On November 8, 2022, Proposition C passed with only 50.63% voter support, mandating “the issuance of $5,200,000 General Obligation Bonds for renewable energy and resource use efficiency improvements and planning.”
The bond ordinance includes no reference to a Climate Officer or a Climate Director.
Nevertheless, City Manager Tommy Gonzalez created the Office of Climate & Sustainability in late January 2023 by executive fiat, only weeks before he was fired, and named Ferrini “Climate and Sustainability Officer.”
And then Ferrini falsely suggested to City Council on March 14, 2023 that Proposition C did, in fact, authorize the creation of her office. (See the City video, starting at the 2:56 mark).
Previously, Ferrini held the titles “Chief Resiliency Officer” and “Director of Community & Human Development” and earned $140,044.
But thanks to Tommy, she now earns $176,428 and is the 19th highest paid employee in the City.
If you examine the organizational chart of the City of El Paso, you will see that Ferrini is one of ten senior administrators who serve beneath Interim City Manager Cary Westin, but she is the only one who does not hold an advanced degree.
She earned bachelor degrees in Interior Design and Architecture from Texas Tech but has repeatedly told City Council in open session that she is an architect.
How do her undergraduate credentials qualify her to run the climate office of a major American city?
For that answer, you will have to track down Tommy in Midland and ask him yourself.
THE VOTERS REJECTED ESTABLISHING A CLIMATE OFFICE
The Sunrise El Paso activists managed to place Proposition K, which specifically mandated establishing a “Climate Department” and “Climate Director,” on the May 6 ballot.
But Proposition K was rejected by 40,767 voters, representing 81.57% of total votes cast.
So not only is there no mandate for an Office of Climate & Sustainability and a Climate and Sustainability Officer, but these were totally rejected by the voters of El Paso.
Today we were informed by a high-ranking City insider that the new “Office” technically does not rise to the level of a City department.
On the City organization chart it is called the “Office of Climate Action,” and it may be that Ferrini is inflating its importance.
However, we feel that whatever it is should be abolished immediately because of the defeat of Proposition K in the May 6 bond election.
FERRINI ASSUMES SWEEPING POWERS
During Wednesday’s City Council meeting, under agenda items 15-18, Ferrini gave a 30-minute presentation in which she expounded on the powers of her new office and its reach into virtually every corner of the municipal administration.
She indicated that her office will have purview over 5,587 square miles, including ten municipalities and two counties!
When asked by Rep. Kennedy whether it is legal for City bond money to be spent on initiatives outside El Paso City limits, she answered that that is her interpretation of Proposition C.
Everyone should listen to Ferrini’s full presentation, which begins here at the 1:33 mark. You will learn about her ambitious plans to expand her authority far beyond anything that was authorized by the voters.
Regardless of what one thinks about global warming and environmental pollution, the City must operate within its legal boundaries and voter approval should be sought for any major expansion of government authority.