This past weekend a frequent reader to my blog pointed me to an online petition by a group calling themselves the “ELP Tax Guardians.” I am not sure who they are but their petition had close to their stated goal of 200 signatures yesterday morning. This is about three days after the petition had been launched by the group.

According to the profile, the organizers want Veronica Escobar, Carlos Leon, Vincent Perez, Andrew Haggerty, Oscar Leeser, David Stout, Joe Moody, Beto O’Rourke and Jose Rodriguez to know that the signers of the petition do not want the El Paso County Commissioners to continue to spend tax dollars “recklessly.”

The petition states; “The El Paso Commissioners need to stop recklessly spending tax payer money.” It adds, “The County Commissioners and UMC want us to believe that they have the tax payer’s interests at heart, but they have repeatedly proven that they have no qualms about spending our money.” It concludes, “We don’t want the UMC board and the County Commissioners managing all of those tax payer assets…UMC, UMC Clinics, and now Children’s Hospital.”

According the site, the petition reached 100 supporters within the first day after it was launched.

A sampling of the reasons of why individuals have signed the petition reveals that the majority centers on two issues: high taxes and the lack of transparency.

Those of you that are inclined to sign the petition can to go to it by clicking on the link below.

Link to the petition

The organizers have a stated goal of gathering 200 signatures. As of 8:00am yesterday morning, they had 171 individuals who had signed the petition.

As you all know by now, the El Paso Children’s Hospital is under a deadline of accepting a new, undisclosed, offer by UMC. The children’s hospital is also in the verge of running out of money, effectively forcing it to close its doors.

As is normal with the city’s controversies, there is much innuendo and public posturing from all sides. The latest being that the children’s hospital is being investigated for reporting rent payments it had not actually paid by various government oversight agencies.

It all ties back into the “rent that wasn’t really rent” that children’s has been contesting.

What all of the rhetoric conveniently forgets is that the El Paso Children’s Hospital was created specifically to game the federal monies system in order to maximize federal tax monies into the city.

Although we all know that the children’s hospital’s economic model is unfeasible, city, county and federal officials are still looking to bring it under UMC’s umbrella effectively making it a taxpayer-funded entity.

This begs the most important question that everyone continues to conveniently ignore; what about the promises made to the community by Veronica Escobar, Susie Byrd, Jose Rodriguez and others about the feasibility of the project and that it would never be a burden to the taxpayers.

The whole fraud was predicated on a lie – a rent that was never intended to be a rent.

Yet no one is being investigated for fraud?

The reason for that is self-evident, any criminal investigation would directly point to certain individuals that the oligarchy does not want a spotlight shined upon them.

That is what happens in corrupt-infested city like El Paso.

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...

8 replies on “ Petition to Commissioners Court and Others”

  1. Once again you nailed. Keep doing it, people are finally starting open their eyes.

    You have exposed the innuendo, lies, sleight of hand, winks, mismanagement, waste, treachery, ineptness. I have run out of adjectives.

    There is a saying I read somewhere that really applies to this whole fiasco. “They are trying to figure out which end of the turd, they can pick up”. They can spin all they won, everyone of them on city council and county and now state have been caught red handed.

    After the fraud committed to obtain federal funding, they need to do an intense investigation. Such an investigation will lead to the authors of the Children’s Hospital construction. We might see another round of indictments. The County DA is staying mum as usual. The state and federal folks are trying to intervene so they get a pass for fraud. They will use the same bs that started this bs. “It’s for the children”. They don’t want to repay the federal funds, fake rent, which is estimated at 30 million. Although the judge is not sure, really ? Is she trying to evade the question or once again have idea of what she’s doing. They sure don’t want to do time or lose their stranglehold.

    One thing I would guess is that someone over the board either suggested the fake rent or at least sanctioned the idea. I can’t imagine the board members even trying without some cover. The admission of fraud came about because they decided they weren’t going alone. The dogs have gotten the scent and are closing in. There is a lot scrambling, sweating, spinning facts and deal making behind the scenes.

    Martin, I believe thru his efforts will force a change in the El Paso political climate. Some of these people are up for re-election very shorty or within a year. Voters need to vote, party line voters need to become informed, unregistered need to register. The public is told repeatedly that if they don’t vote a the pre-selected they will lose all the freebies. Well, that estimated 30 million dollars and all the other wasted /mismanaged monies could have been used to improve things around here. So by voting as told, you’re getting screwed !

    By the way, why are the city council and county positions so elevated so we are forced to look upwards when speaking with them? Don’t they feel superior enough ? It ain’t for safety reasons because there are plenty of law enforcement or contract security at the meeting. Maybe it’s time to have those thrones lowered to our level so we can look in their eyes during the meetings. They walk around with their noses up in the air as it is.

    Martin, “Tear Down that Wall” !

    1. If you think a fraud was perpetrated and, unlike Martin, you have standing as a local resident, then ask the state AG to investigate. Just write him a letter. Ditto the Feds (FBI and Medicare/Medicaid Inspector General). My guess is that the AG won’t touch it because it is a local issue and the Austin GOP crowd just delights in watching El Paso drown in its own doo-doo every year. But the Feds are Dems and won’t go after their fellow Dems in El Paso.

      It took a GOP Bush administration to open the local FBI corruption investigation into the Jones boys.

  2. Jerry K
    The Texas AG would not touch it because it is the job of the local D.A.’s office. Jerry K need to go read how the law works in such matters in the state of Texas. All the law enforcement agencies are easy to find but the one that should step forward should be our Sheriff but he will not because he has to feed from the same political trough as the others in El Paso. Hey any one can file a complaint getting them to act on it is another matter.

  3. Jerry K and whether he weighed in or not it will be sent back to the local D.A’s office for prosecution. Please do tell us how the Texas AG weighed in. Texas Rangers on the way? We can only hope!

  4. Jerry, you must have missed the article about a week ago, where two board members admitted they lied about the rent in order to qualify for Federral funds. Also one of the headlines stated “rent is not rent” or a similar title. I believe it was yesterday or Sunday’s paper, they report that the Congressman was trying to intervene with Federal officials to do away with penalties that would hurt the Childrrens Hospital. So it’s not my opinions, they’re reports.

  5. Thank you for the article on our petition. Currently we have over 400 signatures and have received some not very nice comments from Veronica Escobar on Twitter. Check them out @elptaxguardians

  6. Please don’t hold your breath waiting for a local investigation because it will not happen from the locals. At the end the judge will seal everything for corruptions sake.

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