Open Letter To El Paso City Council – You’re Getting Paid So Do Your Job
On January 20, El Paso City Council held an epic meeting that ended at 1:30 in the morning, and they didn't even manage to get through the entire meeting agenda. That meeting got El Paso mayor Oscar Leeser opening a discussion about the running time of that meeting and why it went so long.
Ok, here are a few things I would like to open a discussion about:
1. Why are City Council meetings starting so late - City Council meetings used to start at 9 in the morning, but all the sudden meetings are beginning at 3 in the afternoon, as was the case on January 20. This is a full time, well-paid job. This weekly meeting covers all kinds of topics and should begin in the morning. There is no excuse for it beginning at 3 p.m.
2. Being a City Rep is a full time, well-paid job - Back in 2018 voters approved raising city rep salaries from $29,000 to $45,300. They also approved raising the mayor's salary from $45,000 to $67,950. In a city like El Paso, those are two good salaries. The reason why city reps asked for that raise was to attract people who wanted to run for office but who also wanted to make a livable wage. City reps at the time told us that by raising the salary of elected officials, we could attract someone other than just the wealthy candidates we always see running for office. Well city reps, you make a livable wage and you need to start treating being a city rep like the full time job it is.
Seriously city reps and mayor, you guys are making a decent salary and you'll only lose your job to an election or term limit restriction. Start the dang meetings at 9:00 a.m., read you agendas so you don't waste time asking questions that could have been answered had you read the agenda before the meeting, and stop acting like this is a part time job.
You guys are responsible for an almost billion dollar budget and you either make that your sole focus or move aside and let someone in who will.