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Thursday , June 21 2018
Home | Tag Archives: city of el paso

Tag Archives: city of el paso

City Recognized for “Ask Laura” App

The City of El Paso was recognized as a 2018 Best of Texas Awards Winner by the Center for Digital Government at the annual Texas Digital Government Summit.

“Ask Laura,” the City of El Paso’s virtual information officer, was recognized as the Best Application Serving the Public. The Center for Digital Government identified the customizable look and voice and the software providing analytics and reporting as reasons for the recognition.

“The City of El Paso was honored for implementing ‘Ask Laura,’ a chatbot avatar with audible and on-screen messaging,” said Department of Information Technology Services (DoITS) Director Enrique Martinez. “Four departments are currently using ‘Ask Laura’, and we have plans to expand this customer service avatar to other departments to deliver outstanding customer service to the citizens.”

“Ask Laura” is currently available on the Purchasing and Strategic Sourcing, Tax Office, Planning and Inspections, and Airport websites.

The Best of Texas Awards program recognizes public-sector professionals and local government organizations for their dedication and contributions to advancing information technology in Texas.

Winners are selected based on a number of criteria, including collaboration among agencies, innovative use of technology, economic benefits and improving public services and business processes.

Visit govtech.com for more information.

City Announces 16 Intersections to Get Traffic Lights

Commuters in far East El Paso now have a new signalized intersection to assist with traffic management and enhance roadway safety.

The intersection of Rich Beem and Pebble Hills is the first of 16 intersections getting traffic signals as part of the City’s commitment to invest in mobility and enhance its regional comprehensive transportation system.

According to city officials, most of the intersections will be signalized within 16 months. All the projects are scheduled to be completed by 2020. The cost to signalize each intersection is about $300,000.

“Motorists are encouraged to use caution while traveling through the newly signalized area,” officials added.

The other intersections funded to receive signals are:

  • Resler and Northern Pass
  • Pebble Hills and Sun Fire
  • Kenworthy and Sun Valley
  • Marcus Uribe and Sean Haggerty
  • Tierra Cortez and Tierra Este
  • Resler and Nardo Goodman
  • Alameda and Whittier
  • North Loop and Lafayette
  • Schuster and El Paso
  • Zaragoza and John Hayes
  • Pellicano and Michaelangelo
  • Northwestern and Helen of Troy
  • Silver Springs and Shadow Mountain
  • Doniphan and Bird
  • Doniphan and West Green

City Attends Summit in Houston To Boost Trade Opportunities with Japan

The City of El Paso and its partners at the Borderplex Alliance were among dozens of development, policy and business leaders gathering in Houston this week at the Japan-Texas Economic Summit to foster connections and expand trade.

“Effective economic development is about relationships. To be successful at attracting new companies to our region we must foster relationships on a global platform. We are among the top 10 exporters in the nation so it makes sense that we would want to showcase El Paso at this international summit,” said Jessica Herrera, City of El Paso Economic and International Development Director.

The conference hosted by the US.-Japan Council featured keynote addresses from prominent leaders from both the United States and Japan while highlighting Texas cities and their economic development opportunities in areas of innovation, workforce development, energy, medicine, manufacturing, transportation, finance and much more.

“These are exciting times in El Paso. We are making every stride to pursue business opportunities that can grow our economy, our job market and ultimately our community’s standard of living. Participating in these economic summits, particularly those at an international level, allow us to share our achievements to attract companies and talent,” said Cary Westin, El Paso Deputy City Manager.

El Paso accounts for 13 percent of all goods exported form the state of Texas. The El Paso Foreign Trade Zone is the fourth largest exporter in the nation.

In 2017, the local trade zone moved more than $6.5 billion worth of goods, a 200 percent increase over the previous year.

City Schedules Public Meetings for Proposed El Paso Charter Amendments

The City of El Paso Ad Hoc Charter Advisory Committee will hold a series of public meetings for the community to ask questions, review and make recommendations on proposed City Charter Amendments for a special election planned to be called with the November 2018 general election.

