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Wednesday , August 15 2018
Home | Tag Archives: city of el paso

Tag Archives: city of el paso

City Snags $20,000 Competitive Grant Award

The Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund announced the City of El Paso will receive the $20,000 CityStart initiative planning grant to identify and plan for financial empowerment strategic priorities.

”The City of El Paso is committed to creating an environment supportive of financial stability for the most vulnerable in our community,” stated Director of Community + Human Development and Chief Resilience Officer Nicole Ferrini.

“Currently we are pursuing key actions that improve citizen access to basic services and increase availability of affordable housing while expanding both educational and economic opportunity. The CityStart initiative will help us help El Pasoans achieve their goals and realize their dreams.”

The City of El Paso, working with the CFE Fund, will construct and host a day-long municipal financial empowerment “boot camp” aimed at financially empowering residents.

Based on issues identified in the boot camp, El Paso will craft its municipal financial empowerment blueprint identifying actionable implementation steps.

“Cities control a host of policies, programs, and funding streams that can transform the lives of residents with low incomes on a large scale,” said President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund Jonathan Mintz.

“Across the nation, more and more city leaders are embracing high-quality financial empowerment programs to improve the financial stability of their city residents and communities. We congratulate Mayor Dee Margo and look forward to working with him to empower El Paso residents, and we thank JPMorgan Chase for their longstanding commitment to and investment in municipal financial empowerment.”

The CityStart initiative, with support from JPMorgan Chase and others, offers mayors and their administrations a structured approach to identify financial empowerment goals, organize stakeholders for sustainable success, develop concrete strategies, and ultimately create a blueprint that includes local priorities and opportunities.

The CityStart initiative draws on the CFE Fund’s extensive programmatic work with local government leaders in over 60 cities, connecting critical on-the-ground insights about the impact of financial instability on families, communities, and municipal budgets with tangible, measurable, and sustainable municipal strategies to improve families’ financial lives.

City Awarded $100K Grant to Support Growth of Local Minority-Owned Businesses

El Paso is one of five cities selected for this year’s expanded City Accelerator program, an initiative helping communities create jobs by growing their network of local minority-owned local businesses.

El Paso and other cities chosen to participate in the program by the Citi Foundation and Living Cities will receive a $100,000 grant and other services such as coaching, technical assistance, and implementation resources to advance entrepreneurial efforts aimed at growing locally minority-owned businesses.

Other cities selected for the program include Atlanta, Long Beach, Newark and Rochester.

“This grant presented a unique opportunity for the City to expand services that support our regional entrepreneurs,” said Jessica Herrera, Economic and International Development Director.

Throughout the next year, El Paso as part of this program will focus on expanding small business services offered through the El Paso Public Library.

“The El Paso Public Library System is a support mechanism within our community that aims to enhance economic and educational opportunities, especially for our minority population. El Paso has over 54,000 minority-owned local businesses and with the City Accelerator Program we will enhance and cultivate the business community to support regional entrepreneurial efforts,” said Mayor Dee Margo.

For additional information, please visit Governing Magazine, Citi’s blog to follow the progress of the City Accelerator participants.

Video+Story: El Paso a Finalist for $1m Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Project

Wednesday morning, Bloomberg Philanthropies announced that the City of El Paso has been selected as a finalist to potentially receive up to $1 million as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, a program that aims to foster creative collaboration, address civic issues, and support local economies through public art.

More than 200 cities applied, and El Paso, along with 13 other cities, has been invited to submit a full proposal.

In February, Bloomberg Philanthropies invited mayors of U.S. cities with 30,000 residents or more to submit proposals for temporary public art projects that address important civic issues, and demonstrate an ability to generate public-private collaborations, celebrate creativity and urban identity, and strengthen local economies.

Proposals address a range of pressing issues and social themes such as environmental sustainability, immigration, national disaster recovery, and cultural identity. Additionally, the proposals reflect a diverse use of artistic mediums including augmented reality, light installations, murals, and performances.

The City of El Paso proposed the development of “Border Tuner,” a large-scale, light and sound installation that highlights connections between El Paso in the U.S. and Ciudad Juárez in Mexico.

The piece by Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer will provide a platform for a wide range of local voices and will be an opportunity to draw international attention to the complexity and interdependence between the sister-cities that create the largest bi-national metropolitan area in the western hemisphere.

The project will be a collaboration between the City of El Paso, the Rubin Center at The University of Texas El Paso, the El Paso Community Foundation, the Fundación Comunitaria de la Frontera Norte, Ciudad Juárez, and the state Government of Chihuahua.

“The project is an opportunity to involve citizens from both sides of the border in a celebration of our complex and long-standing history of collaboration, and to share that message of bi-national cooperation with a national and international audience,” said City of El Paso Mayor Dee Margo.

Bloomberg Philanthropies will select at least three winners from 14 finalists in the fall to execute their projects over a maximum of 24 months. The grant is intended to provide catalytic funds as part of a strong, committed consortium of supporters.

The grants will cover project-related expenditures including development, execution, and marketing, but will not fund 100 percent of the total project costs.

