Putting the squeeze on local governments

November 16, 2017

It seems that congress is considering eliminating the personal income tax deductions for state and local taxes.

That would cause citizen involvement to lower local taxes.

Maybe that is a good idea.

We deserve better

Brutus


Grading our politicians

November 15, 2017

The earlier post about the kindergarten report card got us to look into what else our elected officials might learn at EPISD.

According to the pre-kindergarten report card the school district measures these things:

Maybe we should change the age limit on these elected positions.  A pre-k child that gets a “P” for proficient on these things might be a better candidate than what we have.

We deserve better

Brutus


They could learn it in kindergarten

November 8, 2017

This little snippet is part of the EPISD kindergarten report card:

Could we get our elected officials to attend that class?

We deserve better

Brutus


County bridge useless

October 25, 2017

According to this article in the Times past county commissioners have gifted us with another disaster.

From the article:

Construction of the Tornillo port of entry cost at least $133 million.  More than $91 million of that amount was paid by the U.S. General Services Administration and Customs and Border Protection.

El Paso County covered remaining costs…

That puts our portion of the bill at $42 million if our math is correct.

Bridge to nowhere

Again, from the Times article:

“CBP” has suspended commercial processing at the Tornillo crossing.

and later:

But Maier said since the opening of the cargo facility in early 2016, CBP processed only five formal commercial entries — shipments with a value in excess of $2,500.

We deserve better

Brutus


Soccer madness

October 24, 2017

We learned the other day that an effort is being started to get city and/or county money (that’s really our money, just for the record) to build a stadium to host a professional soccer team.

Our former county judge said that maybe that should be a county project.

Does that mean that they will tear down the county courthouse and the downtown jail to make room for the soccer field?  An article in the Times told us that the soccer league wants the facility to be located downtown.

That is just baloney.

What the soccer league wants is for the team to draw heavy attendance and thus be profitable.  The location of the soccer field is irrelevant if people will go to it.

The requirement that it be downtown is just another part of the whole downtown re-development effort.

We need to speak up unless we want the politicians to put us further in debt.

We deserve better

Brutus


County not a good customer

October 3, 2017

Yesterday’s (Monday, October 2, 2017) county commissioners court agenda has two more examples of why our local governments often end up paying too much for what they buy.

In both agenda items the county had gone out for bids for electronic office equipment.

In a bid for printers nine bids were tabulated according to the backup material

The bid for document scanners had 13 bids.

After receiving and evaluating the bids the county information technology department is asking the court to cancel the bids.

From the backup material:

Through several hardware refresh cycles over the past four years, ITD has experienced success by standardizing on a single (scanner/printer).  This solution has shown to be highly reliable and sustainable, requiring lower maintenance costs, and user training.  Most importantly, standardization allows for universal compatibility with our operating systems and applications throughout County offices and departments.  At this time, ITD will work to verify with technical staff that this model will fit the demonstrated need for our users and proceed with other procurement options when ready.

In other words

They knew before they went out for bids that they wanted to standardize.  They wasted the time and resources of 22 bidders.  They will now pick their supplier and buy through a buy board.

The result will be fewer and less competitive offers next time because the bidders won’t go through the trouble of bidding when they know the county just wants to do a price check.

We deserve better

Brutus

 

 


Some common sense from Mr. Perez

September 28, 2017

County commissioner Vince Perez recently criticized state senator Jose Rodriguez’s remark in Texas Monthly according to  this Times article .

Evidently the senator said people want El Paso to be like “Gringolandia”–a homogenized American city.

Mr. Perez told the Times:

“His racially-divisive rhetoric further undermines civility in our political discourse and fuels a dangerous ‘us versus them’ mentality, that has hindered the legislative process in Austin and in Washington.”

Absolutely right

We could not agree with Mr. Perez more.  The senator is an embarrassment.  If he doesn’t like our culture maybe he should consider moving.

We deserve better

Brutus


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