Community meetings can help

August 20, 2018

It appears that our mayor has gotten the word about holding the line on taxes.

Up until the other day it appeared that city council was going to slap a 1% sales tax on our electricity and natural gas bills.

We also get garbage bills but it appears that they are not going to worry about adding $3 per month to each of our garbage bills in the form of a franchise fee.  The franchise fee is designed to charge a city owned department for using city owned streets.

At least the 1% sales tax appears to be dead for the moment.

The Times reported that our mayor threatened to veto the sales tax after attending “community meetings” over the weekend.

We really would appreciate any information that our readers can give us that might let us know when and where those meetings were.

Listening to citizens does not appear to be one of his strong points.

Regardless of his motivation we thank him.

This is better

Brutus


Wastewater, wastemoney

June 3, 2018

According to a recent article in the El Paso Times the tax increment finance zone “only will exist until the year 2036 or until the cost to build stormwater infrastructure has been met.”

Evidently they can’t build the resort they want because of drainage problems off of the mountain.

Imagine that.

Many of us would just say build it somewhere else if you have to build it.

We deserve better

Brutus


Don’t tell the truth when a lie is more convenient

May 15, 2018

So which is it?

Is the city attorney retiring, resigning, or being terminated?

If she is retiring as she has said, the six months of salary that the city has agreed to pay her is a violation of the state constitution according to a recent article in the Times.

Resigning would also make the payout illegal.

If however she is being terminated, her contract evidently provides for six months of severance.

Can’t anyone be honest about this?

We deserve better

Brutus


Refuse the Juice speaks out

January 26, 2018

David K over at Refuse The Juice posted an interesting article the other day.  You can read it here.

Many of our readers are under the mistaken belief that newspapers are supposed to be impartial.

It is true that many newspapers are less blatant in their bias than the Times.

Brutus


Unfortunate article

January 20, 2018

Read this on the Sign of Zoro blog.

How can something like this happen?

If responsibility for fact checking is now being done out of town I can see how an out of town person might miss this.

The original picture and the caption had to come from a local person though, or am I wrong?

The Times did print a front page correction the next day:

A file photo on a story about Burnet Elementary School that ran on the front page of Thursday’s edition listed Dori Fenenbock as president of the El Paso Independent School District board of trustees.  Fenenbock resigned from the board in August.

Their correction explains that they used a file photo.  It does not explain how the caption came about, nor does it say “we regret the error”.

We deserve better

Brutus

 


The mayor moves to improve public service

September 4, 2017

The Times reported the other day that our new mayor is leading an effort to return the city to a five day work week instead of the four day week that they went to under the former city manager.

This is good news.

If they do it we will at least have an opportunity to approach our elected officials after the city council agenda is posted on Thursday afternoon.

In some cases (like this week) the agenda is posted on Thursday afternoon, the city is closed on Friday, and there is a holiday on Monday thus denying citizens the ability to reach out to council members.

This is better

Brutus


Something missing

August 16, 2017

We are surprised that only one group (KVIA TV) reported the fact that YISD will receive $215 million to help pay for the $430 million bond issue that was approved.

KVIA wrote about and quoted the YISD superintendent:

De La Torre also pointed to additional state funding in the form of Existing Debt Allotment and Instructional Facilities Allotment.

“It’s a $430.5 million bond. But in terms of the burden to our community it’s a $215.25 million bond and that’s all they are being asked to pay for because the state is paying for the other half,” De La Torre said.”

As far as we can see the Times has not mentioned the $215 million.  They attributed the district’s tax decrease to:

District officials said the decrease is due to favorable market conditions during the bond sale and a slight increase in state funding for existing debt and for an allotment that helps offset the cost of building new instructional facilities.

In our neck of the woods $215 million in tax relief is worth writing about.

We deserve better

Brutus


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