Economic Development for Whom?

From an email from Max Grossman, informing his readers that the Texas Historical Commission approved the designation of the El Paso Downtown Historic District, including Duranguito:

It was announced that 60 property owners recently registered their opposition, ostensibly because they were contacted by Kemp Smith LLC, who told them Lord knows what… Several of those spoke today, including Paul Foster and Miguel Fernandez. They argued that the proposed district would harm development when, in fact, the truth is exactly the opposite.

Can we stop pretending that all those Quality of Life projects are about Economic Development?

Since 2012, when the Quality of Life bonds were approved, what Economic Development have we seen?

The City has given tax incentives to a slew of retail projects that compete with our homegrown businesses for the citizens’ disposable income.

The City has supported the hobby projects of City’s elite, without moving the Economic Development needle even a smidge.

Taxes and fees and utility rates continue to climb.

The City continues to shovel our tax dollars into that money pit they call Southwest University Park.

(That ballpark might be an appropriate metaphor for the education you get at Southwest University. All cost, no benefit.)

I’m all for Economic Development. I’m just not in favor of the taxpayers financing the Economic Development of people who are already rich.


  1. What is Miguel Fernandez doing in the development plan of El Paso? he is a Mexican entrepreneur who owns part of Juarez, how come he has to do with El Paso development? Or is it that money has no nation?

    1. I’m sure this is Miguelito, hijo de Miguel. He owns Transtelco, an international internet trunk line. Your comment likely went through his pipes.

  2. Waiting to see the explanation on how we’re going to pay the 60 million for the Children’s Museum. We don’t need a 5 or 6 story monstrosity which WILL have an entry fee, the only museum in town that will have one. Sooo, let’s look at this. If they use just fees at $5.00 a person, with 35,000 to 50,000 visitors a year (what the History and Art Museum see), that’s 80,000 people. Means 150 years to pay the building off. I know that’s a ridiculous premise since most of the money will come from increased property tax.

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