Stuck with the quality of life vote?

March 28, 2017

It would appear that we will not be allowed to have an election to revoke permission for issuing the bonds for the arena.

There may be more recent case law, but the most recent case we can find dealing with the issue is the 1932 appeals court case Orr v. Marrs.

In that case the voters approved a bond issue for a school district.  Subsequently three-fourths of the registered voters signed a petition asking that the bonds not be issued.  The school board agreed and issued an order rescinding the vote of the taxpayers.

From the court’s decision:

It is fundamental that voters of a district can only exercise such powers as are conferred by statute, either expressly or by implication. All powers not expressly or by implication conferred are excluded. The power to rescind the former vote for the bond issue not being expressly given by the statute, it may not be, it is believed, reasonably implied. The power to vote on a bond issue implies the power to vote against it, but not to vote to rescind it after it has been regularly authorized.

If the Legislature had intended to grant the right of withdrawal of the vote, it could easily have been expressed.

New laws may have been passed that would allow a vote to rescind a bond vote but we have not been able to find any.

Just don’t issue a contract

At this point it would appear that our only hope of not building the arena is for city council to fail to authorize construction.

If they do nothing the arena will not be built.

That would open up the possibility of a mandamus action that would seek to compel each city representative to vote to approve construction.  A problem there would be that each city representative could vote no on a proposed construction contract if they thought the contract was not in the public’s better interest.

We deserve better


A very “HOT” teacher! says:

March 27, 2017

This came in via the “Your comments” button:

Answers please… can our students in EPISD be expected to do good on the STAAR test when it is above 90° in the classrooms. Can we please take out a loan from Cabrerras generous raise to pay for someone to turn on the air conditioners at our schools for our students?
It would be interesting to see which schools already have air conditioning turned on. Could it be Cabrerra”s childrens schools or our board members favorites?? Wake up people….the preferential treatment is worse now than its ever been.
EPISD students deserve BETTER!

NPR trying to say something

March 26, 2017

We heard a segment on NPR the other day about recent viewership of television programs that feature black actors.

The commentator made a point of letting us know that non-black people watch the programs.  It sounded like this was a surprise to her.

She gave an example of a TV program where over 60% of the viewers were not black.

The percentage of black members in our population is around 13%.

It is not difficult to figure out how the viewers were predominantly not black.

It seems to us that these guys are trying too hard to make issues out of what in fact is normal.

Have we missed something here?

We deserve better


City candidates respond re: the arena

March 25, 2017

Some of the candidates for city council responded to the question that we posted on their FaceBook pages:

Cassandra Hernandez-Brown (district 3):

Brutus, I voted for a Downtown arena in 2012 and I support a DT arena. I will help to ensure that everyone is treated respectfully and fairly. If I can answer a specific question, I am happy to respond.

Jose Plasencia (district 4):

I currently oppose the location of the Arena, I do not believe we should be displacing a community. Also the cost on land acquisition will.cosy over $7 million, and as 3 homeowners have stated they will mot sell which The City would have to use eminent domain which could take years to settle and be a costly court battle. I would like to see the arena placed at Cohen for one it is city owned property in a very underutilized facility, it has easy access to roads, a beautiful view, and has a large amount of space. Knowing that is very unlikely I would support the Arena downtown in a more feasible location that doesn’t require the demolition of a community, there are many locations downtown that the arena can be built.
Apologies for my spelling I am using my phone.
Jud Burgess (district 2):
Hello Brutus. First thing I would try to do is find out if there is a way to revote on the arena altogether. I feel it is a colossal waste of taxpayer $, it will most assuredly not make any money, it will almost guaranteed end up costing us more to build (the baseball stadium went up 50%, from 50 mil to 75 mil), upkeep will cost, it is mainly a tool to fill hotel beds and enrich the power broker in DWNTWN. (see my proposed alternative plan that I’ve been spreading around. link below) I think most El Pasoans are getting wise now that the arena has been in suspended animation. Taxpayer remorse. If we were to find a legal way to put it up for a revote, either presenting a better alternative, like my world-class Latino Cultural Center and taxpayer savings idea, or simply to use the entirety or a portion of the 180 mil for EP infrastructure improvements which is what El Pasoans are all begging for, we can do away with it altogether. Everyone appears to be sticking their collective heads in the sand, not willing to admit this would be a fiscal failure of epic proportions if it gets built, whether it gets done in DWNTWN of Cohen Stadium.
My $120 million idea that saves El Paso $60 million
The unpopular $180,000,000 arena that is quickly becoming a liability for most of El Paso needs to be reconsidered. I propose we consider challenging the arena concept with a much better option favoring the Latino Cultural Center and putting it up for a revote to all El Pasoans this May.
Chat Conversation End
We deserve better

H1B issues

March 24, 2017

We are hearing news stories that our H1B visa program is broken.

Evidently many companies are having trouble finding employees with the skills that they need and are trying to hire workers from foreign countries.

When companies want to hire foreign workers with special skills to come work in the United States, the workers frequently need work visas.

The H1B program is one way to obtain the visas.

While there is talk about the high cost and general scarcity of the H1B visas we are not hearing about why the visas are necessary in the first place.

Why is it that these companies cannot find U.S. citizens to fill these jobs?

Are our young people not willing to learn the skills that the companies are looking for?

Are our universities not teaching what the companies need?

Is it that the companies can pay less money for the foreign employees that they bring over here?

Maybe our readers can help us to understand this issue better.

We deserve better


City sends retirees the bill

March 23, 2017

It looks to us like The El Paso Times does not want Ms. Acosta to win election as mayor of El Paso.

The other day they published a headline article titled “Acosta denied filing claim with city” with the subtitle “Mayoral candidate retired after settlement”.

While the issue raises questions with us about what was done we find it interesting that the Times was essentially silent about her retirement settlement for the last eight years.

Now that she is running for mayor they seem to see the need to make her look bad.

According to the article Ms. Acosta entered into a settlement with the city while she was a department head.  She evidently filed a discrimination claim and the city felt that paying her off was necessary.

Instead of entering into a settlement and paying her with city general funds the people running the city at the time decided to foist the financial damages upon the city employee pension fund.

From what we have been able to learn the city raised her salary for the last thirty days of her employment so that she could draw a larger retirement check from the pension fund.

So much for taking care of the retirees.

We deserve better


EPISD–alternative reality

March 22, 2017

We are now learning that EPISD plans to move their curriculum and instruction department to the old Houston school when they are forced to vacate their central offices at the airport.

Houston currently houses an alternative school that works with students up to 26 years old and with some of the pregnant students.

From what we can glean, the district plans to place the department in two of the three floors of the school leaving the alternative school with one floor.

Word on the street is that neither the school’s principal nor the area school superintendent knew about the move before the news was published in the Times.

It is no wonder that morale among the rank and file at the district is at an all time low.

We deserve better


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