carrsco_gst_convrstEditor’s note: The following is a guest editorial by Barbara Carrasco. Anyone interested in writing an editorial about topical topics that I cover on my blog is encouraged to submit them to me. I will contact you once I have made the decision on whether to publish your editorial. If you would rather self-publish, I encourage you to go to and publish your own work. Guest editorials do not necessarily represent the views of Martin Paredes.

All I Wanted Was A Conversation!

I am a proponent of paying fair market value for services rendered. I therefore submitted an ORR regarding the study commissioned by the County with Public Sector/Personnel Consultants. After having reviewed it, I noted on page 4, item 4 “POTENTIAL IMPLEMENTATION, ADMINISTRATION, AND COST,” an option which would allow the County to implement their pay increases based on terms served. It would allow the County to set a minimum and optimum pay per term. Being a business owner, I immediately wanted to know if the County had considered this option.

With this in mind I made several calls to commissioners, sent an email to each of the commissioners and the judge. My request was simple: Did they discuss this at length? If not, would Commissioners’ Court revisit the possibility of adopting the option?

Taxpayers would believe when one shows an interest or concern regarding an issue pending in commissioners’ court, that commissioner’s court would welcome such interest. Whether it be attending the meetings or correspondence.

That’s not the case. As I stated, I sent several emails, made several calls to commissioners’ court and their response was silence. My calls have been ignored and the conversation I did have was combative. I was literally interrogated and insulted and asked why I was not at the meetings when they discussed the salary issue. Well, I work! I have a small company that pays me a salary and I have to respect my company, employee and customers. Additionally, as I stated, I submitted an ORR and that takes time to receive and time to review. I can safely say the majority of El Pasoans cannot make the meetings.

I have learned that a “call to the public” is a concerned citizen expressing an opinion, or making a recommendation. It does not allow one to enter into a meaningful conversation or ask any questions that one can expect an answer.

Therefore I turn to emails in hopes that I will get a response. I’ve also made appointments which have been cancelled! I’ve left messages at the offices and I’ve left messages on cellulars that have gone ignored.

We know that Commissioner Leon and Commissioner Haggerty voted against the salary increase. Well, then, why can’t I get a commitment from either of them to explore this option and place the item on the agenda? This would not cost the County any monies. They can utilize the talents of the HR Department. The full impact of salaries would be spread over a period time.

I fully understand they want salaries in line with other counties. Exploring this option does not reduce their current pay. It also increases it, in a reasonable, palatable manner. It would send a message to the taxpayer that they are good stewards of taxpayers’ hard earned money and they will explore all avenues available to them to determine the best way to increase their salaries.

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...

4 replies on “All I Wanted Was A Conversation”

  1. Your experience is one shared by many. It is a common complain.

    This is a commissioners court that claims it is transparent and welcome public participation. LOL, how dare anyone ask a question or suggest anything . There will be evasive answers, no answer, indignant responses, Vermont type answers (research asking for directions) or the commissioner is always at an unknown meeting with no idea when they will return or only the clerk (with an attitude) available.

    Be prepared to enter an unknown zone where there is no reality, nothing makes sense, the people are not what they seem.

    This court and city need to be thrown out and never be elected to anything. They are absolutely worthless and complete failures with developing policy.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if she still has some gonads nailed on her wall !

  2. Barbara
    What people should be raising hell over is the cost of the study. What a total waste of money to support the CCC arrogance which could have been done by a staff member for pennies on the dollar.
    Martin has put our ORR here you can read over. There is a second ORR waiting for a response from the county which should come in the next two weeks.
    The problem at the County is they have stopped being the servants and are now demanding status of master over the citizens.
    The County is claiming there was not discussion of raises since this first started in January in executive session or by other means of communication which from our sources that say it total non-sense except the one between the Judge and the county attorney’s office.
    Oh Barbara if they ask why you wanted the records that is a violation of open records laws they can’t question you to why or what reasons you want the records.

  3. Thank you for pursuing this with the County. When I sent questions to my commissioner I got well-worded, detailed form letter in response. Clearly, the County considers this a “done deal.” Even if you or I had been at the meetings for our 2-3 minutes of “discussion” I’m sure the commissioners would have passed the pay raise anyway. The only recourse we have is the voting booth.

  4. My grandmother says they used to call politicians who make money off a low-income community “poverty pimps.”

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