We ran this article originally back in June of 2013. To some of us it goes a long way toward explaining the relationship between the Times and the bunch that used to be at the city:
This article in El Diario de El Paso reveals another secret deal that the city has entered into as a part of the city hall destruction.
The city bought part of the Times building for $9.4 million this year.
Then why did the city sign a lease for $4,750 per month in an adjacent part of the Times building for the next eight years last February? The lease has a sweetheart 3% increase every year, so by the time the lease is over the city will have paid more than half a million dollars.
Does the city need the space? If so, why wasn’t it part of the purchase?
I don’t know if the city needs the space or not. What I do know is that the lease was not about space. It was about paying the Times back for parking space at the Union Plaza parking terminal.
The Times needed parking space as part of their move to another building. The city had a parking garage. The Times evidently did not want to pay for the 150 some-odd spaces they needed.
The city charged the Times for the parking spaces. In a separate lease the city agreed to pay the same amount back to the Times for the half million dollar lease space. The deals wash.
The net effect is that the Times is getting free parking for 8 years.
City council feigned lack of knowledge. How can that be? Many of the items that come before council ask to give the city manager authority to negotiate and sign whatever documents are necessary without bringing the deals back to city council.
The Times raised the integrity issue in the current mayoral race when it complained that one of the candidates pulled some of his advertising because he thought his campaign was not being treated fairly.
Now we learn that the city is giving the Times free parking for 8 years. I wonder if that has an effect on their coverage.
We deserve better