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Wednesday , December 19 2018
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Home | Opinion | Op-Ed: City Hires Firms to Run Us Through the “Spin Cycle” Again
"Since when is progress accomplished on the backs of El Paso’s taxpayers? Since when is progress measured by how deep in debt City leaders subject our citizens to?"

Op-Ed: City Hires Firms to Run Us Through the “Spin Cycle” Again

On Saturday, Sept. 6, the El Paso Times ran a guest column written by two individuals representing companies hired by the City to create what I believe is a damage-control narrative designed to twist facts and misrepresent the reality about how progress and quality of life is attained here in our city.

This is my personal response to their El Paso Times column – Jud Burgess

*

Mr. Bill Burton and Ms. Rodriguez, I take offense at your highly spun and lip-glossed opinion column attempting to present serious issues about El Paso’s future as simple as calling citizens to join your hastily produced “movement” called El Paso Forward, a media blitz designed to put El Paso on spin cycle in the midst of the current negative perception the public has of City government and how it treats El Paso’s citizens.

I know how advertising works* and Mithoff-Burton Partners along with the Raben Group PR firm are engaged in an attempt to change the current negative perception as these types of firms are hired to do. Advertising is all about manipulating facts to create a perception that sells an idea, service or product.

(* I’ve had my own successful 30-year business as a graphic design studio and have avoided working with ad agencies due to the pervasively disingenuous business culture.)

You present a saccharine and manufactured view of El Paso on the precipice of greatness and call it reality without any connection to real facts. Every administration has been declaring El Paso on the cusp of a renaissance and exploding growth but none have delivered it. Your “El Paso Deserves It” video subjects are multi-million dollar Quality of Life projects that have nearly all been underfunded.

Let’s call it what it is…a propaganda campaign to help usher in the sure-to-lose-millions, heritage and culture killing, taxpayer-abusing El Paso sports arena FUSTERCLUCK.

It’s a multi-media spin cycle effort designed to keep citizens ignorantly happy while City leaders continue jacking up the price tags of their pet projects like the ballpark and the now $60 million children’s museum while insultingly underfunding and haphazardly combining the $5 million Mexican-American Cultural Center with the beloved downtown library.

One major problem with your invitation is you neglect to inform El Pasoans that it will continue to plunge us deeper into serious and almost insurmountable debt at this point. All to appease our City leaders who more than likely hired your firm at taxpayer expense, the ultimate cruelty but not surprising given our mayor who has proven to have an insatiable appetite for issuing taxes every which way but loose.

Your column refers to community grumbling — a thinly veiled and insulting reference to the thousands of El Pasoans who demand government transparency, citizen participation in improving our city, ethical behavior from our public servants and an end to abusive taxation and expensive QOL projects.

Without so many words, you paint us as people who are holding progress down and hurting the misguided efforts of city leaders who in all truthfulness are taxing us into oblivion as the wheels of “progress” begin to come loose.

Since when is progress accomplished on the backs of El Paso’s taxpayers?

Since when is progress measured by how deep in debt City leaders subject our citizens to?

We are El Pasoans who want to see El Paso thrive but not by over-taxation and continued tax breaks for the wealthy at our expense.

We want to build pride by embracing the heritage, culture and people of the real El Paso…not the bland and derivative fake Starbucks culture that City leaders and real estate investors always seem to gravitate to.

Join the movement to hold city leaders accountable and put a stop to their reckless spending in the name of “progress” and “quality of life”.

**

Jud Burgess is a local graphic designer, business owner, and blogger who is involved in local activism efforts.  judburgess.com  /  James No Bond on FB

***

The El Paso Herald-Post welcomes guest columns, open letters, letters to the Editor and analysis pieces for publication, to submit a piece or for questions regarding guidelines, please email us at news@epheraldpost.com

About Guest Columnist

Guest Columnists are residents who feel so strongly about a news event, a story or some other issue, that they decided to put their thoughts to paper - or computer screens. Or they are writers who have made their work available via other channels and we feature their work here, with permission. If you'd like to submit a column, please contact us at news@epheraldpost.com

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8 comments

  1. Jud Burgess guest column accurately described the latest ad blitz that represents the view promulgated by our mayor and city council with little or no input from the citizenry.
    This is a terrible idea that needs a full, accurate, and open dialogue in which we, the community, have an equal voice.

    Thank you

  2. The Quality of Life bond projects were voted upon and passed by voters, good or bad this is what is. I am all for holding elected officials accountable to the will of the voters and in this case accountable means completing what the voters wanted.

  3. Andy Werner, I’m sure you’re aware that the Multi-purpose Entertainment complex that was voted on in the 2012 QOL election was legally declared to have been a bait-and-switch by Austin Judge Amy Meacham. She punished city leaders by not allowing the MPAC to be built to accommodate sports and now the City is using our tax $$$ to fight her decision in an attempt to overturn it.

