Dear Friends,


As I write to you, our City Council is in Executive Session debating whether to extend the contract of City Manager Gonzalez for another seven years. We’re talking about a man who presided over a City property tax increase of 38% since he took office in 2014. As a result, we now have the second highest overall property tax rate among the 50 largest cities in America. Gonzalez and his staff recommended issuing hundreds of millions of dollars in CO debt without voter authorization for non-emergency projects.

What, you thought that all that deficit spending and taxation was the idea of our City Council reps? Some would argue that the City Manager was forced to keep up with the City’s out-of-control spending priorities, but I never heard him complain much about the plight of the local taxpayer. Let us be absolutely clear. He was the architect of our City’s financial demise and he and his staff provided all the financial guidance. And let’s not forget those atrocious TIRZes in open space, the innumerable incentives doled out to developers, and the Great Wolf Lodge debacle! The media and certain reps keep focusing on the man’s salary, which is the least of our problems…

All that said, Is it a good idea to have an unelected City Manager preside over a community for 15 years in a row? I will predict that six City Council reps actually think so.


On Saturday I shared with you the opinion essay by Steve Kaplowitz, who argues that the “Arena” will not be built in downtown without private money. On his May 18 Sportstalk radio show (see attached podcast) he bluntly claims that the downtown arena is “dead” and that no investor in his/her right mind would pour hundreds of millions into such a boondoggle. End of story.


I went ahead and posted the Kaplowitz essay at the top of the El Paso History Alliance Facebook Page, which now has 64,428 followers, more than enough to fill Sunbowl Stadium. I invite the City Council reps who still think the “Arena” is a good idea to read the 105 (unedited) comments beneath that post, which is pinned at the top of the page. There you can see just how unpopular this project is, regardless of what some overpriced consulting firm in California tells us.

Enjoy your evening.