County Judge, Veronica Escobar

  • Services shared under proposal
  • By Gustavo Reveles Acosta / El Paso Times
  • The city and county of El Paso could soon start sharing services such as purchasing and procurement if a resolution before the City Council is approved Tuesday.

  • West-Central city Rep. Susie Byrd is asking the council to approve a non-binding resolution that says the city will begin looking at ways to share some services with the county in order to save money.

  • "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," she said. "This resolution doesn't obligate anyone to do anything. It just begins serious conversations about saving money."

  • Byrd said some obvious opportunities for shared services include parks and recreation, tourism and public safety.

  • The idea for shared services started in the county with Commissioner Veronica Escobar spearheading the effort to get a similar resolution passed unanimously by Commissioners Court.

  • Since then, she has successfully lobbied the city of Socorro, the Thomason Hospital board and the Ysleta, Canutillo and Tornillo school districts to pass resolutions saying they'd look for ways to share services starting this fall.

  • "I'm trying to get a buy into this idea from every taxing entity in the county," Escobar said. "Let's talk to one another, share our purchasing power and save our taxpayers millions of dollars."

  • Byrd said the resolution in no way should be seen as a plan to consolidate the city and the county -- a move that would be illegal under current state law.

  • "At this time this is nothing more than an idea for services ... an idea that could be very beneficial for us during budgeting," she said.

  • Gustavo Reveles Acosta may be reached at; 546-6133.

  • County Judge
    Veronica Escobar