For years now the mantra has been that if we only had a viable downtown all of El Paso’s problems would magically just go away. Forget the inconvenient truth that the educational system in El Paso, as evidenced by the continued failure of the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD), is nothing more than a den of corruptors looking for the next handout instead of educating the community’s next citizens.

Unfortunately for the proponents of the downtown stadium the facts are just an inconvenient truth for them. The downtown stadium will be an utter failure for the community and a windfall for the corruptors of the city.

The El Paso community simply cannot afford to demolish a paid-for city hall and build a new palace for the corruptors, much less a stadium. Comparing the metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) of El Paso and Orlando the numbers bear out a disaster in the making.

Here are the rankings between the two: (Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford vs. El Paso)

  • 2012 Median family income;  Orlando: $58,200 – El Paso: $41,700
  • 2012 (2nd QTR) median home sales price: Orlando: $121,000 – El Paso: $131,000
  • 2012 (2nd QTR) share of homes affordable to the median income:  Orlando: 82% – El Paso: 66%

In other words, families in El Paso make less money and yet pay more for their homes.

Here are two other facts to ponder:

My monthly water bill in El Paso averages: $60 a month for an empty house. A lived in home with a swimming pool in Orlando averages $50 a month with my last bill coming in at $35.

The house in El Paso costs me $4,500 a year in taxes. The larger home in Orlando costs $2,900 in taxes.

Not only are homes more expensive in El Paso and the income less but basics like water are more expensive and the property taxes are much higher.

Now what do I get for the taxes?

In El Paso I get once a week trash pickup that demands that I do not put yard waste or large items in the bins. Oh, and I must remember to put the trash can just right so that the automated system is able to scoop it up. If the wind tips the can over, well that’s just too bad because no one is going to get off the truck to make sure the trash is picked up. Oh, and did I mention that I have to pay an extra monthly fee to have a second trash can?

In Orlando I get twice a week trash pickup including old sofas and junk that I need to dispose of. The trash men actually get out of their trucks and pick up the trash for me, regardless of how many cans I put out. They take pride in their work.

In El Paso, I can expect to get pulled over and ticketed by the local police department for daring to text and drive or even worse jay walking across an empty street. In Orlando an officer once told me, “look, unless you really do something dangerous, I’m not going to mess with you, my job is to keep the city safe” when I asked him why he doesn’t ticket jay walkers.

I now jay walk when it is safe to do so and I get a smile from the patrol officers instead of a ticket.

The El Paso corruptors see nothing wrong with these inconvenient facts. They just wink, wink and utter; but Albuquerque or Portland or Denver did this. The cities that “did this” change as the needs of the corruptors dictate.

Unfortunately for my friends in El Paso, those in power do not care about the wellbeing of the community rather they are looking to further plunder the people’s money.

In El Paso you have the largest school district embroiled in an ongoing cheating controversy enabled by secrecy actually publically gaming the system to once again hold secret meetings to “fix” the problems at the school district!

In El Paso you have two attorneys facing trial because they actually did their job in defending an accused individual as they should have done. Rather than congratulate them for a job well done for winning their trial they are charged for being unseemly and hurting the feelings of the judge.

In other words they didn’t play the game and are therefore now being prosecuted for it.

In El Paso, it is ok for County Judge Veronica Escobar to keep acknowledged liar Paul Shrode as the medical examiner of the county putting people in jail by his “truthful” testimony.

In El Paso, it is ok for the democrat contender for Congress, Beto O’Rourke, to advocate for marihuana legalization even though El Paso is the largest gateway for drug trafficking into the United States.

In El Paso it is ok for a former county judge pleading guilty to corruption and while awaiting sentencing has no problem having a friend send out a letter advocating yet another corruption to help pay the restitution.

In El Paso there are multiple ongoing public corruption cases with many “unnamed” individuals still uncharged, although millions of public funds were corrupted, and the full extent of the crimes hidden behind sealed court hearings.

Hmmm, institutionalized secrecy seems to be everywhere, especially when it comes to corruption. And when that fails, outright lying is ok.

Through all of this, the power elite are now embarking on their next plunder of public moneys. In other words, it is ok to be corrupt in El Paso. I dare you to prove me wrong!

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...