County Judge, Veronica Escobar

  • Consolidation: No need for several data centers
  • El Paso Times Staff

  • One lawmaker here has drawn a bead on a good target for governmental consolidation. County Commissioner Veronica Escobar points out that taxpayers often pay for the same thing over and over instead of just once.

  • That perks ears, all right.

  • Escobar says a good first target for sharing governmental services concerns proposed data centers. Why have a few? Why not just one center for data? Computers don't take up a whole lot of room, you know.

  • Quoth Escobar: " ... I found out Thomason is building one, EPISD is thinking of building one, the city may either build one or lease one out through the private sector, Region 19 built one and then the county is in the process of potentially building one."

  • Now that would be a waste of taxpayer dollars. First we pay to build it. Then there are utilities, equipment ... and you'd need a security system, of course. Multiply that times four or five and taxpayers would be paying many times too much when it all could be in one location.

  • Escobar is taking it upon herself to meet with all taxing entities to look at ways to save money. And there seems to be a lot of interest. For example, Socorro Mayor Trini Lopez says, "Some good might come of it."

  • Escobar said she hopes each taxing entity will have one person serve as the point of contact. Each would look for ways to interact. For example, A and B might be needing the same thing at the same time. Maybe they could get together and buy at bulk rates?

  • Or, as with data centers, use the same place. Get needed things housed under one roof instead of building two ... or more.

  • Obviously, not every entity can consolidate with every other entity. But how about consolidation on some issues? Sure. Talk to one another. Find out.

  • The city might not talk much with Thomason Hospital. And the county might not have a lot in common with, say, El Paso Community College. Or, maybe they do?

  • Maybe something, at some point in time, can work to their mutual benefits?

  • Here's a good, positive example of how talk can be cheap.

  • County Judge
    Veronica Escobar