Just another citizen

This is another letter to the editor of the Times:

After reviewing the projected costs for the $1 billion bond which the city is putting in the hands of the voters, I sat dumbfounded and wanting a better explanation from our city leaders regarding the $90.6 million they are requesting for the Police Headquarters. How in the world is it going to cost $90.6 million to renovate that old building on Raynor Street? The new WestStar tower is costing Weststar/Hunt $85 million and they are getting an 18-story state of the art facility. Seems like they could build a brand-new building with a parking lot in Downtown for that cost. As taxpayers, this should concern us all.

Larry Chaparro

East El Paso

Well how about it?

Even if they plan to build a new building instead of remodeling the one in Five Points how do they justify the $90.6 million that they are asking for?

Wouldn’t they have to hire a whole bunch more policemen to sit around in offices to justify an 18 story building?

We deserve better

Brutus

21 Responses to Just another citizen

  1. Ticked off taxpayer says:

    I just hope enough folks vote no to kill this foolishness. It is obviously a Hail Mary play from a government that is outspending its revenue. And I believe it will be a bait and switch to add money for unbuilt previous bond projects. My guess is money “saved” from the outlined projects like the police hq would be repurposed for unnecessary stuff. Thank goodness the legislature put a lower cap on how much these fools could increase property taxes without a vote. They are totally out of control.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. John Dungan says:

    Their chutzpah knows no bounds. But, meanwhile, late yesterday, we heard that they are already cutting the requested amount by more than half. That is still too much! Obviously, we have let them get away with serious neglect in their desperate pursuit of downtown revitalization to satisfy their Lords ‘n Masters, and now the chickens are coming home to roost. We’re so screwed.

    Like

  3. JerryK says:

    The open secret in these projects is that they are for the local construction community, to keep some politically-connected firm(s) afloat. Our interests are secondary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Old and Cynical says:

      I don’t have a Word Press account so can’t “like” your post, but here’s my “like!” All the claimed police department “needs” are for buildings…how that will help “keep us safe” is not specified. But what it will do is keep the construction folks fat and sassy.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous says:

    Why do the El Taxo Police need a BIGGER, BETTER building? More space for BREAK rooms, TV rooms, coffee machines, recliners?? The politicians, Mayor, Clown Council, City “Manager” in El Taxo have few to NO Police on the streets of El Taxo. Maybe the OVER-PRICED construction project is just to do a favor for a “Friends, Family” construction Company? A few days ago, coming from Austin, saw a car-hauler with 4-5 NEW EPPD patrol cars. Second time saw this in just a few weeks. What are these NEW cars going to be used for? The baseball field crew, park outside to Impress visitors”, touristas? Escort Hizhonor the Mayor? Parades? Anybody, everybody, drive from East to West, North to South, I-10, neighborhoods, 54, the loop. Count how many, okay how FEW police you see out on the streets. So yes, what “Friend, Family, business” is benefitting from all OUR money?? Waste, tax, spend, increase taxes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fed Up says:

    The new WestStar tower is not costing Hunt $85 million. They were given more than $20 million in city and county subsidies through tax breaks. They said they could not afford to build it without the tax incentives. They even went back to the city a second time asking for more and got another $3.5 million.

    Like

  6. Guessing says:

    The police building number probably includes technology and FF&E whereas the Hunt tower cost is just land and construction.

    Like

  7. I would say just to say “NO” to ANY new spending. There are plenty of unstarted, unnecessary projects that can be cancelled (such as the arena and waterparks) to fill that gap and do it gradually. We’re getting to the saturation point where the expense of debt service aline will not allow us to pay the debt down. Then where will we be?

    Like

  8. Enough Already says:

    Meanwhile, the streetcar system that cost $97 million to build is now losing millions in operating costs.

    https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/local/el-paso/2019/07/29/el-paso-streetcars-struggle-to-get-riders-free-service-proposed/1818757001/

    They now admit that the project was intended to help developers.

    “The streetcar system’s primary goal is to encourage business development along the route, Banasiak said, especially on Kansas Street and Father Rahm Avenue on the southern edge of Downtown, and on Stanton Street, especially outside Downtown.”

    Like

    • JerryK says:

      But…but Cortney told us there is a 10:1 return on streetcar projects. The Shaplites endorsed it, too.

