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July 31, 2014

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So, did Limon propose street improvement projects for her district?
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Reminds Peppers of the Fat One's negligence of the Country Club Road fiasco. How many businesses will go bust while city engineering sits around with its collective thumb up its ass, or hers. Not too hard to find. She'll have another kind of ecstasy:)

RP: No one - not the mayor, not the former CM, not the current CM nor the recently departed DCM or Niland can fix STUPID! And STUPID is engineering. They don't give a damn about anything, anywhere and could care less if the "rich westsiders and business owners" are screwed. They just laugh at Niland when her back is turned and Lilly is dumber than a rock and has no earthly idea what's going on with Country Club road either. They used Lilly to get rid of the DCM so they are happy. Problem solved. And Lemon has put the new CM on notice - not one single Hispanic will be fired or laid off at the city. But if its a gringo or "OTM" - bye-bye.

get over it whitey

Peppers has friends whose businesses are on Country Club Road and is incensed that the two west side reps are ecstatic about some fucking trolley that has no business case while friends are hanging on by their fingernails because the road is unfinished.

Twice in the last few weeks I've looked at it and you can shoot a cannonball from Donavan to Montoya and not hit anyone at work.

But...we have a trolley on the way. It is time for a housecleaning in city hall starting with Engineering. Hispanics first because they only know how to fix what is broken and can't solve problems.


I don't think having a trolley has anything to do with Country Club construction or even the awful job being done on San Jacinto Plaza. Yes, yet another month has gone by without any evidence of workers at the Plaza.
And can we talk about Niland proposing a "franchise fee" on EPWU? Niland says the city owns the Utility but they can still impose a franchise fee. That's like charging yourself rent for living in your own house. This "new way" to get money won't fool anyone. A tax increase is a tax increase, no matter if it comes once a year on your property tax bill or monthly on your water bill.

Niland's zoo-sized butt is full of whacko ideas except the ideas that are needed, like how to think objectively before committing us to unneeded mega-projects that benefit her friends and benefactors.

Limon, as DK notes, is beyond hope.

DK: Interesting comments about LL. Not surprising, but interesting. Hopefully she'll be out sooner rather than later. Speaking of being out, I was amused to see EH blubbering like a fat kid who lost his lollipop during the last council meeting. Good riddance.

Just Sayin': Do you have any grasp of what it takes to coordinate a multi-million dollar project that involves TxDOT? I don't know what beef you have with Engineering, but as a professional who works on construction projects and has actually met and worked with some of those people, I can tell you that while all the departments in the city absolutely have problems, none of them are flat out stupid (ok, maybe the public arts people :-p) or particularly malicious (ok, maybe the PD). Seriously, what do you expect them to do about Country Club? Work 24/7? Do you have the money to double or triple the budget to handle that? Then have people start bitching about how things are too noisy while they try to sleep (just like they did during the Sun Bowl work that TxDOT did)? I mean the Country Club Road area is full of snotty entitled pricks who have been whining for decades about how badly their road needs to be fixed and then complaining about projects that were proposed to fix those issues. Frankly I'm amazed that they shut-up long enough for this project to get approved. I remember hearing about CC projects way back in high school and then hearing that they were cancelled because of opposition to them. Now the city is bending over backwards to keep folks in the area happy and from what I hear it's non stop bitching because they need to drive a few extra minutes to get home. Apparently some of those entitled fucks are calling up and demanding gas money because throwing millions of dollars at their road is just a horrible burden. For fucks sake.

RP: If anyone on council is fat, it's old toad-neck Limon with her affected latino accent and chusma-hugging BS. I have no love for Niland (saw her on council and during a bit of the budget hearings and damn someone needs to adjust her meds), but what is your obsession with the size of her ass? Are you a closet chubby-chaser?

Oh, and to recap, TxDOT offered us $90 MILLION dollars if we designed a trolley system and after we did they ended up giving us $97 MILLION dollars. I'm sorry but regardless of who gets that project they'll hire other people (some local because construction always has some local folks hired) and folks I know will get hired on to do some parts of it and that's a good thing and one that won't be getting paid for out of the city budget and one that was ALWAYS flagged for a transit thing of some sort somewhere in Texas. If we had told TxDOT "no thanks" when they wanted to throw that much money at us, what do you think would happen next time we went to them and asked for money?