Proposed amendments to the City Charter include (1) increasing salaries for Mayor and City Council members; (2) reducing the prohibitions on outside public employment for Mayor and City Council members; and (3) having the City of El Paso Internal Auditor report directly to Mayor and Council.

Amendments to the City Charter were last made in 2015.

The Ad Hoc Charter Advisory Committee consists of a group of citizens appointed by Mayor and Council assigned with the responsibility of reviewing the charter and recommending proposed revisions to Mayor and Council.

The City Charter is the equivalent of a local constitution. It governs the form and powers of the city and the general responsibilities of the legislative and administrative powers. The charter is a written instrument that creates and defines powers, rights and privileges for a specific jurisdiction.

It addresses topics such as the city’s corporate limits, organization of city government, terms of office, and functions of elected officials, election standards, budget adoption and personnel management (city administration).

Members of the public are invited to attend the open meetings. The meetings may also be seen on the City’s website; they will be streamed live online.  The current City charter is available by clicking on the City Charter tab of the City Clerk webpage.

The open meetings are scheduled on the following dates:

  • May 7, 6 p.m., Grandview Center, 3134 Jefferson
  • May 21, 6 p.m., Don Haskins Recreation Center, 7400 High Ridge
  • June 4, 6 p.m., Marty Robbins Recreation Center, 11620 Vista Del Sol

 

Forbes Magazine Ranks El Paso Top ‘Affordable City’ in US

The City of El Paso has been ranked as the city with the lowest cost of living by Forbes magazine.

Forbes based the rankings on median income and the cost of necessities to arrive at the income needed to live comfortably. El Paso’s median income is $43,322, and the cost of necessities is $25,075.

The income needed to live comfortably in El Paso is $50,150.

The median household income in the United States is $57,617, but the cost of necessities is $57,311.

“El Paso is one of the best cities to live in,” stated City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. Our low cost of living, excellent workforce, and ranking as one of the safest cities means a superior quality of place for our residents.”

While many of the cities with low cost of living have rampant crime rates, the City of El Paso has also been able to keep crime down and is only one of two cities ranked that is able to do so.

The Forbes article goes on to state, “Affordable cities might be getting rarer, but they’re not completely gone. According to a new report by GOBankingRates on the salary you need to afford living, out of the 60 largest cities in the U.S., you can live comfortably in only 13 of them earning an income of $60,000 a year or less.”

More information can be found at forbes.com.

City Appoints Robert Cortinas Chief Financial Officer

On Tuesday, the City of El Paso anounced the appointment of Robert Cortinas as Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately.

“Mr. Cortinas has gained valuable knowledge in operations and finance during his time with the City,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. “I am confident he will continue doing an excellent job in maintaining continuity in financial operations and reporting.”

Cortinas had previously served as the Interim Director of Municipal Financial Services. He will continue overseeing the Office of Management and Budget, the Tax Office, and the Comptroller’s Office.

Cortinas began his career with the City in 2007. He promoted several times and has held the positions of budget & management analyst, administrative analyst, business/finance manager, senior budget & management analyst and senior strategic budget advisor. In 2014, Cortinas was appointed as the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Cortinas obtained his Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso, was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society and was an All-American Scholar.

City to Host Additional Community Meetings for Revised Noise Ordinance

The City of El Paso Environmental Services, Planning and Inspections, and the Police Departments have added two more community meetings to discuss proposed revisions to the City’s noise ordinance.

The City is exploring ways to improve and clarify the existing noise ordinance. The proposal is to replace the current noise ordinance with a noise nuisance ordinance that:

  • Lists common nuisance conditions in everyday language that is easy for the public and enforcement officers to understand
  • Will be more restrictive during the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Does not require decibel readings to be taken to confirm a nuisance

In addition, a new ordinance is proposed for establishments that play amplified sound outdoors after 10 p.m.

