If you look at the Census Bureau estimates for El Paso’s population, the inflection point was 2012. It didn’t turn negative till 2017, but in 2012, our growth rate slowed dramatically till finally, in 2017, it went into the red.
I’m okay with no, or limited, growth. We’re in the desert and the whole west is running out of water. Growth for growth’s sake is a fool’s goal.
The problem for me is that the wrong people are leaving town. We’re losing the visionaries, and the risk takers, and the interesting people. We’re stuck with consumerists. And sheep. People who aren’t put off by arrogance. People who know their place, and are content to carve out their little niche in someone else’s world.
People are voting with their feet. There are a couple (a few) reasons that people are leaving El Paso, but I think that the City’s arrogance is no small reason.
Look at the ballpark. It shows up on the agenda on a Thursday, and by Tuesday we’re on the road to demolishing City Hall and putting a ballpark in its place.
Despite the protestations of a significant portion of the population.
The El Paso Times called the protestors Crazies.
City Government just turned its back on anyone who didn’t agree with them.
Some of the “Crazies” filed Open Records Requests for the emails that dealt with city business from private email accounts, and the City stonewalled them. The City wasn’t even willing to play by their own rules.
They were arrogant.
The City has issued more than a half a billion dollars in Certificates of Obligation. Certificates of Obligations represent debt that is issued without voter approval.
A former mayor once told me that if I didn’t like the way things were being done here, I should leave.
The City continues to push for top-down gentrification, pursuing an economic development model that has produced no positive results, and increased the tax burden on El Paso property owners. But the bureaucrats and entrenched politicians have shown no remorse or inclination to change course.
The City added fees to our water bills, just as just another revenue source.
And now the credit card scandal.
City Council Representatives letting their spouses fill up their tanks on the taxpayers’ dime?
Arrogance. They thought they could get away with it. And they would have. They had gotten away with it.
The best people don’t like arrogance. Arrogance is often a substitute for ability. Narcissists are arrogant because arrogance brooks no challenge, no difference of opinion.
Both of our two previous City Managers were blessed with an abundance of arrogance. El Pasoans have suffered and continue to suffer from their arrogant decision making.
Let’s hope our next City Manager shows more humility.