The City Hall Budget

Did you see Adam Powell’s story at ElPasoTimes.com? It’s headlined City Hall’s budget is set: What will El Pasoans get for paying higher property tax bills? Today it’s for subscribers only, but I reckon by the end of the weekend it will be freely available, for free.

Here’s a juicy nugget from the article:

[El Paso Chief Financial Officer Robert] Cortinas noted that police officers and firefighters, under their respective collective bargaining agreements, receive roughly 7% and 8% pay raises, respectively, each year.

What?

Hey, I like the popo as much as the next guy, but at that rate a police officer’s salary will almost double in ten years. A firefighter’s salary will double in nine.

According to this story, the current collective bargaining agreement for police was adopted in 2019, and runs till August 2023.

“The decisions we made were based on data,” said Tommy Gonzalez, the city manager. “(The decisions) were really focused on retention, developing our officers as well as resourcing our priorities correctly.”

Starting salaries for a police officer average $40,000 and some assistant chiefs more than $120,000, said Ron Martin, president of the El Paso Municipal Police Officers Association. The new agreement inlcudes a 1.75 percent pay increase for officers.  

Oh, well it was based on data. That explains everything. Except how police officers’ salaries went from a 1.75 percent increase to a 7 percent increase.

Do you think that maybe that 1.75 percent increase was for the first year, and in subsequent years it got bumped to 7 percent?

Were our politicians playing hide the pickle?

You know, the City Manager is big on pay raises for City Employees (and himself). He’s also big on tax increases for local property owners.

Well, somebody has to pay for it.

Do you have a mirror?

4 comments

  1. It´s infuriating and sad to see how regular folks are squeezed by the city. Are you going to comment, Rich, on the city´s bond (i.e. DEBT) election in November? They want voters to approve $237 million for street repair. Shouldn´t that basic function be part of the regular budget? Will there be a debt vote every time we have a future election for the always-needed street repairs?

    1. Of course. I as commented on your Facebook post, it’s ridiculous that the City is asking us to approve a bond for street maintenance. That should be part of the regular duty of the City. But they squandered all our money on vanity projects. I’ll talk more about the city’s failures in a future post. But I’m not done with this newspaper article.

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