The City Council just voted 6-2 to issue another $96M in CO debt without voter approval, with Reps. Molinar and Rodriguez dissenting. This is in addition to the $93M in COs issued in April, for a total of $189M in the last four months alone.

That brings our total outstanding CO debt to more than $730M, the Texas record by a wide margin.

Today reps Molinar and Rodriguez asked CFO Cortinas how the $96M approved today will impact our property tax. As before, Cortinas evaded the question and instead touted the “savings” the City will enjoy because it will refinance debt at lower interest rates. He also kept repeating that our property tax rate will not change this year, while refusing to divulge how it will rise in the years ahead.

We will find out when we find out…


City Engineer Sam Rodriguez made a presentation (pp.15-30) to City Council detailing how the City will spend the $96M, which includes funding for the following 2012 QOL bond projects:

$13,632,000 Eastside Regional Park Phase II

$10,750,000 Mexican-American Cultural Center

That is $24.4M right there.

If we add the $1,477,300 for the Chelsea Pool, $1,591,200 for the “Multipurpose Ctr Instruct Pool,” $536,000 for the Modesto Gomez Park Improvements, and $1,841,683 for Sports Field Lighting CIP, there are more than $29.8M to cover cost overruns on the 2012 QOL bond projects.

Rather than allowing the voters to decided whether to increase the funding for these projects, which would be the proper (and legal) thing to do, our City Council simply increases their price tags without even blinking.

Mayor Leeser stated during his campaign very clearly that he would oppose expending COs for QOL bond projects. As in April, he did not use his veto, and so far the media have given him a pass.

Enjoy your afternoon.