It’s Saturday so the blog is open to your thoughts.
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Let me see if I have this straight. We build a trolley system that is GUARANTEED to lose millions of dollars a year and it’s no big whoop. But we close down swimming pools in poor neighborhoods after the attendance drops because we charge the kids AND their parents if they want to accompany and supervise their kids, three dollars a rattle to walk into a concrete mausoleum with some water in it. Because that’s an extravagance we can’t possibly afford. What kind of an asshole does stuff like this?
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Our city manager’s office along with the blessing of the city clowncil. That’s what kind of a-holes.
It is a completely different world than the one we grew up in. Public pools – as I remember – were supposed to make something available for people who might otherwise not have the opportunity to conveniently and cheaply access swimming. But, such thinking is no longer appropriate in a place like El Paso where the average citizen, you know, the shrinking middle class, has to pay for bright, shiny toys for the rich few among us. Lord knows we – the taxpayers – are not getting a whole lot out of the lack of a City Hall, a little ball park downtown, a trolley, or Bike lanes, or water parks.
Shrinking middle class. 100% true. I’ve worked 50 years now and have a few left. No complaints. But my property taxes are now twice what my first mortgage was. What are these dumbshits gonna do when I die?
You get the government you vote for. The reason these clowns are in office is because very few people vote, and the bulk of those voters do not seem to be taxpayers but rather people who like free stuff promised by the politicians they vote for. Also, voter manipulation campaigns, like the one for the baseball stadium, quality of life bonds and school bonds have been successful at saddling taxpayers with enormous debt while not being transparent. I also don’t think school officials/teachers/etc. should be able to weigh-in AT ALL much less make promises to students/voters on what will happen if bond elections are successful.
Cronyism is the problem in this town, people who profit from these projects secretly advocate via powerful marketing and a compliant, local media is silent.
You get the world you accept, and these conditions are apparently acceptable in El Paso, Texas because that’s what we have: politicians who lie with abandon, raise taxes with no fear; companies that come into town and get tremendous tax concessions and even money that do nothing for the economic landscape while forcing taxpayers to shoulder the costs; a silent, compliant media that has no questions to ask of anyone in power.
As long as El Pasoans will put up with these conditions they will continue to exist and get worse.
Since it’s the weekend, look on the bright side, and ‘take heart’ in the Lost Dog Trail ballot box election win. That citizen initiative and win at the ballot box, shows when citizens are pissed enough to take action, they can ‘throw a wrench’ into things at the city.
They sure threw a middle finger ‘bird’ to the city on that one!
Since the ‘trolley’ was mentioned, the next community ‘shit show’ should be over paying tolls on that new Border Highway West toll road. The money diverted for that trolley could have gone to eliminating the tolls on that new, soon to open Westside highway!
Even better, every district in the city voted overwhelmingly to save Lost Dog, so the whining of the eastside reps that it’s not fair to spend eastside tax dollars to save this westside land does not represent their constituents!
This coming week brings the closure of 4 EPISD elementary schools; Beall, Burleson, Alta Vista and Schuster. I taught at Schuster – a great school made great by it’s community, faculty and staff. Too small to be financially justifiable. They close out the year with a part-time principal, interim assistant principal, no school secretary, no counselor and no nurse. I don’t know if complaints were made to Diane Dye the school’s board representative or the district, but the lack if concern for Schuster by the district makes a sad situation even sadder.
Hey Old Fart!
Picket says the Border Hwy West has no debt. There is no reason for it to be tolled.
Hey Retired Boomer: You are correct and he was trying to keep that damn toll off the Border Highway West.
From my understanding of the issue, it was an item he was working on but the deal HAD NOT been completed, so it is up to our current legislative delegation to finish the job, if they want to.
And, as soon as the three years of Federal subsidy for the trolley, we tax payers get to fund that boondoggle
A lot of this was taken from Board Back-up materials available on the EPISD web site.
There was a very strange item on the Last EPISD Board Meeting 5/14/2019. It was on the Consent Agenda #6E’
It was a Memorandum of Understanding which is a long saying for a simple contract between two businesses, The EPISD and ABM Building Services, LLC. This MOU is part of ABM’s commitment to education and their desire to help EPISD students. The MOU is strange in as much as it involves ABM signing a contract to provide two SMALLabs and the EPISD has no skin in this contract between ABM and SMALLabs.
SMALLabs is a room-sized interactive environment. Students and Teachers will benefit from this interactive classroom experience, and research demonstrates that SMALLab increases student learning, improves teacher performance, and drives more student-led learning. SMALLab integrates ultra-precise motion-capture technology with impressive floor projections, designed for educators by educators. SMALLab includes unlimited access to thousands of standard-aligned activities covering all grades and subjects.
This MOU will reinforce the shared commitment of both organizations to be successful education of EPISD students. By providing SMALLabs students, ABM supports the classroom operation at EPISD designated campuses WITH A FUTURE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPAND TO OTHER SCHOOLS AT EPISD.
The contract between SMALLab and ABM will not cost the EPISD any money for the 3-year deal. It is supposed to cost ABM $102,000 for the 3-year deal. THERE WILL BE NO COST TO THE EPISD, however, The district will assume the responsibility for any reasonable necessary 3rd party software upgrades beginning 10 days after the installation date. The EPISD will assume all reasonable and necessary costs for maintenance and replacement of any hardware components beginning 10 days after the installation Also, The EPISD will make available any necessary technical special to access any reasonable installation requirements regarding building structure or electrical requirements. The room must be free of any infrared light that emanates from windows or other sources. If district ceiling is a plenum ventilation design, the District will address any additional costs relating to this institution through procured and contracted vendors.
There is nothing in the back-up of what these possible charges might cost.
I wrote the 3 remaining board members that have not cut me off telling them my concerns for this Consent agenda item. It was not pulled to discuss or even mentioned. There was one last part that was also strange since this MOU WAS NOT GOING TO COST THE EPISD ANY MONEY. STATED 3 TIMES IN THE BACK-UP. But the following are the TERMINATION rules.
Either party may without penalty, terminate this MOU at the end of any BUDGET period of each party during the term if FUNDS required to fulfill this MOU have not been appropriated, and with written notice to the other party.
For something that is not going to cost the District any money, there seems to be a lot of interest in the Budget! Also if you look at a deal like this and more rooms are made available which is the object of ABM participating in this deal and they got the business wouldn’t that be like a sole source purchase?
But I think it might even be more complicated than what is on the surface. ABM Building Services has a Janitorial division that takes care of school districts. I just wonder if this MOU action might give them extra points for obtaining the privatization of Janitorial services in the EPISD. Things like this just do not happen without reasons but of course, sometimes only the chiefs know for sure. But I sure wish the Trustees would have looked at this a little harder or at all for that matter.
It appears EPSID might be signing up to what amounts to a computer maintenance contract with the Smallabs deal. They are probably giving away the content creation and hardware and making it back in upgrade and replacement hardware fees. Plus classrooms have to be modified at district expense. Dan is correct in calling for clarification of those items.