The Public Art Challenge is a part of Mike Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative, an effort to help U.S. cities generate innovation and advance policy. The Public Art Challenge allows mayors and artists to join forces to elevate the value of including the creative sector when developing solutions to significant urban issues.

More information about the Public Art Challenge can be found online.

Council Approves $400k+ for Consulting Group to Help Develop Plan to Manage City’s Growth

On Tuesday, the City Council approved a contract with Stantec Consulting Services, who will assist city officials in developing a plan to provide the framework for managing growth citywide, particularly on the Eastside.

“El Paso is growing and meeting our growth challenges means we need to be ready to maintain and expand municipal services and infrastructure in a manner that addresses the needs of our citizens while making growth areas attractive to private development,” said City of El Paso Capital Improvement Director Sam Rodriguez.

“This plan will serve as a guide for managing future public investment to deter growth from happening haphazardly,” Rodriguez added.

Council approved awarding an approximate $413,000 contract to Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.

Via a news release, city officials shared, “The firm will provide the City with the tools and key policies needed to manage growth citywide and a masterplan for managing growth on the Eastside, the City’s fastest-growing region.”

The contract is funded through the City’s 2019 Capital Plan.

“Those who live, work and visit the Eastside have told us they want a network of streets that are safe and easy to navigate, more public safety services, walkable blocks, transit-oriented development, parks and open space serving local and regional needs, libraries, unique and memorable places, destination retail, and a mix of housing options for a range of incomes. This plan will provide us with the tools and key policies to achieve a sustainable roadmap to the future,” Mayor Pro-tem Michiel Noe said.

Development of the plan will take approximately 10 months, and officials say that, “the process will include an extensive public engagement process to ensure growth areas are developed in line with the community’s vision.”

City Schedules 2019 Budget Sessions Starting Monday, July 9th

The City of El Paso will begin the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget sessions on Monday, July 9, in the second floor Main Conference Room of City Hall located at 300 North Campbell.

All budget sessions will be broadcast live on City TV (U-Verse 99, Spectrum 1300, over the air 13.4, and online) and will be re-broadcast at 6:00 p.m. The meetings are also streamed live on the City’s website.

The meetings will be held:

  • Monday, July 9 – 9:00 a.m.

Goal Team Budget Presentations*


  • Tuesday, July 10 – 12:00 p.m.

Goal Team Budget Presentations*


  • Wednesday, July 11 – 9:00 a.m.

Goal Team Budget Presentations*


  • Thursday, July 12 – 9:00 a.m. (only if needed)

Goal Team Budget Presentations*


  • Monday, July 30 – 9:00 a.m.

Special City Council meeting to review Certified Valuations and introduce FY 2019 Tax Rate


  • Tuesday, August 7 – 9:00 a.m.

Regular City Council Meeting – 1st Public Hearing on Tax Rate


  • Tuesday, August 14 – 9:00 a.m.

Regular City Council Meeting – 2nd Public Hearing on Tax Rate


  • Tuesday, August 21 – 9:00 a.m.

Regular City Council Meeting – Council adopts FY 2019 budget and tax rate


*Goal Presentations

Goal #1                  Economic Development, Airport, International Bridges, and Destination El Paso

Goal #3                  Planning and Inspections

Goal #2                  Fire, Municipal Court, and Police

Goal #4                  Library, Museums & Cultural Affairs, Parks & Recreation, and Zoo

Goal #5                  Information Technology

Goal #6                  City Attorney, City Manager, Human Resources, Mayor & Council, Municipal Clerk, Non-departmental,                         Comptroller, Purchasing, and Tax Office

Goal #7                  Capital Improvements, Sun Metro, and Streets & Maintenance

Goal #8                  Animal Services, Community Development, Environmental Services, and Public Health

City of El Paso Earns Governor’s Achievement Award for Performance Excellence

The City of El Paso was recognized this week with the 2018 Texas Award for Performance Excellence Achievement recognized by the Quality Texas Foundation.

“El Paso continues to shine in Texas, nationally and internationally as a leader among leaders,” said Mayor Dee Margo. “The recognition further reinforces our stature and strategic direction.”

This recognition is the second highest recognition level by the State of Texas for performance excellence across entities including for-profit, not-for-profit, educational institutions, health care facilities/hospitals, manufacturing, and small businesses.

“Top performing organizations drive the direction of their strategic vision, embrace continuous improvement, and focus on delivering results to the communities they serve,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. “This recognition aligns with the City’s resolve to deliver outstanding services to our residents, businesses, and visitors.”

Team El Paso was recognized with the 2018 Achievement Award for its “well-deployed, effective, and systematic approaches to organizational management and for demonstrating improved performance in key areas of leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, measurement, analysis and knowledge management, workforce focus, and operations focus.”

The Criterias help guide organizations, no matter what sector or size, to achieve and sustain the highest national levels of customer satisfaction and engagement, product and service outcomes, process efficiency, workforce satisfaction and engagement, and social responsibility.

El Paso is the largest local government in Texas to undertake this comprehensive, international best practice criterias at an organizational scale.

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 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

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.