    That is breach of contract.

    Are you aware that the QOL projects still on the table and in progress are all on average 50% underfunded? The City addresses these shortfalls by issuing additional tax burdens via Certificates of Obligation without out participation or vote.

    That is breach of contract.

    Take for example, the Children’s Museum which was originally budgeted at $19.5 million. The City had backdoor meetings with the El Paso Community Foundation and when all was said and done, the price tripled to $60 million with the City getting us on the hook for an additional $20 million again without our permission.

    That is breach of contract.

    City leaders ARE NOT ACCOUNTABLE to El Pasoans for the projects voted on in 2012.
    .

    • I and all who I know who voted for or against the QLB were full aware of what it was and what it entailed. Seems to me if this was a bait and switch (an just because a Austin judge under duress from opposition uses a often used commercial term to describe verbiage in a bond does not make it illegal or legal) she would have declared the election illegal (which she did not). So we are back to the same point. A majority voted for this (good or bad, judge recommend or not) elected officials must serve the will of the voter, Period. Elected officials will not serve the will if they fail to deliver what the bond entailed. Seems to me you are barking up the wrong tree so to speak. Shouldn’t your accountability be with the duped majority who voted for this? We have all the power in this, we can hold elected officials accountable, (elections) we really don’t need others to do this for us, or tell how to vote or what was meant in a quality of life bond. I don’t want a Austin judge, you or anybody else for that matter interpreting my vote other than for it or against it. I do appreciate differences of opinion and value opposite viewpoints, by in the end it is my call, my vote just as it is for everyone else who voted.

      • There’s a reason judges weigh in on things like the MPEC and make legally binding decisions according to what they discover. It makes no difference at all to her whether you and your friends knew that the 2012 ballot was going to be a lower-tier basketball/soccer sports arena.

        The official ballot made no mention of an arena or sports because the City paid good money to an expert in getting sports arenas voted on in bond elections to tell them to leave out any specifics on sports and arenas because voters tend to vote against them.

        There’s your bait-and-switch. Probably illegal. She can’t negate the vote but what she did was to forbid the City to build it in any way that wasn’t indicated on the 2012 ballot.

        So unless you want to help the City in their effort to overturn her legal decision have at it. The City is already torching our tax dollars trying to do so.

        BREACH OF CONTRACT.

        Don’t assume just because you had a crystal ball and you knew it was going to be a sports arena all along that everyone else had access to your crystal ball as well.

        .

  4. Isn’t this the guy who got arrested at city council for attacking the mayor? Seems legit.

    • Yes Tony, I was arrested 3 weeks ago for giving the mayor and city manager 10 seconds of additional comments exposing the way they treat El Pasoans when it comes to QOL projects. Mayor Margo is not one to deal with opposition so he has been threatening me and me only with police intimidation when I address him and council at City Hall during public comment times every other Tuesday. They also issued a restraining order which prohibits me from being within 200 yards of City Hall until my case is resolved. How’s that for dealing with public criticism?

  5. So they 86 you from CITY HALL!
    As far as I’m concern! your opinion don’t matter to me whatsoever Jud Burgess.all you do is whine.
    I’m proud to be from El Paso,born and raised, and I’m also more than proud that back in November 2012.
    My entire family and myself voted to give all El Pasoans a better quality of life, we voted YES on all three signature QOL bond proposals.And the arena was to include basketball sports,including hosting NCAA tournaments etc.
    The negativity that comes from you,nothing ever positive from you, so take some advice! the only thing that’s guaranteed in Life is TAXES AND DEATH! maybe you can do like Donald Trump does…and DON’T PAY YOUR TAXES!
    Otherwise, Let It Be……
    If cost of city bond projects keep rising,the real issue lies with the previous city council of mayor John Cook. that city council administration had their hearts in the right place. I’m talking about those that favored the quality of life bond issues. Problem is! they didn’t do enough research and they also didn’t ask for enough money. Had they asked for more money. El Paso Tax payers would had graciously and willfully open their wallets and purses. As it was then, the city trimmed off about $300 million from those bonds,do you remember when they wanted to build a new soccer stadium and renovate the Sun Bowl stadium?
    The real reason for me replying to your editorial, is that I know for many reasons that El Paso has to become a better city.And we are finally headed that way! I come from the era when we only had Washington Park amusement rides and Western Playland at Ascarate Park.
    You need to chill out Jud, Life is Short!
    p.s. lay off mayor Dee Margo!, He’s DOING A FANTASTIC JOB! better than the previous mayor that’s the main reason for all the delays with the QOL projects and cost going up…

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