Hypocritical

August 22, 2019

This item is on the Tuesday, August 20, 2019 city council agenda:

Resolution authorizing the City of El Paso to approve a resolution to Condemn the Weaponization of Political Rhetoric that promotes the demonization and dehumanization of people of Hispanic origin and other minorities and cultivates an environment of hatred and violence.

They might go a little further and condemn demonizing and dehumanizing anyone regardless of origin.

Then again that would require putting some thought into what they do.

Please note that in spite of their stand on what others might say council has imposed the highest tax rate of the fifty largest cities in the United States on us.

We deserve better

Brutus


Speak up

August 19, 2019

Evidently city council will vote tomorrow (Tuesday, August 20, 2019)  on the issue of overriding the mayor’s veto of the city budget that council passed.

Some of the council members cannot run for re-election because of term limits.

Those members will probably vote for overriding the veto since they don’t have to think about keeping their jobs.

Other members will be given a chance to pretend that they support lower taxes.

Now is the time to contact your city council member and tell them what you think.

We deserve better

Brutus


Vetoing the city budget

August 18, 2019

Our mayor has vetoed the proposed city budget.

Facing election evidently can have an effect on a politician’s behavior.

Things will get interesting.

We deserve better

Brutus


Let them know how much they are paying

August 16, 2019

Many El Pasoans live in apartments and thus do not see the amount of property tax that they are paying because the taxes are buried in their rent.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea for the city to pass an ordinance requiring landlords to inform their tenants about how much property tax they are paying?

Maybe then we would have less voter apathy.

We deserve better

Brutus


Ignoring the law

August 13, 2019

The Tuesday, August 13, 2019 city council agenda includes an executive session item (closed meeting) captioned as:

“Briefing from counsel on legal guidelines for communicating with citizens about a bond election”

Why the secrets?

What could the city attorney be telling city council in private that members of the public should not know about?  Is the plan to teach council how to lie to us or otherwise deceive us?  Could it be that the city attorney is going to tell them not to make false promises?

The Texas Open Meetings Act allows council to go into closed session for the following reasons:

  • certain specific personnel matters
  • discussions about the value or transfer of real property
  • discussions about security personnel, security services, or a security audit
  • discussions about a prospective gift or donation to a governmental body
  • discussions about potential items on tests conducted relating to licensing of individuals to engage in an activity
  • discussions of certain economic development matters
  • discussions of certain competitive matters is the city owns an electric or gas utility
  • issues relating to emergencies and disasters

Schooling the council about bond elections is not in the list.

However

Certain consultations with the city attorney are allowed.

Which ones?

Take a look at this:

It looks like the proposed closed session will not be legal.

Shouldn’t the city attorney know the laws and follow them?

We deserve better

Brutus


Hidden money

August 12, 2019

This is an example of why the voters should not approve massive multi-year bond issues:

The slide shows that EPISD has been selling bonds and putting the money into interest bearing accounts.

This is money that they don’t need at the moment but they sold them early to milk some interest money out of us.  Once they sell the bonds we start having to service the debt (principal and interest).

They then park the money in an account and get a lesser interest rate then what we are having to pay on the bonds.

The result?

According to the slide they have generated 8.6 million dollars using this technique.

Other EPISD documents indicate that they intend to use the money to cover cost overruns.

If the voters decide to approve the almost half a billion  dollars in bonds that the city is contemplating they should realize that even the city will need several years to spend the money.

The city could do precisely the same thing as EPISD.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

 


City bond election

August 11, 2019

The city seems to have decided to only include police and fire requests in the upcoming bond election.

It looks like the issue will be put on the ballot as a single item (take it or leave it) totaling $413 million.

The item will be on the November ballot.

We deserve better

Brutus


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