Update: After this episode was recorded, the City’s Financial Oversight & Audit Committee (FOAC) made a recommendation to the city council to open an investigation into Cassandra Hernandez and the use if the city-issued gasoline cards. Click to read our report about the FOAC meeting.

Hello and welcome to this edition of the El Paso News Week in Review. We hope you had a wonderful week. This is the news and information for the week of May 5, 2023.

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First on tap.

Tomorrow is Election Day. On the ballot are school board races and several city charter amendment measures. Of these, the climate charter labeled as Proposition K, is the most watched ballot item. Early voting ended on Tuesday. Early voting numbers are higher this election and the older voters who cast a vote suggest that Proposition K will fail. Opponents of Proposition K have spent over $1 million encouraging voters to vote against the climate measure.

In other news.

Today is Cinco de Mayo. It is not Mexican Independence Day as some believe. Although not widely celebrated in Mexico as in the United States, the day commemorates the May 5, 1862 battle between French and Mexican troops. The Mexicans won the battle against Napoleon’s invaders.

Few know that the Cinco de Mayo celebrations in America today was a marketing campaign created by the Mexican Corona beer in 1989 to gain market share in America. Corona beer is the number one beer sold in America today.

Let’s move on to political news.

On May 1, the El Paso Internal Audit department issued a report on the use of city fuel, travel and p-cards by city representatives. According to the report, city representatives purchased over 5 million gallons of fuel in 2022. Former city representative Peter Svarzbein in District 1 did not use the city’s fuel card. The two largest users of the city’s fuel cards were former city representative Claudia Rodriguez and current city representative Cassandra Hernandez. The report notes that Hernandez purchased almost 2,000 gallons of fuel for a total of almost $7,000. Rodriguez, according to the report, purchased almost 1,500 gallons for a total of slightly over $5,000.

As a result of the audit’s findings, the internal auditor recommends doing away with the fuel cards for elected officials. Instead, the auditor recommends establishing a vehicle allowance for each elected official.

In national news.

Oscar Leeser issued a disaster declaration on Sunday in anticipation of the lifting of Title 42, a health directive that allows the streamlined expulsion of migrants under the health directive. Title 42 is expected to be lifted on May 11.

And that is our news report for this week. Thank you for joining us today. This has been El Paso News Week In Review.

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Have a great weekend and we’ll be back next Friday.

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...