A Present from Our Friends at City Hall

The agenda for the December 7 Special Meeting of the City Council included this item:

Discussion and action that the El Paso City Council approves an identified list of projects, totaling approximately $357,020,330 referenced as the “City of El Paso Quality of Life Bond Issue FY2020 Plan” (“the FY2020 Plan”), as the 2012 Quality of Life five year implementation plan for FY 2016 – 2020 , and that the City Manager be authorized, subject to annual budget requirements, to establish the funding sources for the for the FY2020 Plan enumerated in the “Capital Program” for Fiscal Years 2016-2020 and to make all necessary budget transfers prior to the execution of the projects. [POSTPONED FROM 11-10-2015 AND 12-01-2015]

Whoa, I thought. That includes that $180 million for that downtown arena that we don’t need, the one that duplicates facilities available at the Don Haskins Center, the County Coliseum, and the Convention Center. Is our illustrious City Council really going to fund that now?

The issue got scant notice from the press, intoxicated as they were by the scent of blood. If the City Manager didn’t exactly get caught with his hand in the cookie jar, he at least had the lid off. The media ignored the agenda item, and the City kept its collective mouth shut.

Last week the City posted the long-delayed minutes to the Special Meeting, and lo, it turns out the item was unanimously deleted, all $357,020,330 of it, without much discussion, according to the minutes.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Remember back in October, City Council gave City Manager Tommy Gonzalez authority to sign contracts for the downtown arena, up to the full pop $180 million. Do you suppose they realized that was a bad idea?

Or maybe they became aware that we’re spending $180 million we don’t need to. (Ha!)

Or maybe they got the early draft of the latest financial reports, and decided to act like responsible adults. (Double Ha!)

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