Pay raises for the mayor and city council?
One of the rumors on the street is that the city wants to put pay raises for the mayor and city representatives one the ballot of the next election.
We have seen that they have activated an Ad Hoc Charter Advisory Committee.
Can anyone enlighten us?
We deserve better
This entry was posted on Thursday, April 26th, 2018 at 5:00 AM and is filed under City government. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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As you will surely come up w the usual line of “El Paso salaries are far below comparable city council salaries” statewide, may I remind yout that El Paso does NOT have the TAX BASE to support comparable salaries unless it is on the backs of our citizens. You know what the salary
Is before you run. Make your decision accordingly. Get off our backs.
Basically you have to be able to afford to be on CC because it isn’t a full time living wage here or mostly anywhere. People who serve are sacrificing for the taxpayers at their own expense.
Yes, I actually wrote that. Save money on DTEP giveaways and give the council a living wage.
Here is the reality. There was a time when normal people could run for Council and win. Then our local donor class (construction companies and REIT investors) figured out that they could enrich themselves with bond issues and a build it and they will come mentality. Eliot Shapleigh created a community scholars program to recruit and train progressive liberals to promote the mortgaging of El Paso, plus managed to clean out most of the Reyes Dems with corruption charges (the old Dem mentality was enrich yourself or your family but don’t raise taxes). The argument for raising salaries is that more experienced people will run for office. The reality is the Dem machine will continue spitting out young, liberal progressives who want to spend your money. They will be backed by the local donor class, so reform candidates will be at a significant campaign funding disadvantage. Public sector employees will be told if they don’t vote for the person who wants to grow the public sector their jobs will be at risk. They will tell their friends and families. And the liberal progressives will continue to be voted in. Our taxes will keep going up. I totally oppose raising the salaries of the donor class puppets we get stuck with. Paying them more just rewards incompetence.
The blame is shared by people of both political persuasions. You can blame the Democrats all you want, but the construction companies, real estate investors, and other special interests you describe are predominantly Republicans who are making money on the backs of taxpayers. Hunt and Foster are at the top of that list.
Unfortunately, the majority of candidates carrying out the wishes of their donors plus spending wildly beyond that (streetcar, digiwall, German canopy for plaza, consultants from afar) are Dems. Yes donors and local construction companies who benefit are from both parties but what is making this work are voters who vote for the best funded Dem candidate every time. Those for are predominantly Dem civil servants. Margo is a Republican but he is the exception.
That is the best succinct description of the economic malaise here I have ever read. It is systemic, the air that we breath.
Where there is smoke there is a pay raise smoldering….
Firth’s annual salary was $243,880.
City attorney steps down suddenly amidst allegations of a possible conflict of interest
Sources at the city say she was asked to resign or go through an ethics review for not disclosing possible conflicts of interest involving her husband, attorney Victor Firth.
Victor Firth’s company was seeking city incentives for a renovation project on Montana Avenue.
Sources familiar with the deal said Sylvia Firth did not disclose to City Council that her husband was involved with Brixwood, LLC.
Firth is not particularly competent and her “team of lawyers” are worse. I’ve had dealings with several and am surprized that a couple of them made it through law school. Firth should have been fired or demoted years ago but because she reported only to the Mayor (Cook), she was kept on. Cook was entirely dependent on her as was Leesor. She knew where the bodies were kept.
A City attorney in a city acquiring properties for public use working for a city administration that likes to give economic incentives to real estate developers is married to a real estate attorney. What could possibly go wrong?
From Max Grossman regarding El Paso taxes and public debt burden. Keep in mind that John Cook now wants to run the county. Not sure we can afford that:
Over the last decade, the leaders of our City have made inept decisions that have elevated our debt and taxes to levels that are absolutely absurd. The John Cook administration put our City on a path to debt and insolvency, and subsequent administrations have done nothing to change course. Indeed, our current City leaders have ramped up our debt to the point where our grandchildren will be saddled with excessively high taxes well into the middle of this century. Consider these indisputable facts:
*As of June 2016, El Paso has the 3rd highest homestead property tax rate among the 50 largest cities in the United States of America, just behind Detroit and Milwaukee! That is up from the 5th position in 2014. (see attached)
*As of August 2016, El Paso’s tax-supported debt stands at $2,037,972,825 and is greater than Austin’s, even though Austin has 28% more people and a median household income that is 25% higher! (see attached)
*El Paso’s tax-supported debt per capita has risen 154.4% between 2007 and 2016 while the City’s population has grown only 10.7% in the same period. (see attached)
*El Paso’s ballpark was supposed to cost $50 million but was 52% over budget, with $14 million of the shortfall coming from the City. It has lost $2.2 million in its first 4 fiscal years, and 76% of its revenue comes from the Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) and only 7% from ticket sales! There is not one single metric indicating a positive fiscal trend and we are locked into a contract with MountainStar Sports Group for another 26 years. (see attached)
*The Bond Overview Advisory Committee (BOAC) has reported that 10 Quality of Life Bond projects with a total initial cost of $80,482,000 are $24,571,000 (31%) over budget! If we include the $31 million that the City is proposing to add to the Children’s Museum, the overrun is $55,571,000 (56%)! The City intends to use certificates of obligation, another form of tax-supported debt, to meet the huge shortfall without voter authorization!
Considering that the 2012 Quality of Life Bond was supposed to cost $475.25 million and that items from 21% of that budget are projected to be supplemented with $55.7 million in certificates of obligation, what does that mean for the other 79% of the bond money? Are we going to be a quarter billion dollars over budget on this bond? How will this impact the homestead tax that every homeowner pays, and what about the other growing debt obligations? And now the City wants to build an “Arena” that can accommodate sports as well as a soccer stadium? On what planet does any of this make any fiscal sense?
Our Mayor insists that using certificates of obligation for these bond shortfalls is acceptable. We challenge him to find a single instance in the history of our City when COs were used to supplement bond projects for things like museums and swimming pools.
We had better start voting our City leaders out of office and replacing them with individuals with some financial acumen or we are going to become the Detroit of Texas! This November will be our first opportunity.
The El Paso Times and El Paso Inc have published many excellent reports in recent years, but both newspapers have utterly failed to inform the public about the true nature of our debt and taxes. That El Paso homeowners pay the third highest tax rate in America should be front page news, but don’t hold your breath. In this regard KTSM (El Paso’s own National Enquirer) is totally worthless, and so are most radio programs. Only KVIA and UNIVISION have had the diligence and courage to inform the public about some of these figures.
Have a great day!
Here’s the latest on the pay raises.
They want more money AND to reduce the prohibition for additional employment.
No if they want more money then no additional employment.
They are still trying to spin this as if more money = more candidates.
NOT TRUE and the County Commissioners court’s excessively high pay raises and recent county seat races prove that.
Not only do we NOT get a larger pool or even a younger pool of candidates we get the SAME people rotating office, or no challengers at all.