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August 17, 2016

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There is probably something else going on here.

Given how O'Rourke has increasingly become a more partisan member of Congress it seems less likely that he is leaving anytime soon. Why become a partisan if not to climb the party ranks?

Which means Escobar won't be getting that Congressional salary anytime soon.

So if you cannot be a Congresswoman, at least make like one.

Love,

Max

So you make some good points but the fact remains that El Paso is one of the poorest counties in the nation. Setting up a cushy career tract for the political class is the last thing we need. Just like it's never been shown that throwing money at schools creates good students, the correlation between pay and competence in politicians is zero. No one else in El Paso gets to vote themselves a raise even when they deserve it - and these guys really don't deserve it. Comparable positions across the state pay much much more? No kidding. Believe me I've been there and so has everyone else. My answer to these politicians echoes what I heard from bosses. "We don't pay wages comparable to the rest of the state. If you want more money, go be a politician in Austin, Houston or Dallas."

I agree with abandon hope. if any decent human being decides to run for office in El Paso, you can bet that Veronica Escobar & Susie Byrd will give them hell if the poor soul does not do what them bitches say.

Max, I just vomited at the thought of Escobar seeking the congressional seat. Hold on ! Just vomited again.

Only it like it really is settled my stomach.

I was aware of seeking PIA/OR re the CCC raise but i di not know that the claim is that what CCC did was illegal, i think not and agree from past Texas anklebiting years research that CCC can infact vote themselves a raise.

So why the PIA/OR fuss, I am not exactly sure but it can't hurt and can even be a good learning experience....much like a ADA suit i filed once.

The other Hellraisers and Beer Drinkers issue as ZZTop would say, is the PD Allen Letter score.

When all that really is important is the access to any Public Information right and that the law always know no top and no bottom.

This is an email I sent to the whole clown act:

Sent: Monday, August 15, 2016 10:04 PM
To: County Judge; Commissioner 1; Commissioner 2; Commissioner 3; Commissioner 4
Subject:

I am appalled that you voted to give yourself raises. We, the taxpayers, are demanding you rescind this raise immediately.

Veronica, I do not want to hear any of your BS about why you deserve more money. You do not work hard. You have a lot of free time to meddle in everyone else's business, so obviously you do not have enough work to do. Your salary is more than enough for what you do. You knew the salary when you ran. Live with it!

Vince, your reasonings are ridiculous.

1. We are the lowest paid in Texas, even along border counties” - OUR COST OF LIVING IS ALSO LOWER. MY SALARY, ALONG WITH ALMOST ALL OF EL PASO, IS ALSO LOWER THAN OTHER BORDER CITIES AND COUNTIES.

2. If salaries don’t rise for elected officials, it will get to a point that the only people who run for office are those who can afford to. - SO YOU ARE SAYING YOU CANNOT LIVE ON $62,000 A YEAR???? SERIOUSLY???? THEN GET YOUR HANDS OFF THE TAXPAYER MONEY AS THIS PROVES YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO BUDGET. YOU ARE SINGLE AND WHEN YOU MARRY, YOU WILL HAVE TWO INCOMES. I SUPPORT 4 CHILDREN ON UNDER $50,000 A YEAR WITHOUT ANY TYPE OF HELP. IT IS CALLED BUDGETING AND LIVING WITHIN YOUR MEANS. I ACTUALLY CONSIDER MYSELF FORTUNATE COMPARED TO MANY IN EL PASO.

3. Do we want to limit public service to those individuals who have some source of supplemental income? We need to encourage a broader group of people to run, not just those who are retired or is individually wealthy. - I KNOW OF MANY, MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE NEITHER INVIDIDUALLY WEALTHY OR RETIRED WHO WOULD LOVE TO EARN $62,000.

4. The rise in salary will also help attract more qualified individuals. - SO YOU ARE SAYING NONE OF YOU ARE QUALIFIED FOR YOUR POSITIONS??? RESIGN IMMEDIATELY!

5. Commissioners deal with a $350 million budget. - WELL, IF YOU CAN'T LIVE ON $62,000 A YEAR IN EL PASO, YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS DEALING WITH A $350 MILLION BUDGET. COME ON, WHO ARE YOU KIDDING? YOU DO NOT PERSONALLY DEAL WITH THE BUDGET. ROFLMAO

6. The raise is still 70 percent below the market value of the state. - AND EL PASO'S MEDIAN INCOME IS WELL BELOW THE MARKET VALUE OF THE STATE AS IS THE COST OF LIVING SO BITE THE DAMN BULLET.

Andrew, you abstained because your dear old uncle is getting a hefty raise he does not deserve, but you still support the raise. Maybe you should remember your OTHER uncle's words - the job is part-time at best. Shame on you!

David, what can we say? We all know about you and your little agenda.

Carlos, the only sane one of the bunch. Thank you, sir.

You all REALLY think the positions deserve these raises? FINE, MAKE IT EFFECTIVE WHEN YOU LEAVE OFFICE.