If you want to bitch about stupid things, bitch Rep Lilly literally whining about how she wants to spend $3 MILLION of "her" dollars for landscaping in her district while other districts still need to get roads paved. Or Niland and Acosta bitching about how the computers the city uses are too complicated and it's too hard to learn how to use them.

Drakovic if you truly, truly have ever worked with, for, or around engineering you would know how completely ignorant the management of that department has been and this is going back years and years. Look at the longevity of the senior staff. They have no clue how to design and construct a peanut butter sandwich. There were many ways they could have phased CC road to reduce the drama. But they don't know how to do that because they came straight out of UTEP had have been raised as bureaucrats for 20 years. None of them would survive in private sector engineering.

I have no beef with TxDOT. Ask them what they think of city engineering. Don't think you will find any fans. Why do you think the trolley was moved to the RMA. No way in hell engineering would be able to manage that one.

Agree that Ann Lilly has done nothing to improve streets in her district. It is deplorable. It's too bad a better candidate didn't run against her in 2011. Hell Rick Schecter would have been far better than Lilly. At least he actually studies the issues. If JW didn't tell Ann what to say and think and vote she would have been really lost. Don't think the new CM will do her bidding.

Ghost: Eh, You may have a point about management's ability. That certainly seems to be an issue throughout the city though. I will point out that Engineering doesn't even engineer though. They hire out almost all their design work to professional firms who do city and private jobs. So guess what? The design, and phasing for CC was actually done by a private firm. That phasing and design was then checked and approved by TxDOT as well as the city.

I hear part of the issue there is that CC has a ton of utility lines (even one that AT&T had forgotten about) and the various utilities have rules and procedures for doing what they do when they replace and relocate those lines. Throw in a need to make a residential road that can carry a lot of heavy truck traffic and you have a fairly notable mess.

To be fair, ask anyone else (including and especially private firms) what they think about TxDOT and they will tell you just how hard they are to work with. Really all bureaucracies have issues and inefficiencies. Hell, let's be honest, wtf is TxDOT thinking giving away nearly $100 million for a streetcar project when Dyer, Alameda, and other state roads are in such poor shape (and are nightmares for handicap folks for instance)? That doesn't exactly scream "intelligent" and this is pretty much all their baby.

RMA building the project just means someone else will be reviewing the designs from a private engineering consultant before sending them off to TxDOT. I don't know much about them, but they aren't going to be designing it. For all we know the exact same firm that engineering might have hired will be hired by RMA to build the streetcar (based on plans designed by another private firm when engineering handled the design).

That's another thing I find odd. No one seems to mind that a HUGE amount of city work is outsourced to private companies because the city just can't do it. Even the PD is outsourcing prisoner transport to some private company now. Parks outsources landscape maintenance. EPDOT outsources building sidewalks. It's almost a joke to see just how many things are outsourced to private firms and yet the city is blamed for the bad work that's done. I question how much they outsource, but really a huge number of firms in the city are just as much (if not more) to blame for crappy work as actual city employees are.

Drakovic: yes - city engineering solicits proposals from outside firms for engineering design - take a look at what they have designed in house. It's a contractor's dream - so full of change orders - prime example Memorial Park Tennis Courts and certain city street reconstruction projects. Anyway - depending on who the private consulting firm is and their relationship with the management in engineering they can get away with murder so to speak. CC utilities - it is the job of the consulting engineer to submit plans during the entire phase of design to the utilities to get input and updates. I heard EPWU is on its 5th design of the water and sewer - they can't seem to find their lines either. Its an old, old road.

URS did the schematic design and EA for the trolley - go back and see the council agenda item from a couple of years ago. So all that is needed is the final construction documents to move forward with bidding. It will go to a DW Company, Abrams, Sundt or Jordan at a minimum - no one else. The GC has to be able to bond the approximately $90+ Million in cost.

Yes TxDOT is a nightmare to work for - but they haven't put out much in the way of design in a long, long time. Last in house design was Loop 375 TM West. Some of the high profile projects now were "design-build" through creative/private financing.

