The City’s Filmmaker Program

This from KVIA:

The El Paso City Council voted to create a local Filmmaker Program. The city will award $30,000 to new, original projects.

City staff had recommended a 1 to 1 match for filmmakers. However, [Rep. Peter] Svarzbein and Rep. Alexsandra Annello argued that amount would be too high for filmmakers who are just beginning. Both recommended a 2 to 1 match.

Rep. Michiel Noe wanted to keep the staff’s recommendation and argued the filmmakers would not have to apply for the full $10,000 and could instead apply for an amount they could afford.

A vote to change the match to 50 percent ended in a tie. Mayor Dee Margo broke the tie, and the match was changed to 50 percent.

Here’s the El Paso Times reporting on the vote:

The City Council voted to amend the program guidelines to allow for a 50 percent match for grant funding, as opposed to the originally proposed one-to-one. City Reps. Henry Rivera, Claudia Ordaz Perez, Cissy Lizarraga and Noe voted against the change. Margo broke the tie, voting in favor of the change.

City Reps. Henry Rivera, Claudia Ordaz Perez, and Michiel Noe voted to skim $5 million off the El Paso Electric Company’s refund to the customer, but they don’t want to give $30,000 back to El Paso filmmakers. Rep. Cissy Lizarraga didn’t make the meeting at which City Council approved the skim.

El Pasoans are our most neglected resource. Yet City Council continues to throw millions of dollars at buildings that are expensive to build and expensive to maintain and operate.

And here’s a modest program that invests in El Pasoans. Yet four City Representatives voted against it. Think how much the City could invest in El Pasoans if we weren’t throwing millions of dollars away on the Quality of Life projects.

That proposed arena is supposed to cost $180 million. You could create 6,000 programs that cost $30,000 for $180 million, with none of the operations and maintenance costs.

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