Our current mayor wrote a piece for The El Paso Times the other day in which he said that a letter our current state senator recently sent to the mayor and city council was “factually wrong and unfair”.
After arguing that the city has no intention of building a “sports arena” the mayor wrote “Rather , the city will build a multipurpose, performing arts and entertainment center. In reference to the location of the arena …”.
He might of called it an entertainment center instead of an arena if he really intends to obey the judge’s order and not allow sporting events in the facility.
Later the mayor wrote about the senator’s claims about ballpark financing. The mayor wrote “Also, the models showed there would be a subsidy from the City’s General Fund until the growth in HOT and team revenues caught up”.
A July 7, 2013 article in El Paso Inc. told us:
Originally, hotel occupancy tax revenues were to pay for $48.7 million of the stadium cost with the remaining $4.1 million covered by ticket surcharges and stadium-generated sales taxes – money that would first go into the city’s general fund.
We doubt that the Inc. was lying.
Unfortunately the city is having to subsidize the ballpark with money above and beyond ticket surcharges and stadium-generated sales taxes.
On June 26, 2016 city council passed a resolution that allowed the city manager to proceed with the ballpark deal. When it came to financing the ballpark, the resolution said:
Financing Ballpark Construction. The City Manager is authorized to proceed with the proposed financing plan, which ultimately may be modified to include the possible use of (i) a venue hotel occupancy tax if approved by the voters at a duly-called election; (ii) lease revenue bonds issued by a local government corporation formed by the City; and/or (iii) other debt obligations issued by or on behalf of the City for the construction and development of the Ballpark.
The resolution allowed three methods of financing, none of which included general revenue from the city taxpayers.
A good idea
In his conclusion the mayor wrote “I respectfully ask that you get your facts correct”.
Either the mayor is misinformed or he is not telling the truth. Either way he does not have his facts correct.
We deserve better
Apparently, he is just another in the long line of elected officials who either don’t know who elected them, or don’t care. But, then again, how many of us bother to cast our ballots on election day?
It seems the June 2016 date for the resolution on ballpark financing is a bit late because general fund money (including our property taxes) were used even before that date to supplement debt payments. City council must have approved using these funds at an earlier time.
That should be June 26, 2012.
The Mayor is not telling the truth. Too bad. I guess the honeymoon is over early.