Outsourcing is cheaper than city labor. No work - no pay. City employees can sit around all day with their thumb in their butt, and no pressure to perform and they get paid regardless. Private sector - not so - either there is work or there isn't. No one gets to sit around in the private sector. If the new CM really believes in the Lean Sigma Six thing then I think about 500+ employees could be laid off/fired/not replaced and we wouldn't miss them one bit.

The VA has 300,000 employees - think they run efficiently? I could go on and on about the inefficiency of government workers versus private. It's a no brainer on which entity is more productive.

MPO passed on the trolley today

What does that mean?

U;

Has anyone seen a projected Projected P&L for the trolley? The whole hype seems to be that TXDoT will pay to build it, but will it lose $10 every time a passenger boards?

When certain CC members are in ectasy, it is easy to overlook little details like this.

Rotten Pepper seems to have a very huge problem. We all need to pray for him/her.

The trolley will take out about 100 parking meters, destroy business along the route and will require general fund money to keep it afloat. Sun Metro gets about 9 million in fare box revenue and about 40 million from 1/2 cent sales tax and that means that 18 million is needed from other sources to balance their budget this year. Add in the cost of keeping a trolley up and running which they project @ 2.5 million but is probably closer to 5 million and you get another 1 1/2 cents increase in your taxes.

Picket is out of touch. The trolley project has been bantered about for years. It will funnel UTEP students downtown to bars and restraunts that will be built along the entire route. UTEP will grow...the delapidated homes along the route will be turned into business/residential ventures and will ultimately increase the tax base to pay for itself. TXDOT has funded many downtown rail projects in Several Texas cities...the question here that needs to be asked to Picket is why not invest in our own city with EP tax dollars going to the state. Why wouldn't we want our own dollars sent to the state to come back home? Pickets projects aren't engineered and Council under Beto, Steve, Suzy, Niland ect...voted on funding the engineering of the trolley years ago. Picket acting like it's been done in secret over the last several years is ludicrous. U saw it U have been there...

I-10 needs work, lots of work. More lanes an better bridges. State maintained roads need work, rebuilding and more lanes. Downtown streets need work. A trolley is the last thing El Paso needs. Simply put El Pas cannot afford it.

Add in the cost of keeping a trolley up and running which they project @ 2.5 million but is probably closer to 5 million and you get another 1 1/2 cents increase in your taxes.
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U; thanks. Nothing like some cold facts to cool the ecstasy. Our CC seems addicted to these vanity projects, something with a bronze plaque with their names on it. "See, grandson, I did that."

There is no glory or ecstasy in well maintained roads, quality libraries, beautiful parks and honest government.

El Paso can't afford not to do it. Again look at the tax base these projects increase along their routes. If I10 needs widening like U say then why hasn't Picket proposed it and why hasn't he had an engineer design it like council did with the trolley project several years ago. You doom and gloomers should worry more about real problems, specifically those that do nothing for the tax base. The trolley project is exactly what downtown EP needs. I'll probably move there myself just to use the trolley to get some coffee in the morning and catch a game in the afternoon.

"The trolley project is exactly what downtown EP needs. I'll probably move there myself just to use the trolley to get some coffee in the morning and catch a game in the afternoon."
You can do that today - there is a UTEP-to-downtown bus every 10 minutes M-F. 5 street cars won't improve that much - especially since (Toronto avg.) 1 of 5 streetcars in the shop/out-of-service at any one time. Street cars are pretty but they won't spur development any more than a bus.

Harvey;

The tax base argument is stupid. If a trolley spurs something, CC will just waive its taxes for the next 10 or 15 years like they've been doing for Foster and any other corporate welfare pimp who asks for it.

Enjoy your life downtown where you can step over the poop some HIV junkie has left overnight for you on your doorstep.

Rotten Panties...
Those are not FACTS.
U is making guesses...estimations...pulling numbers out of the air based on nothing but opinion.
Pure scare tactics and spin...

Robnelp

Right next to me on the couch is this years budget book. The last 12 years of budget books are on CD within arms reach and on my laptop. The Actuarial studies for the City's Pension Funds for 2012 and 2014 are also within arms reach. The CAFR's are also on CD's within reach. The numbers are not mine but the City's.

U reminds me of Chicken Little. Always assumes the worst and listens to the wrong people.

