to the existence of the PID & TIRZ.
 
  Representative Michiel Noe, (915) 212-0005

 

It would be nice if we could get him to pay attention to the situation over at Sun Metro and maybe while he’s at it he could require that the proposed arena pay for itself.

We deserve better.

Brutus


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