County Judge, Veronica Escobar

  • Share services: Taxpayers can get break
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  • El Paso Times Staff

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  • Play nice. Share with others. This is not lesson number one at pre-kindergarten. This is something that needs to happen in local government. Find ways to make daily operations less expensive for the taxpayers.

  • Maybe that's beginning to happen now.

  • It could means working together on purchasing certain items. "Let's talk to one another, share our purchasing power and save our taxpayers millions of dollars," said County Commissioner Veronica Escobar.

  • Escobar says she is making it her mission to find people on City Council, in Socorro and on the boards of the school districts and Thomason Hospital to act as captains of a team that finds ways to share services.

  • The mission is: If it's a taxing entity, let's find ways to share costs. Everybody doesn't have to go out and buy their own proverbial pie. Perhaps three or four ... or four or five ... entities can get a better price on pie if they buy in lots instead of as single items.

  • Vehicles for police officers and sheriff's deputies?

  • Today City Council is scheduled to talk about sharing.

  • Escobar has one City Council ally, already. And we expect there are more, too. As West-Central city Rep. Susie Byrd said, "We know that taxing entities consume lots of things and that there's opportunities that we're not pursuing because we are just now working together."

  • It is important to note, though, that this "working together" must not turn into the fiasco that was a one-time joint city/county health district. Byrd has it right when she says the entities can resolve to work together without black and white obligations.

  • Escobar told members of the El Paso Times Editorial Board that if just one thing could be shared -- whatever -- it will be a successful endeavor.

  • This is a good idea. And the idea is to not bind anyone to a must-do endeavor. It's, as Byrd said, "An idea that could be very beneficial for us during budgeting."

  • Can the county get a better deal on food for the elderly if it works with a purchasing department in one of the school systems?

  • Talk about it.

  • Or, as Democratic candidate for sheriff Richard Wiles proposes, how about consolidating the city's and county's SWAT teams. He doesn't think we need two. Talk about it.

  • There have to be a lot of ways all the county's taxing entities can continue to provide the same services, but at a better price from vendors.

  • All elected officials should have open ears on Escobar's endeavor.


  • County Judge
    Veronica Escobar