Renovations on San Jacinto Plaza are supposed to be completed in time to have a Christmas lights display in downtown El Paso this December. But if the city has it’s way, it won’t be city employees putting up those lights.

The city says it costs $120,000 a year to put up, maintain, take down, and store the dispay, so they want to see if an outside vendor can beat that price. They also want to do away with the traditional displays and colored lights and go with a themed display, possibly in the Victorian style, with all white lights. City officials say they want to go in a different direction in this the 100th year the city has had a Christmas lights display.

While some like the idea, others say with with a possible property tax hike on the horizon, this isn't the time to be changing things up. I say, keep the traditional displays and colored lights scheme of the downtown Christmas lights display. The colors and characters are what people want to see, not an all-white cookie-cutter 'themed display.' It's taking long enough to get San Jacinto up and running. I just don't see the need to change the look of the downtown Christmas display.

As for finding an outside vendor, the money for the display is already built into the city budget. Unless it is a significant savings, we should just pay city employees to continue doing what they've been doing for years.

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