The City can’t stop spending your money.
Here’s a story from KFOXtv.com titled ‘We haven’t given up on Great Wolf Lodge’: City Manager explains projects in the works.
City Manager Tommy Gonzalez told KFOX14 his team has been working to bring a Great Wolf Lodge or Kalahari Resort to El Paso.
. . .
“We’ve been successful in bringing different types of big-name retailers or different events that weren’t here before,” said Gonzalez. “I know when we talk to big major companies, the first thing they ask is, ‘do you have a Whole Foods? Do you have a Ruth’s Chris? Do you have a Top Golf?’ They ask about those things and we have those things.”
I wonder if, when the Ford Motor Company chose Hardin County, Kentucky, over El Paso as the site of their new battery plant, Ford asked Hardin County if they had a Ruth’s Chris, or a TopGolf, or a Whole Foods? Because Google says they don’t. Yet Ford chose Hardin County, Kentucky, over El Paso, Far West Texas.
Gonzalez said making El Paso a competitive city has been part of the strategic plan he implemented when he became the city manager.
“The City of El Paso did not have a strategic plan eight years ago,” said Gonzalez. “That was one of the first things we put in place and really is what stands the test of time.”
. . .
The strategic plan has helped garner funding to be able to offer incentives for hotel developments like the WestStar, Paso Del Norte, Plaza, and Marriot Courtyard, according to Gonzalez.
“The hotels, they took time, but now they’re done. The WestStar building, I mean, the fact that we put up a huge incentive and got criticized for it, now it’s the tallest building in downtown,” said Gonzalez.
“We put up a huge incentive and got criticized for it, now it’s the tallest building in downtown.”
What, exactly, does that mean to you? What did you get out of it? Mr. Gonzalez exhibits pride of ownership.
And those downtown hotels? Are you going to stay in those downtown hotels that the City threw huge incentives at? Are you going to derive any benefit at all from luxury hotels in downtown El Paso?
Come to think of it, what do all those subsidized projects have in common?
Right. They’re all owned by the richest people in town. You know, Tommy’s people. The people Mr. Gonzalez looks out for. Not the working class. Not the people on fixed incomes who are getting taxed out of their homes. Not even the middle class. Everyday El Pasoans are financing the lifestyles of El Paso’s richest citizens.
And Mr. Gonzalez is proud of it.
Remember, the City’s Strategic Plan doesn’t contemplate costs. To quote your favorite website:
Remarkably, nowhere in the City’s Strategic Plan is there any consideration of costs. Which explains why our taxes go up every year, and homeowners are asked to foot a bigger percentage of the City’s budget every year.
It’s good to have a strategic plan. Like the Cheshire Cat said to Alice, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. But having a strategic plan without knowing how you’re going to pay for it is like driving across the country with a road map but no money to pay for gas.
But don’t worry. I’m sure there’s no problem that giving huge incentives to bring in a Great Wolf Lodge or a Kalahari Resort won’t fix.
I can’t wait.