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Friday , October 19 2018
Home | Tag Archives: jud burgess

Tag Archives: jud burgess

Op-Ed: El Paso’s Registered Voters Must Show Up on Election Day. NO EXCUSES

Don’t be one of the 92% of registered El Paso voters who sit out the election to Netflix the night away.

It is said that a city which brings out only 8% of its voting public on Election Day deserves the leadership it gets.  And this truism has proved itself in painful clarity with our current crop of representatives inhabiting City Hall.

While campaigning, our mayor looked El Paso squarely in the eye and promised that he would “hold the line on taxes” because we could ill-afford to raise them given the financial predicament our city is in.  He didn’t waste a minute backpedaling and breaking his word after winning his election.

Most of our current city council reps have been complicit in systematically raising our taxes without so much as a No Vote on behalf of their constituents.

What does El Paso’s pathetic level of voter participation tell us?

It states loud and clear that there is an eroding state of apathy, ignorance and inertia plaguing our city.   It reveals our City leaders’ penchant to exploit our lack of interest and understanding by systematically sliding taxes under our noses to accomplish questionable agendas.

It says we don’t care.

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Did you know…

…that the mayor and city council have issued over $125 million in non-voter approved Certificate of Obligation debt to make up for underfunded projects and to pay for budget increases we never agreed to, i.e. tripling the cost of the children’s museum to $60 million?

…that twelve current 2012 Quality of Life projects are on average almost 50% overbudget?

…that money set aside to pave El Paso’s crumbling streets is underfunded by $32 million every year according to El Paso CFO Robert Cortinas?

…that the mayor and city manager advised the Central Appraisal District to increase our property values several percentage points this year knowing that El Pasoans already pay the 2nd highest property tax rates in America in respect to our average yearly incomes?  (El Pasoans earn an average of $20,150 per year while the rest of Texas averages over $30,000 per year)

…that the mayor has stated the arena will more than likely cost at minimum of $250,000,000 to complete?  This figure doesn’t include peripheral costs like yearly maintenance and employee salaries, parking garage construction, traffic modifications, etc.

…that City leaders continue to hand out multi-million dollar tax breaks to real estate investors and their projects, robbing El Pasoans of taxes otherwise due and keeping citizens shouldering 70% of the tax burden while the private sector only pays around 30% of the taxes required to run our city?

…that this is systematic fiscal abuse committed upon El Pasoans by our public servants.

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It’s time we cared.

We are charged with the sacred American responsibility to cast our votes and affect change in our government. Sitting out elections while we wring our hands and complain about poor and abusive leadership is inexcusable and a neglect of our city, families, friends and ourselves.

City Council has four seats open on November 6, three of them are incumbents who have proven to have appetites to continually tax us with impunity.

If we honestly care about El Paso and it’s future, it’s time we voted for candidates who are fiscally responsible and will stand up to our mayor and city manager and say NO to raising our taxes at their every opportunity.

It’s time we elected candidates who demand government transparency, citizen participation in improving our city, ethical behavior from themselves and an end to abusive taxation and overbudget QOL projects.

Do it for El Paso.

Vote.

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

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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

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

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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”.

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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

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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

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