Are the Brios the future of Sun Metro?

July 20, 2018

We may have figured out what Sun Metro is really doing with the new Brio lines they are setting up across the city.

Driver-less cars will be here sooner than any of us think.  Even if we are wrong about this ride hailing services will continue to grow.

The net effect for Sun Metro might be that their only income opportunity is for long haul (across town) transportation.

Other solutions, be they driver-less cars or ride hailing/sharing, will become more attractive both from an economic and convenience standpoint.  We are seeing  shorter runs being handled more and more by these new alternatives in big cities across the nation.

Is Sun Metro trying to build a new delivery model with the Brio?

Some of you will probably take us to task for presuming that anyone at the city can think that far ahead.

We deserve better

Brutus


Who should the planners be?

July 11, 2018

This came in from Max Grossman:

Dear Friends,

The Texas Attorney General is a busy man. He just announced that he is seeking to remove 8 of 13 members of the Planning Commission of Austin for being “directly or indirectly connected to real estate and land development,” in violation of the Austin City Charter.

QUESTION: Do we in El Paso have any folks on our Historic Landmark Commission, City Plan Commission or El Paso County Historical Commission who are connected to real estate and land development? Absolutely yes! Anyone on City Council? Yes. Are there any entangling connections between the real estate/development community and our City Government?

Mr. Paxton, please come to El Paso and help us break out of this death grip…

**************************************************************************

Our city charter does not have a provision like this.

Should it?

We deserve better

Brutus

 


City council pay raises

July 10, 2018

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

Amendment XXVII to the United States constitution.

Even members of congress seemed to have known that giving themselves a pay raise was wrong.

City council is going to put the question of their potential pay raise to the voters.

This will be a chance for you to tell them what you think.

We deserve better

Brutus


Now we have to appease to a new demographic

July 3, 2018

Max Grossman sent this to us:

Dear Friends,

The anti-TIRZ and anti-“Arena” efforts have made state news, this time on the Texas Standard. My takeaway is this statement by City Rep. Cassandra Hernandez Brown of District 3 justifying the  City’s ongoing attack upon our environmental and cultural assets:

“You develop beautiful properties–retail properties–to incentivize and attract and recruit new companies to come here by providing that new atmosphere to appease to a new demographic.”

Grammar aside, I find this statement deeply disturbing on a number of levels. I wonder which “demographic” our City hopes to “appease” and what implications that has for the old demographic.

***********************

“appease to a new demographic?”

Isn’t her job to help the current population?

We deserve better

Brutus


Arena battle still going on

July 1, 2018

This came in from Max Grossman:

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Rome, where I spend summers for work.

As you may have heard, the El Paso Times and other media are reporting that the City of El Paso is attempting to dismiss one of my three lawuits–this one in the 2nd Court of Appeals in Fort Worth. These reports have generated a great deal of confusion, including within the City itself. Let me be clear. The lawsuit has not been dismissed and we are still in full litigation mode in that court and have no expectation of any change in the status quo at this time. I will have more to say about this in the next several days. At the moment I need to go and enjoy a glass of wine.

Buon giorno a tutti!


Another tax burden

June 29, 2018

Back in May of 2017 our city council approved the City of El Paso Transit Oriented Development Incentive Policy.

The policy allows for property tax and sales tax rebates on new construction and remodeling in eight designated areas of the city:

Streetcar corridor

Downtown

Airport

Northgate

Five Points

Mission Valley

El Dorado

Medical Center of the Americas

The rebates:

These rebates are money that will not be paid into the general fund thus making the burden on the ordinary homeowner higher.

We deserve better

Brutus


Pay raises for city council

June 27, 2018

Our city council is planning to call for a special election on Tuesday, November 8, 2018 asking if the voters want to give city council and the mayor pay raises as follows:

For council members the pay would increase to $45,300 per year from the current rate of $29,000.  That comes to about a 56% increase if my math is correct.

If approved the pay rates would also be indexed so that they would not have to trouble us in the future.

We deserve better

Brutus


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