Residents are encouraged to attend and give input at the community meetings scheduled at 6 p.m. on the following dates:

Northeast Regional Command, 9600 Dyer

Tuesday, April 17

Pebble Hills Regional Command, 10780 Pebble Hills

Wednesday, April 18

El Paso Public Library – Main Branch, 501 N. Oregon

Monday, April 23

El Paso Sheriff Office Academy, 12501 Montana

Tuesday, April 24

City Of El Paso Named a Finalist for 2018 All-America City Award

The City of El Paso announced Wednesday afternoon that the National Civic League (NCL) has named the City of El Paso as a finalist for the 2018 All-America City Award.

The All-America City Award (AAC) is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious civic recognition award.

‘We are pleased that the City of El Paso is once again a finalist for the All-America City Award. The City won in 1969 and 2010, and I am confident we will do well this year,” said City of El Paso Mayor Dee Margo.

Participants had to submit an award application outlining three community projects that address their communities’ most pressing challenges.

The City’s Department of Community and Human Development submitted the following projects that highlight the city’s efforts to improve quality of life:

  1. Empowering El Pasoans for Services and Leadership
  2. Career and Adult Educational Opportunities
  3. El Paso Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program.

The 20 cities named as finalists will send a delegation to Denver, Colorado, in June to make a live presentation to a panel of judges. Each community will bring a team of residents, nonprofit leaders, business representatives, government officials and young people to participate in presentations and workshops for three days. The 2018 AAC finalists represent collaborative, inclusive and innovative civic engagement.

“Mayor and Council, the City’s executive team, and City staff have all worked hard for this honor, and I am proud that we are one of only two Texas cities to become a finalist,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. “We are excited to tell the City of El Paso’s story and showcase all of the advancements we have made.”

Listed alphabetically by state are the 2018 All-America City finalists:

Allentown, PA

Ann Arbor MI

Battle Creek, MI

Beaverton, OR

Cincinnati, OH

Charlotte, NC

Columbia, SC

Decatur, GA

El Paso, Texas

Kershaw County, SC

Las Vegas, NV

Longmont, CO

Miami Beach, FL

Mount Pleasant, SC

Pasco, WA

Placentia, CA

San Antonio, TX

Springdale, AR

Stockton, CA

Tacoma, WA.

To see complete details, visit the All America City Award website

City Introduces ‘Uptown Parking Benefit District,’ Meter Revenue to be Reinvested

During Tuesday’s regular session, City Council adopted a Parking Benefit District ordinance making it possible for parking meter revenues to be reinvested into neighborhoods where the funds are generated to address security, traffic safety and public improvements.

“This parking management program will make a visible difference in the neighborhoods where it’s utilized,” said Monica Lombraña, City of El Paso Managing Director of Aviation and International Bridges. “It will improve mobility by creating parking turnover and will foster and support neighborhood safety and public improvements that are welcoming to both residents and visitors alike, and will also promote economic growth.”

Examples of public improvements that may be funded through a parking benefit district include: security services, street maintenance, sidewalk improvements, lighting enhancements, wayfinding, use of public transit, or improvements that promote alternate forms of transportation.

In accordance with the ordinance approved today, potential improvement projects would be identified by city staff in collaboration with an advisory committee comprised predominately of business representatives and residents who work or live in or within 1,500 feet of a parking benefit district. Recommendations would be presented to Council for approval.

With the same vote, Council established the community’s first parking benefit district – the Uptown Parking Benefit District – which will serve as a model for other neighborhoods around the city. This district located in West Central El Paso includes a portion of Kern Place and the medical area near the University of Texas at El Paso.

City Sends Delegation to ‘Sister Cities’ Mayoral Summit in Guadalajara

A delegation from El Paso comprised of City officials and business leaders is gathering in Guadalajara, Mexico, along with other cities and counties from the United States and Mexico, as part of the All Mexico – U.S. Sister Cities Mayor’s Summit that begins February 15.

“The City continues to take advantage of every opportunity to promote our community, both economically and culturally. This summit opens relationships between Guadalajara and the El Paso del Norte regional businesses, higher education institutions, and civic associations. The positive outcome here is the beginning of new development between our two cities and the world,” said City Council Representative Peter Svarzbein.

