My Letter to the Malcolm Baldridge Foundation

Hi y’all,

I see where El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez received the E David Spong Lifetime Achievement Award from the Baldridge Foundation.

Did you know that El Paso has the first or second highest property tax rates in the United States?  Did you know that our streets are crumbling anyway?  Did you know that since Mr. Gonzalez became City Manager, the City’s property tax rate has increased from .6784 cents per $100 valuation, to .9073 cents per $100 valuation?

Since y’all are apparently a little challenged by math, let me tell you that that change represents a 34% increase in property tax rates.  Meanwhile, our population has practically flatlined, growing only 5.1% from 2010 to 2020.

Here’s a paragraph from local online news source ElPasoMatters.com:

“El Paso had an estimated population of 841,286 as of July 1, 2020, up from 800,647 on April 1, 2010, the date of the last census. The 5.1% growth rate is the slowest — by far — that El Paso has experienced since 1930-40, the years of the Great Depression.”

According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, between 2010 and 2012, El Paso’s population grew by 3.5%.  So since 2012, El Paso’s population has only grown 1.6%.

You know, narcissists thrive on attention.  Narcissists love awards.  I’m afraid your recognition of Mr. Gonzalez’ dubious “achievements” have only given him license to continue with his profligate ways.

I think you should examine your criteria for city management.  A city’s credit rating is only an indication of how willing elected officials and city staff are to stick it to the taxpayer.

Your process is flawed.  Municipalities aren’t corporations, and they shouldn’t be evaluated by the same standards.  Consumers can stop buying a company’s products, but sometimes a taxpayer’s only recourse is to move away.

Regards,

Rich Wright

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