A rather presumptuous statement made from someone in the cheap seats who is unwilling to fulfill their civic duty by becoming involved in their local government but instead attacks those who are. Sorry but you and others like you are the anchor that is dragging this city into fiscal ruin.

TTC....RP...
I don't want to ride a bus. Bus routes change. Trolley routes don't change. Do U get that? The growth along the FIXED trolley route will pay for itself by new business ventures willing to open specifically because they can invest in an area that will have consistent flow. UTEP students alone will make it work and the tax base WILL go up. U the sky is not falling.

Dear Rotten,

Sorry about the poop.

U, you have no clue what I do or don't do. Just because I do not show up to every commissioners court or council meeting arguing with everything and everybody to make myself feel important does not mean I am not involved. How many times have you yelled and screamed that something bad was going to happen that never did? You use your mouth very well. You might want to try using your ears sometimes because it is very apparent that when someone is presenting another side to what you are saying, you tune them out. Watch your facial expressions.

Harvey;

You are such a dreamer and naive, too. You actually believe what the city is telling you. You drink the kool-aid. They love people like you and the people who read the budgets and file the TORA requests to be informed, well they call them crazies and ankle-biters.

This is a city that denies reality and lives on the kool-aid coming out of city hall, UMC, Borderplex, EP Times. Then we wonder why even bible-belt dumps like Oklahoma City run circles around El Paso.

Priceless.

U speculating about what costs are going to be for operation of the trolly is your opinion..even what the city budgets is based on is just a best guess...not FACTS.

RP just wants to pick out select little tidbits of what is posted in an attempt to support whatever twisted rant they are currently on about Hunt and Foster, JW or anyone else.

U, I don't have a beef w/ you. I appreciate you being active in the civics of this community. I believe you are active in an attempt to make this a better place to live, not for your own personal gain. That's all anyone can ask for.
I will offer an observation though.
I have seen a lot of the same ankle biter's faces down at council over the years...lots of angry speaking, finger pointing and complaining.

Next to zero impact.

My challenge to all the ankle biters...if you put half the effort into actually accomplishing something tangible to help the community instead of just talking about how much money is being spent on whatever the topic of the moment is we would have a much better community to live in.

Some people talk about getting things done... others get things done.

Sorry, but ankle biters are just the talkers.

Robnelp, ankle biters are a necessary evil to keep government on its toes, but you're right about simply being angry. That accomplishes nothing. How about supporting an idea? I discovered a long time ago that it is much easier to rant, to find negatives, than to find positives. It's just the same old stuff for them... continuing to attach the ballpark, the trolley, the ex-city manager, etc. Boring....

We wouldn't need ankle-biters if we had an investigative press. Not the Times.

Harvey;

Peppers wants to acknowledge a good point you made about the trolley creating a fixed corridor in which business can invest, knowing it will always be there. I think you are correct to the degree the trolley is following a route other than the main arterials, like Mesa, that will always have a bus. The fixity of the rail line does eliminate some risk for a business. You can start your TCBY assured that there will always be riders off-boarding or waiting.

I agree that a trolley line will stimulate retail and residential (new urbanism?) development along its route. I just hope that it is accessible development for all investors, not just the Usual Suspects, the reason I question everything Niland promotes because I know whom she represents. Her lies are legend.

No one can assert that old trolleys are not nostalgic and beautiful, like steam trains. The new ones are not much different from the buses that are all alike, so CC has done the right aesthetic thing by mandating that the old cars be used. That being said, any old mechanical device will be less than reliable, so keep your TCBY yogurt on ice. Still, this is not something new; we had trolleys until 1974 so it is not the same as a totally new vanity project.

Reviewing some past CC documents that address mobility and development, Peppers acknowledges that this is not something new sprung on an unsuspecting public, like the stadium. There has been a lot of thinking over the last 3 years gone into it with a positive vision for the city, not just DTEP. We have been so burned by that shameful AAA episode that we suspect anything major coming out of city hall is special-interest flak and lies.

Understand, too, that Peppers is a "meat and potatoes" voter - you make sure the basics are working - streets; libraries; parks; sanitation; safety; finances - before doing the vanity projects. El Paso's streets are testimony that the city council doesn't give a shit about neighborhoods when it comes to making Paul and Woody's properties more valuable (and not taxable). But the trolley covers a larger area than DTEP. It may indeed revitalize some neighborhoods but don't count on UTEP students to make it positive cash flow.

