Like every other sentient being in the Mexoplex, you have probably wondered if the El Paso Times is biased or just incompetent.
Well I can’t tell you. I don’t know. But here’s a recent example of their material failing to accurately deliver the news:
County Judge Veronica Escobar voted against giving herself a pay raise, saying she could not vote for a salary increase for herself. However, the commissioners voted in favor of her pay increase.
“Our decisions focused on making salaries commensurate with responsibilities,” Escobar said in a written statement.
Meanwhile, the vote for the commissioners’ raises passed 3-2, with Commissioners Carlos Leon and Andrew Haggerty voting no.
Well, let’s see. I don’t have a calculator handy, but Commissioners Leon and Haggerty make two, and if you add County Judge Escobar, that makes, lemme see.
Three. Three votes against, two votes for. So the motion, passes?
The truth is that County Judge Veronica Escobar also voted for the raise, despite what you may have read in our daily rag.
Do you think the Times will print a correction, or will they only change the online story without explanation?
Here’s Judge Escobar’s quote from CBS4Local.com:
“I know and understand people are very upset the fact there was an increase,” Escobar said.
“You know there’s nothing I can do to appease people.”
Surely there’s something she can do to appease people. Leave your suggestions in the comments.
Resign. That’s my suggestion.
I took the time to shoot off an angry email to her, asking essentially if she has no shame. She – naturally – did not respond to that question, but she did send me this very long response (which, of course, is insipid, self-serving, and just so much bullshit):
Thank you for contacting me. I want to provide you with some context for the raises.
Several years ago we engaged in a salary reclassification process to bring up county employees to market as closely as we could. It was a long-term process with significant investment on our part. We said the last groups to be evaluated would be the lawyers and the elected officials.
We have gone through a significant number of employees and departments during the reclassification process, and the lawyers salaries will be adjusted this budget cycle. The consultant looked at the elected officials’ salaries as we had all agreed to do in the later years of the reclassification.
He found that all county elected officials salaries have been adjusted over the years to make them within range of market except for two groups: constables and commissioners court.
We adjusted both of those to 70% of market instead of 100% (in order to account for El Paso’s lower cost of living and lower median income). So this is NOT 100% of what similar positions in other communities are earning.
The end result is that your commissioners are now making what their Fleet Manager, IT Help Desk employee, and other managers are making at the County. Your county judge is making what some of your lower-end, entry-level department heads are making. The salaries for the elected officials are now more aligned with duties and responsibilities they have. I voted against giving myself a raise because I just couldn’t bring myself to vote yes. And FYI, the county judge salary is still below what the salary was 6 years ago (not by much – by about $4k).
You may not agree, but my perspective is that people should be paid commensurate to their duties and responsibilities.
I’m sure this information doesn’t make the decision more palatable to you, and I understand.
Finally, you should know that we will be adopting either the effective tax rate or be going below the current tax rate (for a tax decrease) this year again. If we do the latter, many El Pasoans will again this year see a reduction on their tax bill from the County.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call or respond to this email.
I did not bother myself to respond to her missive, as all it would do would be to raise my blood pressure, and get me still more angry. Yes, Veronica, there is a lot you could do to appease this tax payer, but I don’t see any mention of turning down your pay raise, or offer to resign, so I guess we – the voting taxpayers – will have to just learn to live with this latest slap in the face until the next election.
Can’t it be both?
The El Paso Tax Payers are the suckers for it all. Veronica and the rest of the crew need to pack their bags unless they want to see how they can save the hardworking people of El Paso money. All they do is spend spend spend…then spend some more. I encourage everyone to vote NO on the new proposal of the bond. We cant pay for anymore!
these are very corrupt commissioners they all know each other .if theres a new commissioner voted in n he or she does not go along w their corrupt shameless behavior they turn against him or her do their best to lie n get that person out.one of the most corrut cities in america.