According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, in 2012, El Paso’s population was 674,588. In 2022, our population was 677,456. Since 2012, El Paso’s population has grown by 2868. That represents an increase of less than one half of one percent.
In Fiscal Year 2012, the budget of the City of El Paso was $714,834,193. Today the City’s budget for FY2024 is $1,171,086,079. That represents an increase of 64%.
Our institutions grow every year. Water rates have increased every year for the last 10 years. Electric bills go up every year. City employees are guaranteed a salary or wage increase every year. The police and fire departments are guaranteed salary increases every year, as are the employees of El Paso Water.
If you work for a large institution, you expect a raise every year. Unfortunately, the pool of people who are paying for all those pay raises is not increasing, nor, for the most part, are their incomes.
Eight of the top ten employers in El Paso are government entities. The City of El Paso would like to change that, but they’re going to need more of our money to make it happen.
Based on the track record, that should scare you.
All of the growing institutions claim that pay increases, and the exorbitant salaries that are being increased, are necessary to keep the best employees from jumping ship. But where would they go? There aren’t a lot of options in El Paso, so are our institutions competing with other, more attractive cities, with higher costs of living?
The City of El Paso, and El Paso Water, are all getting ready for a big population boom that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.
Those resources could better serve El Pasoans if they were deployed for something El Pasoans need.
The City Design Lab, via Elev8EP.com, is unaware that El Paso’s population isn’t growing. They’re setting the table for a party that no one is coming to. Witness, for instance Downtown + Uptown Plan. Witness, for instance, Onward Alameda. Witness, for instance, the Cohen Master Plan, which merited a whole .pdf booklet you can get to from the Elev8EP website.
Plans aren’t bad. But plans need to be rooted in reality. And the reality is that the population of El Paso, the taxpayer base, isn’t growing, while all of our institutions — our government bodies and our utilities — are growing like weeds.
You know what they say: If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. But if you plan without regard to reality, you’re just daydreaming.