The Summit is an effort to discuss ways to advance sister city programs between the United States and Mexico and is the third of an ongoing bi-national series of Summits to reaffirm and strengthen sister city relationships in key countries.

The conference theme of Independence & Interdependence focuses on celebrating the historical ties between the United States and Mexican civic society, business, cultural and education institutions.

“The Resilient El Paso strategy is a roadmap for collaboration regionally, nationally and globally. The City is committed to cultivating local, regional and global relationships supportive of prosperity for our people and sustainability for our city,” said Nicole Ferrini, Chief Resilient Officer and Director of Community and Human Development.

Ferrini added, “The path forward is paved by global connectivity, international best practices and cutting-edge local experimentation.  As a desert-oriented, binational metroplex, we are positioned to lead the world in the practice of urban resilience.”

For more information, visit the summit’s website.  Below is a list of those in the El Paso delegation.

Video: Your City in 5 – Week Ending February 9th

In this edition of YC5, host Rick Isaias brings you the latest on the news and events from around the city, including:

• City Council approves improvement projects

• City acquires land for preservation

• Plan set for Cohen redevelopment

• Library receives state funding grant

• City unveils resilience strategy

• Public Health celebrates 10 years

• City’s government TV station changing channels on cable

• Permits required on Valentine’s Day

For programs and services provided by the City of El Paso, visit the city’s website.

‘Ask Laura’ Now Available on Planning and Inspections Website

The Planning and Inspections Department, in partnership with the Purchasing and Strategic Sourcing Department, launched virtual information officer Ask Laura, an interactive online avatar on the Planning and Inspections webpage.

According to news release, city official say, “Ask Laura will assist customers in navigating the Planning and Inspection’s website, provide instant responses to questions, and offer links for additional information.”

Government Technology has called Ask Laura “a real game changer” 

Customer Service – Ask Laura provides users with a unique customer service experience by providing immediate information on topics that include where to find City Code requirements for zoning, platting, and permitting and information on submitting applications and the required fees to rezone or subdivide a property.

Efficiency – Ask Laura will significantly reduce the amount of time that the Planning and Inspections Department spends in responding to frequently asked questions. This allows staff to be reassigned to other strategic initiatives.

“Ask Laura” is available by visiting elpasotexas.gov/planning-and-inspections.

City Offices Return to Monday through Friday Operating Schedule

Starting Tuesday, January 16, the City of El Paso will again be open five days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“I have received numerous requests from the community to have all City departments operate Monday through Friday, this action shows we are here to serve our constituents,” said City of El Paso Mayor Dee Margo.

“Opening all offices five days a week follows the City’s mission statement of delivering outstanding services to our residents, businesses, and visitors,” said El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez.

Via a news release, city officials added, “The new operating hours will make the City more accessible to residents and more business-friendly.”

Central Business Association, Mexican Consulate, City Team Up for Downtown Posada

Thanks to the El Paso Central Business Association (CBA) alongside the Consulado General de Mexico and the City of El Paso, the ​37th Annual Posada returns to Downtown El Paso​.

A traditional Mexican celebration, a posada is a re-enactment of Joseph and Mary seeking “shelter” so that Mary can deliver the Christ child. Traditionally the shelter is denied and a procession where children are given candy to help in the search for shelter. There are special songs (villancicos), food, and traditions that accompany this reenactment.

Organizers share that there will be piñatas for the children, champurrado (a hot chocolate drink), atole, pan dulce and buñuelos as well as singers, dancers and actors.

Via a news release, organizers added, “an additional reason for celebrating this Posada for all the citizens of El Paso is to feature our friendly relationship with our sister city Cd. Juarez, Mexico…and it’s open to all regardless of their religion or ethnicity.”

WHAT: Border Posada
WHERE: Saturday, December 16, 2017
WHEN: Starting at 4:00pm at the Paso Del Norte International Bridge located at 1001 N. Santon
Celebration to be followed at San Jacinto Plaza located at 114 W. Mills Ave.

 

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