Friday, July 3, 2009

David Almonte's Expertise Benefits All El Pasoans

It's tough times at the City of El Paso. With revenues down (sales tax down 4.5%, bridge revenue down 12%, building permits down 25%), keeping essential services while trying to protect jobs is just not easy. Knowing where to cut and where to save and knowing how to get there is overseen by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, David Almonte.

Mr. Almonte spoke yesterday at Representative Byrd's District breakfast at Tierra del Sol restaurant. Ms. Byrd always has good speakers - but Almonte is one of the best. He knows his subject well, communicates well and connects with his audience. Budgets and numbers are just not the most exciting topics to most of us. Yet, Almonte personalizes the subject by mixing anecdotes with hard numbers. When he tells you that his first responsibility is to the taxpayers and that he will find the best product at the best price, you know that he is not just sincere but expert.

Whether it is collective bargaining with fire and police unions, crunching numbers, analyzing staff levels or ensuring that public safety and health are indeed the first priorities, Almonte's expertise benefits all El Pasoans.

I was sad that more were not at the breakfast to hear him. With the 4th of July holiday weekend upon us, many regulars just weren't there yesterday. Hopefully, Representative Byrd will ask him back to speak again soon.

Be sure to read City Manager Joyce Wilson's budget message and see the schedule of budget hearings. Let's hope that Lisa Turner isn't the only citizen of El Paso who cares to attend the budget hearings.

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