      What could go wrong?

      Liked by 1 person

      • i want to know says:

        Peter S claimed credit for the streetcar project helped literally sell it to the public. Now he is silent on the subject. Since the streetcar lines are in his district, I want to know what he has to say now. I also want to know if he is an investor in any properties along the line.

        Like

        • Charles R. Dickerson says:

          I would bet that  somebody, a CONCERNED Citizen , knows how to do the research to find out WHO the property owners are along the litt

          Like

          • anonymous says:

            The names of all individual investors in a corporation or partnership are not always disclosed in documents.

            Like

  9. Rico Suave says:

    I would like to see information on how this mega $$$$ bond will improve Police presence in our hoods and roads…increased response times… retention and better pay of EPPD officers…decreased deaths on our roads…up to date patrol cars and equipment for our good people in BLUE!!!

    A single 95 Million dollar building will do exactly what??????

    Like

  10. Dan Wever says:

    I do not understand why people get upset when this sort of information is made available to the public.
    In 2015, Dee Margo and his Board of Managers created a Public Facility Corporation for the EPISD. This was deemed necessary to create funds for the New Headquarters Building in Northeast El Paso on Transmountain Road. They said they needed 29 million dollars fast because the district was required to vacate their present offices very soon.
    From an article in the El Paso Times in 2015
    https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/archives/2015/02/17/episd-creates-corporation-issue-bonds/73899126/
    Paul Braden, a bond counselor for the district from the firm Norton Rose Fulbright, told the EPISD Board of Managers on Tuesday.
    “It does allow a school district to quickly address immediate, new construct needs,” Braden said. “It’s best suited as a limited tool for capital projects which have to be undertaken because of external pressures.”
    So what happened to the rush necessity behind the creation of this bond issuing authority that does not have to be approved by the non-taxpayer?
    Strange things! When Jorden engineering was selected to manage the 2016, 666 million dollar bond issue they brought an architect firm with them. This firm ended up with the contract to build the new administrative building, not in Northeast El Paso but rather downtown where revitalization is in progress! Not only did we use an out of town architect but we hired a construction firm from Albuquerque to do the work.
    From the EPISD Web site:
    The new building will also include about 2,000 square feet of neighborhood commercial uses; these may include a coffee shop, small grocery store, dry cleaners, a gym, and other relevant services that benefit employees and surrounding residents. The exact uses are still being determined.
    WOW, our children’s Education dollars are being used for business purposes.

    Like

    • Sine Nomine says:

      A coffee shop, small grocery store, dry cleaners, and a gym. That reads like a list of corporate valet amenities. They’ve been reading too many articles about the Google and Facebook headquarters.

      Like

  11. tax well says:

    Has anyone seen the KTSM story about police throwing boxes of papers into a dumpster behind the Wyatt Law firm? This is disturbing and relevant to this post for several reasons.

    First, a dumpster behind a business is not a place for the public to throw away things that won’t fit into their own trash cans. Most of us learn in kindergarten to leave other people’s thing alone. The El Paso Police Department should know this. Second, this wasn’t the general public just looking for a place to throw something away, as I said this was the El Paso Police Department – they have regulations about how to dispose of their documents because they may well contain private information. Again, the El Paso Police Department should know this (and I assume they did). Third, the comment they provided KTSM said that it was just empty boxes and no paper. They expect us to believe that the car full of ladies and a guy with a gun were simply recycling? That was a blatant lie considering we saw papers on the video clip and Wyatt mentioned the content of some of what he read to KTSM. Why would the El Paso Police Department lie like that? I really want to be able to trust my local police department, but when their lies are this obvious it is very insulting. The cop in the video with a gun and all the ladies giggling in the video should be charged with the appropriate offense.

    Lastly, this story makes me sad because frankly these people (the dumpers and the dishonest spokesperson) are apparently very low IQ folks and we have to count on them to protect us. Of all the dumpsters in town, why an attorney’s office for goodness sake?!?! No, I don’t think they deserve any more of our tax dollars. I simply do not trust our city government!

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      It gets better. The police officer with the gun is currently being sued by people who are represented by a lawyer at Wyatt’s firm. This could get interesting. But still, this isn’t a story about one cop, it’s a story of a bunch of people within department that are all misguided.

      Like

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