Jessica Herrera, the head of the City’s Economic and International Development Department, has resigned.
According to a report by Vic Kolenc of the El Paso Times, she has accepted a position at the El Paso branch of CBRE Group, an international investment and real estate firm based in Dallas.
Herrera began working for the City in 2006, fresh out of college, as a humble Program Administrator. But she gradually rose through the ranks to become Director of Economic Development, which moved its headquarters into Paul Foster’s Anson Mills Building, right next to the Oligarchy Mothership: The Borderplex Alliance.
My last conversation with her was on October 13, 2016, less than two minutes after I learned that the City had selected Duranguito for the site of their multipurpose basketball arena. I warned her there would be mass opposition if the City did not change course, to which she responded that I should calm down and trust her.
We never spoke again.
My previous meetings and conversations with her had been more civil, but things started to go south in summer 2015 when she supported killing the plan to establish a national historic district in our Downtown.
Herrera became the go-to person for the City’s secretly negotiated 380 agreements with developers. Crowder reported that there were 96 of these in early 2020 and that they were worth $231 million in incentives. Many of these deals did not turn out well for the taxpayers.
Herrera was the public face of the failed Great Wolf Lodge deal as well as the 2,313-acre land swap with Paul Foster that went through in spite of Karla Nieman’s public assurances.
Herrera was also the public face of the tax increment reinvestment zones the City established for elite developers, including the controversial TIRZ 13 for Paul Foster and his Dallas business partner, and the westside TIRZ that was ultimately squashed by the Save Lost Dog army.
And of course, Herrera was long the public face of the much-despised “Arena,” and she often appeared on television parroting the City’s talking points, which had been carefully crafted by the Ministry of Propaganda.
She was one of those high-ranking, unelected and well-paid City staffers who helped craft the policies that have left our City drowning in debt.
She will not be forgotten because her legacy will live on in the form of the highest taxes and debt load in the history of El Paso.
Enjoy your day.