Why do the county commissioners get to vote themselves a raise? Why is it not like city officials where any raises need to go to the voters?

The majority of El Pasoans are against these raises. Put a stop to it now!

REMEMBER, YOU WORK FOR THE TAXPAYERS, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!

This is Veronica's response:

Good morning, Ms. Taute.

Thank you for contacting me.

Per state code, the only group that is allowed to set salaries for county elected officials and employees is the commissioners court. We are not allowed by law to put this out to the voters to decide. All 254 counties in the state of Texas operate the same way: commissioners court is the designee for voting on all salaries including their own. We may wish it was different, but that’s the law.

I want to provide you with the context for the raises.

Several years ago we engaged in a salary reclassification process to bring up county employees to market as closely as we could. It was a long-term process with significant investment on our part. We said the last groups to be evaluated would be the lawyers and the elected officials.

We have gone through a significant number of employees and departments during the reclassification process, and the lawyers salaries will be adjusted this budget cycle. The consultant looked at the elected officials' salaries as we had all agreed to do in the last year. All county elected officials salaries have been adjusted over the years to make them within range of market except for two groups: constables and commissioners court.

We adjusted both of those to 70% of market. So your commissioners are now making what their Fleet Manager and other managers are making and your county judge is making what some of your lower-end department heads are making. The salaries for the elected officials are now more aligned with duties and responsibilities they have.

We have never gotten complaints about any of the other elected official salary adjustments (like Justices of the Peace, County Clerk, Tax Assessor, etc), which again, brought them to 70% of market as well. If we had excluded the commissioners court from this policy, we would be the only elected officials in the county to NOT be at 70% of market, yet we are the governing body that oversees the entire organization. There is now parity among all of the elected officials (as there has been for employees – who over the last 5 years have received 17% pay increases in addition to the reclassification adjustments).

I can also tell you this is not a part-time job.

I’m sure this doesn’t change your mind and doesn’t make the decision more palatable to you, and I understand.

Finally, you should know that we will be adopting either the effective tax rate or be going below the current tax rate (for a tax decrease) this year again. If we do the latter, many El Pasoans will again this year see a reduction on their tax bill from the County.

I appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts with me.

Veronica Escobar

This is my reply and I have not received another response.

told you not to respond with your BS. You are responding the same thing to every person who contacts you. Glad you know how to copy and paste.

I know what the state code says. Doesn't make it right. You knew the salary when you ran for office. Live with it! And you say it is not part-time, but you sure have a lot of free time to meddle in affairs that do not concern you and to hold endless press conferences to get your face on TV.

And you think you can pacify the citizens because of a tax decrease? PLEASE! We are not stupid. The decrease would be higher without this ridiculous salary increases. Stop trying to mix apples and oranges. I am not stupid nor are the citizens of El Paso.

Escobar is either completely INCOMPETENT or a pathological LIAR in her representations to the public or both.

1. SHE is the one who in fact stated that commissioners work part time.

This statement was HER primary justification for insisting on a county manager.

A position SHE said was fully funded because SHE was giving up her chief of staff position and using the salary for a county manager position so it would not cost extra.

The position cost more than the 100K she claims she "donated".

2. No one complained about the other raises because they were only 2.5% and SHE and commissioners RESCINDED those raises at the following meeting.

3. The County budget of almost $350 million is by far the smallest by almost half of all other taxing entities.

UMC has a budget double the county and that board works for FREE.

EPISD and YISD have more than double the budget and those boards work for FREE and work much harder than the commissioners court combined yet still part time.

The city has a budget almost 3 times larger than the County and far more responsibility and City Council works for 1/3 of a commissioners salary and yes they too only work part time.

4. The county has little jurisdiction over incorporated cities like El Paso and Socorro because of home rule per state law and therefore far less responsibility and power than city governments. The county has no zoning authority. They have very limited authority to put up no parking signs. Basically Escobar can ban fireworks but only if the governor approves.

Hilarious. Is it a full moon?

Thank you for submitting these emails, as they would not be found in an open records request. :-)

bravo arlene taute. escobar may have just made me mad enough to donate money to whomever runs against her. and i mean anyone. im sure there are other who feel the same.

Thank you, feeling screwed, I hope someone with at least half a brain runs against her. But according to them, we cannot get qualified candidates when we are only paying $80,000 a year.

We don't need anymore Country commissioners.

Reason #4,792,340 that we sold our house and moved our business as far out of El Paso County as we could.... and kept all of our El Paso clients. It gives me a little comfort to know that I don't contribute my local tax dollars to these clowns. And that's while I'm taking money out of your city and county businesses! Yes, it does feel good to repay the favor for how El Paso treats it's locally owned businesses.

Now, in this very nice Republican County that I live in, not only are our County Commissioners required to sit through their meetings, review budgets, meet with department heads and answer calls from constituents, but they also have to put on their overalls every day and do the actual business of the County.

Today my County Commissioner is driving the paving machine in front of my house. I flagged him down to ask when our bridge is going to be fixed and what day we're scheduled for spraying for mosquitoes.

Life is good in a red county!

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