A few suggestions for city council

Put us on a road to fix our economic problems.

  • El Paso has the 5th highest property taxes of the nation’s 50 largest cities
  • According to a December 8, 2015 El Paso Times article:
    • The economies of El Paso and Las Cruces are performing poorly compared to many other cities across the country, according to the latest Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities rankings.El Paso’s economy ranked No. 121 on the list of 200 large metro areas, compared to No. 53 last year — one of the biggest drops among 200 large metro areas, according to the 2015 rankings released Tuesday.

 

 Stop the luxuries and fix our necessities.

It is absolute madness to consider building a downtown arena when our streets are crumbling.  We have facilities that are good enough, not great, but what we can afford.  Bring the quality of life bonds back to the voters to see if they still want to spend the money in light of what they have seen coming out of the city.

 

Build trust.

We have city representatives that helped to create the mess at the city.  Now they are lying to try to cover up their complicity.  Matters that the public deserves to know about are hidden in executive session.  The city frequently does what it can to frustrate open records requests by stalling and improperly redacting documents.

 

Work with us.

The El Paso Independent School District central office is on land that it leases from the city.  The city wants the land.  We are told that moving the central office will cost us in excess of $40 million.  This does not have to happen.

 

Face up to nature.

The city has assigned the responsibility of managing storm water to our water utility.  They avoided a tax increase by moving the costs out of the city’s general fund and making the water utility increase our bills.  Now we have a utility that seems to think that by spending our money they can solve the problem of water running off the mountain.  We are spending money to fight nature.

 

Stop the Brio.

The Mesa rapid transit corridor is a failure at this point.  Bus ridership is down even after spending $27.1 million on the system.  The Brio stops are expensive, unnecessary, and inconvenient.

Next the city wants to spend $35.1 to build a Brio Alameda rapid transit corridor.  If the goal is to provide more frequent service the city would do better to add more regular buses to the routes.  The regular buses can stop at our current bus stops giving them a definite advantage over the Brio buses that stop only at the much further apart Brio stops.

Each Sun Metro passenger costs us about three dollars.  Average revenue per passenger is 54 cents.

We subsidize Sun Metro with a 1/2 % addition to our sales tax.  That should bring over $41 million to the system this year.

The massive expansion of our public transit system that they are executing may make sense eventually.  In the mean time we have necessities that need to be paid for.

 

Buy local.

Relations between local suppliers and the city are horrible at best.  Purchasing is unfair to the point that many local vendors will not even bid.  The city cancels contracts with vendors that are performing well just because someone at the city wants to give the money to someone else.  Purchasing issues requests for proposals that are expensive to respond to and after getting legitimate responses cancels the procurement.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

 

 

9 Responses to A few suggestions for city council

  1. Anonymous says:

    brio….is a waste of money….and sun metro is getting rid of routes which are faster from westside to downtown to make people take the brio. it doesn’t matter how dark they tint the windows…you can see most buses empty or very few….but First Transit is a joke…there is no cost savings having the “management” outsourced. it’s a known fact Joyce regretted outsourcing when all Sun Metro needed to fix the “meltdown” was money for new buses!

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  2. Y Que! says:

    Unfortunately, all the blogging, commenting, and hand wringing from the usual suspects commenting here and on other blog sites isn’t going to matter one bit in the grand scheme of local politics. El Paso needs a grand awakening from its voters to make informed decisions and vote accordingly. How to make this happen? Anyone with an idea because, in this community, the one-party dominance of local politics is what’s the root cause of our ills and breaking that hold is near impossible. As they would say in Mexico, “Ganale al PRI”. Here it’s “Ganale a los democratas.”

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    • Fair & Balanced says:

      You had me until you blamed it all on Democrats. Hunt, Foster and many of the usual suspects who are calling the shots, controlling city council, and benefitting from taxpayer-funded projects like the ballpark are Republicans, so members of both parties are to blame.

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  3. Judy Maddox says:

    Interesting that little ole Frisco Texas has drawn the ENTIRE DALLAS COWBOY COMPLEX practice field executive offices etc. Oh wait they are building a two tower complex for 7,000 people coming from California with Toyota and an office complex for a medical technology group. Great schools and decent government and projects completed on time. Makes you wonder what is wrong with our City County and School government. Duh!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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    • RE: comments from Judy Maddox. How in the world can you, in your wildest dreams, try to compare what happens in the Metroplex to El Paso?! Of course they can attract big new business! They are in the Metroplex, where lots of big business already exists! That’s like comparing apples and kumquats!

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  4. brownfield says:

    Buy local? Why? El Paso business practice is corrupt and has been since forever. Look at local campaign donations and then “connect the dots” to the local procurement trough. I find it stunning that the biggest crybabies about high taxes tend to gorge themselves with tax dollars at every opportunity.

    Forget buying local and instead close the local government procurement offices and contract it out…why not? they want to privatize it all anyway. Maybe it will be like the parking deals in the old vegas casinos…the provider would have to pay off the hotel to get the concession. Trickle down corruption ! In this case the contracting office would be closed and someone like oh I dont know…let’s say Hunter Foster group would actually pay to do the procurement work for the taxpayer. Its efficient..and it cuts out the “bribes” to the middle men…better known as your elected officials.

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  5. Helen Marshall says:

    One comment: the Brio system is NOT a massive expansion of our public transport system. It is a hugely expensive DUPLICATION, and having WiFi onboard hardly justifies it! As you note, if we REALLY want to improve public transportation options, add more buses! Run the buses at night so people don’t have to drive to events downtown (which would reduce the need for sprawling parking lots or expensive parking garages…or calling Uber). A Brio bus that stops at 6 pm on Saturday and does not run at all on Sunday is of zero use to me.

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  6. Here Here! Our elected officials don’t seem to understand that, just because they have the money, THEY DON’T HAVE TO SPEND IT! We would much rather have working roads (or roads that don’t tilt at an angle) than another piece of art work installed somewhere in the city!

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  7. Brutus, you deserve a great, big “Attaboy!” I am with you all the way down the line! And, I would add: Stop the Trolley to nowhere right now. Didn’t Representative Pickett warn us that use of all that State money all at once, on this one project, may well affect our chances of getting more money for something else? Wouldn’t we be better served in getting our terrible streets repaired? Hasn’t anyone noticed the proliferation of new potholes associated with our recent winter weather? Let’s try the KISS method for a while, and dump the failed City Manager thing at the same time.

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