Bonds have to be paid for

August 8, 2019

The proposed 2020 city budget includes $61.5 million dollars for principal payments on bonds that were sold in the past.

Can you imagine what it will be if the voters pass the almost one billion dollars in bond money that the city wants?

We deserve better


Heal thyself

August 7, 2019

Item 27.3 on the Tuesday, August 6, 2019 city council agenda is:

Discussion and action on directing the City Manager to conduct training on Ethics, the Code of Conduct, and Robert’s Rules of Order.

The item was placed on the agenda by our mayor.

I wonder if he will receive any of the training.

We deserve better


Maximum tax increase from the city

August 6, 2019

In Sleight of hand we discussed the fact that city council voted to set next year’s tax rate at 88 cents per hundred dollars of valuation.

The next day they published in the Times a different rate of 90.73 cents which is the maximum allowable without triggering our opportunity to call a roll back election.

Today’s (Tuesday, August 6, 2019) city council agenda includes the first of two required public hearings before raising the tax rate.

How much are they asking for?

If you guessed 90.73 cents you are correct.

We deserve better


Another hidden tax increase

August 5, 2019

The 2020 city proposed city budget proposes an raising the environmental services department (garbage) fees from $74.1 million to $91.3 million.

Get ready for your garbage bill to go up.

This is just another tax increase.

We deserve better


Spending disconnect

July 31, 2019

The proposed 2020 city budget tells us what they think about our chances for economic growth next year.

The adopted 2019 city budget included $2,140,000 for commercial building permits.  This year they are projecting the collection of $2,000,000.  In other words they expect commercial construction to slow down.

On the residential building front they are lowering their expectations from $2,250,000 last year to $2,125,622 this year.

They anticipate increasing spending by 6% anyway.

We deserve better


Just another citizen

July 30, 2019

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


Our changes don’t count

July 28, 2019

This graphic came from the city’s proposed 2020 budget presentation.

The chart shows the number of people allocated to the city manager’s office.

Note that even though the 2019 numbers are different from the 2020 numbers the increase/decrease column still shows zero.

The include the city manager’s budget in the “High Performing Government” category.

We deserve better



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