City stops posting interim financial statements

February 17, 2019

Would you like to know what the city’s interim financial statements look like?

Good luck

This is what the city’s website presented when I tried to look up a current statement the other day:

While they used to post a report each month it looks like they have not done so for almost a year.

We deserve better


EPISD compared to the others

February 15, 2019

This slide came from a recent EPISD meeting:

Yep, the city is getting in our pocket books.

EPISD has been holding the line and I thank them.

Next year, however, will be another story.  They will have to raise their interest and sinking funds rate to make up for the 10 cents the voters gave them in the penny swap election.

The chart shows the increases.  What it fails to point out is that half of your property tax bill goes to the district.

We deserve better


Executive session participants

February 12, 2019

Rich Wright over at wrote the other day about the city’s continuing use of executive session.

I don’t attend many city council meetings so I don’t know who goes into the executive sessions.

For those of you who do attend be on the lookout for who goes in.

Texas law only gives city council members the right to attend executive sessions.  The city attorney must also be present.

Note that the city council members have the right to attend and cannot be kept out unless the issue is about them.

On the other hand city council has the right to request the presence of any of the city officers or employees as long as their presence “is necessary to the matter under consideration”.

In other words the city officers and employees should only be in the meeting as long as it takes to discuss the particular subject that they are involved with.

We deserve better



Now we are at $250 million

February 10, 2019

This is part of an email that came in from Max Grossman:

Vic Kolenc of the El Paso Times just published a report which includes new information on the City of El Paso’s intentions for their “Arena”. Most importantly, City Engineer Sam Rodriguez confirms that the “Arena” will cost around $250 million rather than the $180 million that voters expected. Moreover, he claims “that number could change.” Ladies and Gentlemen, brace yourself for the eventuality that the City will announce an even higher price tag, impacting our property taxes even further!
We deserve better

Another dismal quarter for Sun Metro

February 8, 2019

Sun Metro’s numbers for the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year are out:

Ridership fell another 5.6% from last year’s lows.

Yet they stubbornly continue to show a goal of more riders this year than last.

If somehow they reached their goal they would still be 19% below where they were back in 2012.

Their cost per trip for the quarter went up 21% from the same period last year.

Isn’t it time that we rethink how our bus system operates?

We deserve better



A little help here

February 7, 2019

Several people trying to get through the traffic mess on alternate routes that was caused by the closure of I-10 the other day have commented to me about the lack of assistance from our local traffic people.

They commented about stop lights that held traffic back when there were few if any cars coming from the perpendicular side of the intersection.

In this day of electronic communication couldn’t we have a system where someone or some computer changed the traffic signal controller to compensate for the massive change in traffic conditions?

Or maybe people could be dispatched to the intersections to manually control the signals to maximize traffic flow.

These situations are bad but measures could be taken to lessen the problems.

We deserve better


Last and evidently least (at least in their minds)

February 6, 2019

I cannot think of anything that could more clearly demonstrate the city’s attitude to the public than the below slide:

The city is telling us that they start with their internal project management employees and then involve

  • Process (whoever they are)
  • Vendors
  • Support staff
  • User departments
  • Stakeholders/utilities
  • Admin (that’s the fifth internal group in case you are counting)
  • Service/Purchasing/OMB (I guess we are up to 8 internal groups at this point)

And finally after they have all made up their minds

  • The public

We deserve better


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