It appears that El Paso's City Council is prepared to roll the dice on a massive November bond election that could have a huge impact on the city's future. The El Paso Times front page story detailed the plan, that could have a huge impact on the city's growth and development. Included in the potential $600-$800 million bond are: new mutlipurpose sports and entertainment facility, major league soccer stadium, downtown baseball stadium, and Sun Bowl upgrades. The bond issue is not just sports related; it also contains millions of dollars for improving streets, the city zoo, libraries, parks, etc. City Council is gambling that by putting all of the quality of life issues into one monster bond issue, it will have a better chance of passing during the November election. The $600-$800 million estimated for the bond issue is over a 15 year period.

The biggest challenge facing the city will be whether they can get enough people to vote on the November election. Should they succeed, the next challenge will be to pass the bond election through. The Times posted a poll online, and early results suggest City Council faces an uphill battle. 31% of the people polled do not want their taxes to increase, while more than 14% favor the baseball stadium. About 12% favor the street improvements and a new multipurpose sports facility.

Whenever you put big (sports) projects on a bond election and ask the voting public to decide the fate of qualityof life issues, you take a huge risk. The "all or nothing" approach is an even bigger gamble, but City Council figures the investment is necessary for El Paso to grow the way other comparable cities have over the last 25 years. I will vote yes to the November bond election, but fear that I will be in the minority when it comes down to crunch time.

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