Blame city council, not the city manager

Some have said that the city manager and his crew did the wrong thing in trying to foist an issuance of 40 million dollars of certificates of obligation primarily in order to fund shortfalls in the quality of life project funding.

Watching the video of the presentation before council we see that members of city staff had previously been asked by city council to come forward with suggestions as to how to fund the shortfalls.

Some might argue that city staff should have come forward with better suggestions.  They would be right.

However, from what we can see the city manager acted in accordance with the instructions that city council gave him.

Unfortunately we did not see council asking the city manager to provide solutions that did not involve spending additional money.

Many of us know that the problem here is that the prior city manager, mayor, and city councils provided us with under-estimates of what the projects would cost.  This was either an act of omission or commission but in either case the taxpayers are the ones that will pay for their acts.

It is unfortunate that we are not hearing discussions about de-funding some of the projects.  They might start with the arena and the cultural center.

Those are luxuries.  We have necessities like roads that are not being funded.

We deserve better

Brutus

12 Responses to Blame city council, not the city manager

  1. Tickedofftaxpayer says:

    Vanessa, There are two reasons the vision of build it and they will come won’t work here. The first is that the big donors that are lining their pockets with our tax dollars want to remain big fish in a small pond. Follow the trail of who gets tax incentives and they normally have some connection to our local donor class. Healthy communities have a far larger number of corporate headquarters with diverse interests and agendas. That helps drive spin-off startups and private sector investment in amenities. The second is that out debtload and taxes have grown to a point where many businesses would be afraid to move here. Our roads are gridlocked with construction and when taxes are considered, our housing cost, particularly at the middle management level, is high. Many of the amenities being built have little appeal to folks coming from out of the area. in short, we have dug ourselves a hole that is hard to get out of.

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  2. Long time reader but this is my first comment. Brutus while what you say makes sense it is not as easy as you paint it. If it were it would have been done already. It is comments like these that lead people to think they could do a better job and we wind up with a dysfunctional council that promises voters the world and dont deliver. They flip flop on issues because it is a popularity contest and we wind up in bigger messes. Look at the stupid open meetings thing. The fact is that the big projects need to be constructed and need to start bringing in tax revenue. Then the quality of life (i hate that term now) will improve and more businesses and people will be attracted to the region. The more businesses to pay into out taxes, the less burden on us residential taxpayers. it is a very painful process but in the end it will help the very people who are suffering now. I agree that most tax dollars should be spent on things we need but first lets get to the pint where the majority of taxes arent being paid by homeowners.

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    • Enough Already says:

      More “big projects” and new businesses do little to reduce the tax burden on homeowners when city council continues to dole out tax breaks for developers and selected businesses. The CEO of the company considering an entertainment complex in the northwest said their project is not feasible without tax breaks. If that’s true, it shouldn’t be built. The backbone of El Paso’s private sector economy is small businesses, but you don’t see any tax breaks for small businesses. Also, I don’t think a public arena pays any property taxes. If the ballpark is any example, we not only had to pay to build it, we are also paying to subsidize game day operations.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mamboman3 says:

      Baloney on the “more big projects gets those businesses paying more taxes gets us prop owners paying lower taxes.” We’ve heard that for years, with the ballpark being one of the worst examples when you consider all the long term debt that came with it as well as floundering businesses that had hoped for a coming boon. The city uses the tax incentive carrot to attract these investments and the investors make their profits while the city goes trying to repeat the process on another project…never learning from the error of their ways.

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    • Vanessa, that tired old argument about bringing in tax revenue is just like the old Reaganomics “Trickle Down” lie. It doesn’t work. Not then. Not now. Think about it. If we, the tax payers, pony up for any construction, how can that increase tax revenue?! Do you really believe that the existence of yet another mostly empty “arena” is going to increase tax revenue for this city?!

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    • Par for the Course says:

      Am I the only person who finds it ironic that we live in a city whose greatest attribute is great outdoor weather year round, yet city council continues to give tax breaks to companies building indoor entertainment complexes, including indoor golf driving ranges?

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  3. Y Que" says:

    Ever travel going west between Gateway South and Copia via Montana? You practically need a moon rover to get through! To hell with the arena. Fix our streets! Geez…

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  4. Tickedofftaxpayer says:

    And by fix our streets, we mean the pavement–not trees, lights, art and painted medians. The cracking, pot-holed pavement. And most communities did away with round-abouts in the 60s. I actually watched a driver drive one in the wrong direction two weeks ago. They are accidents waiting to happen.

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  5. Haiduc says:

    Fix our ROADS !!!

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  6. Reality Checker says:

    Expect a repeat at EPISD where the city’s former CFO is now employed.

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  7. This is just what we need! Somebody has to be willing to be the one to step up and admit that we have been led down the primrose path, and maybe we need to get off it before it is too late! Cancel what’s left of those stupid QoL projects, and fix our sorry streets, please!

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