Yesterday our City Council voted 6-1, with Rep. Cassandra Hernandez dissenting and Rep. Isabel Salcido absent, to proceed with a public-private partnership to construct a 12,500-seat amphitheater in Northeast El Paso.

The deal will require Notes Live, Inc. to invest a minimum of $80 million dollars to build the facility and to take responsibility for maintenance and operations. Zero general fund dollars will be used so there will be no impact on the City property tax. The firm will receive $30.6 million in City incentives, including 15 acres of public land, revenues from TIRZ 11, and sales tax rebates.

Over the 20-year agreement, the project is expected to generate $5.4 billion in economic activity and support more than 2,000 jobs.


Hernandez sat in grim silence during the brief City Council discussion and was the only representative to vote NAY.

She refused to join the 11:00am press conference, which was attended by her colleagues, the corporate leadership of Notes Live, and all the local newspapers and television news networks.

Instead, she sent this statement to the media:

“I am excited about Notes Live choosing El Paso for their outdoor amphitheater. This investment reflects the growth and progress in our city, providing much-needed entertainment options for El Pasoans. However, in exchange for the $30.6 million incentive package, which includes city-owned land and economic development funds, I pushed for a greater return of amphitheater usage, competitive wages, and revenues to benefit the taxpayer. My vote underscores my dedication to ensuring that the El Paso taxpayer sees a significant return on the city’s investment.”

So Hernandez voted against a private capital project that will generate $5.4 billion in economic impact and cost the taxpayers nothing because it is a bad deal for the taxpayers?

Since when did she become the champion of fiscal responsibility?

Given her appalling voting record, the worst of any City leader since the incorporation of El Paso in 1873, we would entrust our life savings to Tim Johnson’s alleged Ponzi scheme before putting her in charge of one single penny of taxpayer funds.

Is this the same Hernandez who voted for six property tax hikes in a row, in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, helping to ensure that El Pasoans would bear one of the highest overall tax burdens in Texas?

Is this the same Hernandez who suggested in open session that the Central Appraisal District should increase property valuations so the City can increase its tax revenue and screw the taxpayers even more?

Is this the same Hernandez who voted for hundreds of millions of dollars in non-voter-approved debt?

Is this the same Hernandez who voted to amend TTIRZ 13, located on 2,313 acres of public land acquired by Paul Foster, forgiving 75% of city property tax for 50 years and denying the General Fund hundreds of millions of dollars in future revenue?

Is this the same Hernandez who supported demolishing Duranguito for a 15,000-seat multipurpose arena which the City’s own consultants affirm would have gone more than $300 million over budget?

Is this the same Hernandez who voted for tens of millions of dollars in cost overruns on the Quality of Life Bond projects by issuing certificates of obligation without voter approval?\

Is this the same Hernandez who voted to provide $15.3 million in tax subsidies, tax abatements, and cash payments for the construction of Weststar Tower?

Is this the same Hernandez who was reprimanded by the City Ethics Review Commission for spending $6,691 on her gas card in 2022 and repeatedly lending it to her husband, intentionally using her position “to secure unwarranted privileges for [herself], relatives or others?”

According to our atomic Gassandra Clock, which is accurate to the nanosecond, Hernandez has only 257 days, 8 hours, 41 minutes, and 44 second left in office as of the moment we published this report.

Don’t worry, El Paso. The nightmare is almost over.