Peppers also acknowledges that most if not all public transit requires a subsidy. In most cities, too, public ridership as a percent of all ridership is declining. This is one case in which El Paso being 25 years behind the rest of the country might be an edge. We have fewer things to be tired of, the AAA fan turnout being witness to that versus cities that have baseball for years.

So, for now, Peppers will wait and see and hope that, when they build it, Engineering has the least involvement or it will never get done!

U;

Got a question: where in the budget is the stadium? The city owes it many services that cost a lot and gets a little revenue back from rent and ticket sales.

Is there a P&L? Does it include the bond payments? Does the 2% HOT increment cover it?

Thank you for your years of diligent citizen activism.

Why don't you do your own dirty work, Rotten Peppers? You seem to have a lot of free time on your hands to post hateful post after hateful post about people you do not know. Thought I read you did an ORR for info. Could it be you didn't find anything?

You need to get all of the hatred out of your heart as it is like a piece of ice ruining you.

Valentina; Peppers has the budget and can't find the stadium subsidy as a P&L. Is it deliberately buried in the many details for the reason that many in city hall do not want you to know what it really costs?

Or is it just somewhere else, because you can bet the Times won't tell you how much it is costing us.

U will know.

RP

The HOT tax is supposed to cover the ballpark. Over the next 3 years the HOT tax will not cover debt payments so money from the general fund will be needed to cover the shortfall.
Increased use of Police for the Ballpark is in the police budget same for Fire.

Non-Departmental starts on page 681 of the budget book or page 805 of the budget posted online.

"...the HOT tax will not cover debt payments so money from the general fund will be needed to cover the shortfall..."
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Thanks, U. Nothing like facts to cut thru the spinmeisters.

VALENTINA: OMG! Is it possible that Joyce and Carmen and Woody and Paul and Niland and the Shaplites and the Times lied to us about outsiders paying for the stadium? ? Say it ain't so, Joe. Ditto for Children's and the hype-meisters at its birth.

But Peppers suspected from the beginning because Peppers knows that El Paso is a farce and cannot be relied upon to produce future anything except poverty and corruption, that will not make bond payments.

Like DK says, I hate to be right. But I was.

The stadium bond prospectus says there is $3,184,069 payment due in 2014 and $3,097,212 in 2015. Can anyone find that in the budget?

Because the HOT seems to not be increasing, not that anyone in city hall or MS hyped the numbers, heaven forbid. I can't find a balance in a venue project fund that is supposed to pay for the bonds or, for that matter, a venue project fund at all.

Maybe we just don't pay and the bond buyers can repo the stadium. OK with Peppers.

Yes, what U says is Gospel truth. Not. This would be funny if it was not so sad how much hate you show for people you do not know. U says a lot of things that turn out not to be true. Do some research. The sky is not falling. Rotten Peppers, you yourself have argued with U's "facts" when they did not backup your hatred towards certain people. You will die of a heart attack if you keep on the way you are. God help you. Bye.

Valentina, you have an aversion to discussing facts, e.g., budget numbers published by city hall.

I wrote, after examining the city budget pdf, "The stadium bond prospectus says there is $3,184,069 payment due in 2014 and $3,097,212 in 2015. Can anyone find that in the budget?"

Your comments? Maybe that I must be mistaken because no one in city hall, CC or MS would lie to us.

If anyone can explain it, U can, because U knows more about the budget than the retards who put it together and she frequently calls them on it.

U posts whatever she wants to post to stop EP from investing in itself. She doesn't feel like EP can invest in itself and yield a return at the same time...which is counter intuitive to investing. The fixed trolley route makes me want to buy an old home in Sunset Heights and fix her up. Something affordable near the trolley. I wouldn't go looking though without the ball park being there first though. Chicken and Egg thing you know. I just see potential in DTEP now finally. So I'll go look now and keep my eyes open.
I also seem to recall that Candelaria based her payment models on average attendence of 3500-4500 people filling a 7500 seat stadium. Every single game at the ballpark has sold out from what I've heard. 9000 people a game with many buying standing room only seats. So thanks for the nod RP....and U need to quit suiting your own arguments with your comments when U know better. If U have the budget numbers U, why don't U tell us what the tax base estimates for DTEP are for next year, with the new CVS and Ll the other development are. If those estimates are truly at your fingertips why don't you tell us if those estimates increased the general fund or decreased it. Downtown only U....Can you do that? Or is it counterintuitive to your argument that the sky is falling and investments ahould always be done at a loss. Growth pays for itself after investment is made. People don't invest to lose, but there has got to be a reason for the homeowner like me to want to move downtown. I think the city has done a fine job in getting me to at least look around now.

