Angry apartment owners have filed suit against the City and the PSB over the storm-water fees that were recently introduced. You can catch the details HERE.
This whole issue boils down to property owners not wanting to pay more money in taxes or fees. El Pasoans are tired of sending money to their local government.
You might be thinking, "David, they are suing because the fees are discriminatory due to the the fact that more minorities are targeted." I get your point, but you have to realize that the fees are the problem that generated this little "sub-problem."
What I don't get is why everybody was so giddy about it today. For a few weeks now callers on my show have been threatening to sue the PSB and the City. Somebody did it for them, I guess. I still can't figure out how suing the city is going to make the taxpayer happy.
When a citizen sues the city the taxpayers pay for the city's defense. That applies to the PSB in many ways as well. When we the citizens decide to sue the city, the city hits us up for the money to defend themselves. We pay for them to defend themselves against us.
The City of El Paso does nothing to turn a profit therefore everything they do comes out of your pocket. The PSB is a little different, but don't think for a minute that your water bill won't eventually reflect whatever it costs them to fight this battle.
I find it hilarious that we're already mad that we are out the money for the new fee and now we are insuring that we get hit with the legal bills in next year's taxes. We are smart. Geniuses in fact.
I happened to explain this to a friend of mine this morning over the phone and this is how the conversation went:
Friend: WE GOT THE BASTARDS! WE'RE GONNA SUE THE HELL OUT OF THEM!
Me: That's great. You're paying for the city's defense.
Me: They rely on your taxes to pay their expenses. Hiring lawyers and defending themselves is now one of their expenses.
Friend: THOSE STUPID SONS OF !$%& ?&@!
He's been on me to ride the PSB about this issue and frankly I've ignored him. I saw the community outrage coming. There are enough people whining to the elected folks that they don't need me to get in there and ruin it for them. Besides, it's an election year and the mayor is very very very very vulnerable. He's going to make it right or face being booted out of office.
The legal challenges aren't going to stand up anyhow. They are way too smart to hand over something like storm-water management and then get dinged by a lawsuit brought on by the ankle biters. They thought about what the watchdogs would say from the beginning and planned accordingly.
As far as the lawsuit claiming discrimination is concerned, it's a dead issue. Tell me what a minority is in this town and then you might convince me that this was done with that intent.
When all is said and done the taxpayer will have been screwed twice. The lawyers, of course, will have made their dough. We'll see if the elected officials survive this fiasco.