Recently I wrote that City Council, by increasing El Paso Electric’s Street Rental Fee, cut the reduction to our electric bills that we would have seen as a result of the recent federal tax overhaul. Here’s an excerpt from the El Paso Time’s story on it:
El Paso Electric ratepayers will see a smaller than expected rebate since the city opted to increase a fee that will give its economic development department about $6 million to draw and retain businesses.
Ratepayers were going to see an average of $3 to $4 per month refund on their electric bills beginning later this year due to lower federal corporate tax rates that took effect in January. Ratepayers still will see an overall decrease, but it’s about .90 cents less than what they would have gotten.
“It (the rebate) would have been larger if that fee had not been increased,” said Economic and International Development Director Jessica Herrera.
The City Council on Tuesday approved a 1 percent increase to the fee it charges the utility for access and use of city streets, also known as the Street Rental Charge.
Then I picked up David Crowder’s article in the El Paso Inc., and I listed the City Representatives who voted to raise your taxes. I noted that District 8 Representative Cissy Lizarraga missed the meeting entirely (Full Disclosure: I’m running for the District 8 City Council seat in November’s election.) and then I listed the City Representatives who voted to raise your taxes.
Well, I was wrong. After the City (finally) posted the video of the meeting, I discovered that District 6 Representative Claudia Ordaz Perez stepped out of the room and ducked the vote.
Discretion may be the better part of valor, but it’s not effective representation.
What’s going on at City Hall where our elected representatives feel like they have to miss votes and meetings instead of representing their constituents?
Someone needs to stand up to those bullies.
Just like Niland used to say, this is just the City seeking “new revenue streams.” Someday, they’ll have to believe that we really cannot afford to continue down this road.
Svarzbein has been the master at missing votes that put him in a bad light. I know most people think that he’s just a big fat dumb sweaty goofball. But he’s quick on his feet when he has to be.