El Paso Metro Weekly Byte: December 4, 2001

Welcome to El Paso Metro’s week in review. This section is updated every Tuesday night.

City Council Review

  • The City Council approved a strategic plan to improve the city.  Composed by Department heads, the plan contains a variety of projects that can be achieved over the next two years;
  • A proposal for a dental service within the City-County Health District clinic was defeated;
  • Approved $10,000 in matching funds to support the Arts Resources Department offerings;
  • Approved shifting site development plans review and approval to the Planning Department after zoning changes are made by Council;
  • Introduced 114 million dollars in Revenue Bonds as requested by the Public Service Board for water improvements.  Payment for these bonds will passed through to water users in the form of higher rates.

Other news

  • David Rentaria is in custody in the abduction and murder of a little girl.  Alexandra Flores, 5, was found murdered in central El Paso.  She was abducted at a lower valley Walmart;
  • President Bush and the US Congress oppose cloning of human beings.  A group of scientists have succeeded in creating the technology to clone human beings;
  • ElPasoMetro.com announced it will launch ElPasoWeekend.com next week, Monica Marin has joined the staff;
  • The City has unveiled a 2-year list of goals prepared by Department heads.  The plan was immediately criticized for being shortsighted and short on economic development goals for the metro region;  Teresa Caballero, an anti-tax advocate, called a projected hotel and golf course at the airport, “a Mayor and his buddies play ground that will do absolutely nothing for the city.”
  • A tax increase is anticipated in Cd. Juarez.  Added to the flight of maquilas to Brazil and other countries in Central America, the recession will be felt hard by the first quarter of next year according to border economists at the University of Juarez.  Juarez is fast becoming a powder keg of unrest if the rate of unemployment continues to increase.  Increased taxes in El Paso and Juarez and worker displacement are feeding a potential disaster on the border;
  • Local businesses are reporting improved sales during and after Thanksgiving but feel that the increase is not enough to offset the loss of revenues since September 11th.