RP I Also challenge you to find a single property of any business owner where taxes aren't due...and if an abatement is made, then jobs were probably created as a result, and sales taxes paid on goods sold..... Great idea for Picket to give the revenue generated in El Paso back to the state for some other cities project that was engineered already and diligence already done 3 or more years ago...if picket wants to widen I10 why hasn't he had it engineered or even planned?

Show me which properties in downtown have gone up in Taxes since the Ball Park was built. Borderplex's along with Foster's Mills went down. Rubin's properties went down also. It's available on the CAD. Just the few I went through went down after they were fought in May and up till now.

The Inc this week also reports a decline overall in commercial property values.

What is a DTEP? HARVEY you talk sales tax. This years sales tax projections are expected to be the same as what the city took in in 2005. You imply that are good but the thing is by the time the abatement is over the value of the property has abatements diminished a great deal. If lucky the city breaks even but more often than not the city ends up on the short end.

You also need to understand that the city has about 800 million dollars of authorized debt they can sell without any other input from the citizens and they will exercise that option to the last dollar.

Now someone needs to explain where over $400,000,000 of our tax base disappeared too. Why cut training for police and fire. Why kick the problem with the police and fire pension plans down the road. The underfunded amount is in excess od $300,000,000.00 and add in that 313 members of police and fire have 20 or more years of service. Keep in mind that there are 1.2 pilice officers paying into the fund to support one receiving benefits. Fire has 1.3 people paying into the fund for everyone receiving benefits.

Don't forget that that unfunded liability will now be on the city's balance sheet.

Also don't forget that any increase in property values downtown do not go into the General Fund due to the TRIZ. So any property value growth downtown is not available to pay the bills which means tax increases for the rest of us.

U;

Facts, facts are so blase' and do not support the Horde mindfuck mentality that is telling us, "It''s all good."

You have to get with the DK and Ecstatic program so we can issue more debt, sequester more property tax base, and hide more taxes as user fees and franchise fees.

U...RP....remember ultimately investments yield a return..no one expects to cash out on a long term investment the first year.../ again counter intuitive to investment philosophy...go fix the pensions please. These projects will return to the tax payer sooner than later and you know it. Bitch about fire and police pension and utility rates...those aren't yielding or ever will without a fix.

A return for who? And yes they will return to the taxpayer but at a very low level.

As far as the pensions, its too late. Maybe combining with the City employee pension just may save it but with the numbers we have today those 2 pension funds are toast. I cannot see any way out of this mess. So we continue to throw good money into a bottomless pit and Council will do nothing until they are facing Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

U .... The sky is NOT falling and you continue to debate yourself to irrelevance by not addressing the points made by council and then reiterated by what is reported on the news?! Are U right? Or is that baseball guy right..with repeated statements of 50 million in new investment around down town..?? Only one of you can be right! Whose right? I'd love for you to be right for at least 1 year..but I think you'll be proven wrong with the numbers you claim to have at your fingertips...yet only report The figures that suit your own argument.... Again ... I agree with you on pension shit..but ball park and trolley will add dollars to coffers in several ways that I've already explained.

I have an idea...
Why don't Peppers and U meet up for coffee so they can spend real time exchanging negative thoughts.

Sure wish everybody here would have the same compassion to discuss how broke Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security is. But no one, not even U or RP wants to touch that subject with a 10 foot pole. Guess on that level there is no Hunt, Foster to blame so it's no fun.

Your Water bill is going up to pay for roads. Your electric bill is also going up. All because Council lacks the courage to tell the People of El Paso that additional funding is needed to pay the bills. By shifting expenses to things like park fees, your water bill and your electric bill members of Council get to tell you they haven't raised taxes. BTW the PSB will contribute 11 million dollars to the City's General Fund this year but Council wants more.

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