Don’t look

Doing research for some recent posts I went to the city website to read minutes of the Downtown Development Corporation (DDC) meetings.

The DDC is a legal maneuver that city council used to facilitate building our ball park.  It is city council under a different name.

The DDC has published agendas for January 8,  May 28,  June 18,  August 1, and October 15 of 2013 and March 17 of 2015.

Minutes are available for the first two meetings.  Who said what during the meetings where this bond mess was created is information that is not available to us.

Members of council are now telling us that they did not know how bad the situation was.  They say they were never told.

I suppose videos would be out of the question.

We deserve better.

Brutus

 

 

14 Responses to Don’t look

  1. Judy Maddox says:

    FROM: private no name please, Brutus. Mother Superior, FYI YOU CAN REQUEST A verbatim transcript of the meeting. It was taped and you have the date. You will get every mmmm cough and who said what. Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  2. hunty wood says:

    what ive been doing is emailing the office of Ken Paxton the new tx atty general. i think local officials are breaking the law section of the services his office will look into is the one to click on. ive emailed them so much they have to be interested. if all of you email his office, they will prolly come down and request an audit.

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  3. Reality Checker says:

    The Norton Rose Fulbright law firm has probably made a nice sum of money advising the city on all these bond offerings and financial structurings. So much for the idea of keeping money in our local economy.

    Did council and city management use our money to pay this law firm to tell them how to take taxpayers out of the decision process on the ballpark?

    Was a Dallas firm used to eliminate the risk of local people finding out about the some of city management’s and council’s maneuverings?

    When a law firm represents a city, does the law firm have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the interests of the taxpayers of that city and not simply cater to the agenda of city manatement and public officials?

    Do the current financial problems associated with the ballpark mean that we got bad advice from firms that advised the city on the ballpark bonds?

    Was Norton Rose Fulbright also involved in the drafting of the ballpark lease agreement between Mountainstar and the city?

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  4. Helen Marshall says:

    So many questions come to mind – When was this DDC created – specifically for the ballpark? With legal advice from our esteemed attorney’s office? Do other cities in Texas have such a shell corporation?

    Anyone know a good investigative journalist?

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  5. Man in the Moon says:

    Brutus make an open records request for the information you are looking for. Also maybe ask your CC member for the information.
    As for CC members claiming they were not told how bad it was this is their incompetence, it was their job to know. Then again all we have to do is look at how the CC reacted to being told ,by the city manager, that they had budget problems and tax short falls.They did not want to hear the truth and claimed it was all just nothing more than fear mongering on the part of the city manager and his staff. Speaks volumes to their claims of being left in the dark to important issues facing El Paso. They either really do not want to know or they were just plain lazy take your pick.
    Oh, I know they get to use their get out of jail free card, it was the city manager’s fault they were not told and were kept in the dark. ;o)

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    • Helen Marshall says:

      I remember progressive Susie Byrd leading the pack to overturn the Historic Landmarks unanimous decision not to allow the demolition of the Muir Building and then claiming she had no choice as Borderplex REIT had shown it was too expensive to rehab..i.e., she took the word of the REIT rather than do ANY research to find out what the actual costs might be…..and Steverino was only too glad to support her…and another Trost building bit the dust. Two years later, still nothing but a hole in the ground.

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  6. Reality Checker says:

    You are seeing more and more special entities formed to obscure, mislead and manipulate. They are also used to move money around in ways that skirt laws and play financial games. EPISD’s board of managers has formed a special purpose entity so that it can unilaterally commit taxpayers to tens of millions of dollars to build the new administrative Taj Mahal without voter approval.

    One organization that mastered the use of special purpose entities and special purpose vehicles was Enron. If you want an education in the subject, read “The Smartest Guys In The Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron”. We have some people here who also think they are the smartest among us and that they can do whatever they please. They are behaving with the same hubris of Enron executives and they are leading us down the same path.

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    • Sad El Pasoan says:

      Great analogy! What is the attorney general and our district attorney waiting for?

      Like

      • Reality Checker says:

        If you look at when governments started its heavy use of SPEs and SPVs, it’s obvious that they got the idea from Enron.

        Here are two quotes from a link below:

        “Although the use of state SPEs is not inherently wrongful, they have a greater potential to be abused in public finance than in corporate finance. Several factors contribute to this aggravated potential. Reduced transparency of state SPEs, like corporate SPEs, can undermine financial integrity. Unlike corporate SPEs, however, reduced transparency of state SPEs can also undermine constitutional and democratic legitimacy. Moreover, state SPEs are more likely to be misused than corporate SPEs because public finance is more susceptible than corporate finance to monitoring failures.

        “the full obligations at the state and local entities, including the public SPEs, will have a noticeable impact on the internal economic structure of the United States in the coming twenty-five years.”

        If you find this troubling, read these two things:

        http://volokh.com/2011/10/05/the-use-and-abuse-of-special-purpose-entities-in-public-finance/

        http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1927253

        This is the abstract of the second article. It speaks more to state level financing, but the same issues and concerns are relevant at the local level.

        States increasingly are raising financing indirectly through special-purpose entities (SPEs), variously referred to as authorities, special authorities, or public authorities. Notwithstanding their long history and increasingly widespread use, relatively little is known or has been written about these entities. This article examines state SPEs and their functions, comparing them to SPEs used in corporate finance. States, even more than corporations, use these entities to reduce financial transparency and avoid public scrutiny, seriously threatening the integrity of public finance.

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  7. Jerry K says:

    “Members of council are now telling us that they did not know how bad the situation was.”
    —————————————————————-
    Who is saying that?

    Like

  8. Deputy Dawg says:

    Perhaps we can move this El Paso Earthcam indoors to wherever the committee meets: http://www.earthcam.com/usa/texas/elpaso/?cam=elpaso

    Like

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