Rewriting history

June 2, 2019

Item 1.1 on the Tuesday, May 28, 2019 meeting of city council reads:

Approval of Minutes of the Regular City Council Meeting of May 14, 2019, the Agenda Review Meeting of May 13, 2019 and the corrected minutes for the Regular City Council Meeting of April 17, 2007.

They are amending the minutes of a city council meeting that was held over 12 years ago.

Of course they don’t bother to tell us what they want to change.

We deserve better

Brutus


More bicycles

May 31, 2019

Did you know about this?

Let’s see, 7 new bike share stations with 80 bikes for $720,000.

That comes to $9,000 per bike.

We deserve better

Brutus


Sneaky, huh?

May 30, 2019

This comes from a paper titled Why Tax Increment Financing Often Fails and How Communities Can Do Better published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy:

In addition, TIF can make cities’ financial decisions less transparent by separating them from the normal budget process. In Chicago, for example, $660 million — nearly a third of the city’s property taxes — go to TIF districts, making public scrutiny of these funds more difficult and preventing elected officials from re-prioritizing the spending. Finally, TIF carries the same risks as other types of business tax incentives, which can lead to inter-city competition and short-term decision-making.

Could it be that the real purpose of the TIF push here in El Paso is to take tax money out of the hands of city council and give it to others?

You can read the entire report here: https://www.lincolninst.edu/publications/articles/new-report.

We deserve better

Brutus


At this rate …

May 29, 2019

Max Grossman sent this out:

The General Fund Budget of the City of El Paso increased from $344,566,512 in FY 2014 to a projected expenditure of $428,597,800 in FY 2019, an increase of 24% (FY 19 Budget Book, p. 134). During the same period, our City property tax has also increased by 24%, along with a 24% increase in our debt servicing costs (City chart attached).
During the same five-year period, the population of El Paso grew from 682,648 to approximately 684,500 people, a gain of less than 1,900 people (0.3%).
How can our City possibly justify such a massive expansion of government in so short a time when our population has flatlined? Given the budgetary situation, does it make sense for the City of El Paso to build a sports arena that we did not vote for and cannot possibly afford?

Helping the state of Texas out

May 28, 2019

Item 11.1 on the Tuesday, May 28, 2019 city council authorizes the expenditure of $230,000 (with an additional $230,000 if deemed necessary) for the city to pay a contractor to clean street medians on state owned streets within the city.

That the Director of Purchasing & Strategic Sourcing be authorized to issue a Purchase Order to MG Evergreen, LLC referencing Contract 2018-712 City Wide New Median Maintenance. This change order is to increase the contract by $230,000.00 for a total amount not to exceed $3,599,400.95. The change order will allow the City to utilize this contract as the primary tool to clean landscaped medians on state right of way until August 31, 2019; Additionally that the Director of Purchasing & Strategic Sourcing be authorized to issue an additional change order if necessary in the amount $230,000.00 administratively and if funding is identified.

 

Can’t the state of Texas pay its own bills?

Wouldn’t you think that our mayor would take the state to task on this?

We deserve better

Brutus


Citizen led bond election

May 23, 2019

The slide below was part of a recent special city council presentation.

Take a look at item 15

We deserve better

Brutus


Follow up on campaign event costs

May 22, 2019

Back on April 29 ABC-7 reported that our city government had billed the Trump campaign $470,417.05 for services rendered during the president’s recent campaign event in El Paso.

They further reported:

ABC-7 is continuing to obtain more documents on the cost of President Trump’s rally, as well as Beto O’Rourke’s campaign kick-off event in March.

Has anyone heard anything?

We deserve better

Brutus


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