The types at City Hall think City Government should be a growth industry.
So do the people that benefit from the expanding City Government. The fat cats. The real estate speculators, and developers. The people whose paychecks depend on our tax dollars.
The “philanthropists” and “visionaries”.
Now small businesses are getting squeezed between higher property taxes and the public’s decreased disposable income, because everybody is paying higher taxes.
Do you know what I want from City Government? Not so much.
Not so many frilly gewgaws, like water parks, and a trolley that doesn’t really serve anyone’s transportation needs. I don’t want to be saddled with maintenance costs for a ballpark that’s dark most of the time.
I don’t want to pay for world class amenities that I’ll use once or twice or never, that are only designed to benefit the real estate speculators and developers and the “philanthropists” and “visionaries” and the people who work at City Hall.
Do you know what I want from City Government?
I want streets that are at least moderately well maintained. I want the traffic lights to be in sync. I want efficient public transportation, and only a minimum of public safety.
(You know the cops and the firemen, and their unions, are the ones pushing Public Safety in the City’s surveys. How else would you explain Public Safely being our major concern? Is crime rampant? Are houses burning down? Are we all paranoid?)
I want less City Government and I expect to pay less for it.
Is that too much to ask?
I would like to have a city and county government that would serve and protect the taxpayers interests. What we have now in El Paso are elected officials that take their paychecks from the citizens but work for the lobbyists and business interests that have their own interests, not the city or county, at heart. These elected reps. continually lie about having our interests at heart and selling us projects that cost us tens of millions of dollars but really only benefit a few . Honestly and Transparency is that to much to ask for? It is in the city and county of El Paso
Nothing in El Paso has ever changed in my lifetime and never will as long as most of the population is apolitical and doesn’t vote. It has always been easy pickings for the fat cat oligarchs and remains so. There are politicians who really care, like Escobar and Carbajal and I wish them well.
My personal studies in urban theory reveal that urban vitality boils down to two factors: 1) the educational level of the city and, 2) citizen engagement. The first is easily seen in census data and El Paso has improved a lot in the 25 years I’ve been here but is still way behind other cities at about 25% having a 4-year degree or better. Thank UTEP for that by its waiving SAT scores as a criteria for admission.
The second is measured by voter turnout and general social capital. El Paso is way behind on this measure. Then, too, there are cities that are off the scale on both measures but where “engagement” means burning themselves down, like Portland and Seattle. No magic formula.
My wish list for El Paso is less brick-and-mortar and more focus on creating low cost opportunity and ambience, e.g., street food in Segundo and a Pink Store margarita truck. They could also lobby to bring back the bull fights and the Mariscal in Juarez 🙂
The the last bullfight of the season in Juarez was last Friday. I reckon they’ll be back next year.
Oh, and I got my property tax bill yesterday that went up in toto 7%. It looks like all those ships queued up in LA harbor and clogging the supply chain finally hit home here with higher prices for local government.
The business of city government is to run the city effectively! That means taking care of the roads, streets and infrastructure. If the city and county kept our property taxes low, there would more ability for people to maintain their homes.