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This is your Friday update, which takes a quick look at the week ahead and some developments that El Paso Matters is following.
City Council to Again Vote on Mayor Veto: El Paso City Council on Monday will consider whether to override Mayor Oscar Leeser’s May 26 veto of its decision to again extend City Manager Tommy Gonzalez’s contract an additional five years through June 2029. It’s the second veto Leeser has filed since May 17 over Gonzalez’s contract. Council first extended the contract — and agreed to possibly boost his salary to $450,000 — after Gonzalez withdrew his application for the open city manager post in Frisco, Texas. Instead of challenging Leeser’s veto of that first vote, Council instead voted 6-2 to keep the contract extension but left out the possible pay boost. It takes six council members to override a veto. The special council meeting starts at 8 a.m. in City Hall.
The Supreme Court and El Paso: The future of gambling operations at the Tiguas’ Speaking Rock Entertainment Center could be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court as early as Monday. The high court heard oral arguments in February on the three-decade fight between the Tiguas and the state of Texas over the legality of gambling on tribal land. Overall, the Supreme Court still must issue opinions on 33 cases that were argued since the current term began in October, including the Tiguas’ case. The other cases before the court include major decisions on issues such as abortion and the Biden administration’s desire to end the Migrant Protection Protocols — better known as the remain in Mexico program for asylum seekers — that started with the Trump administration. Monday, June 27, is currently the last date listed for issuing opinions during the Supreme Court’s 2021-22 term.
Ballot Rejection Rate Dramatically Falls for Runoff: The El Paso County Elections Department rejected 92 of the 4,169 mail-in ballots received for the May 24 primary runoff election, according to data from the department. That 2% rejection rate is below the 15% rate seen in the March 1 primary. The vast majority of ballots in both elections were rejected because they failed to comply with new ID requirements that the Republican-led Texas Legislature passed last year. Most of the rejected ballots were in the Democratic Party runoff. The elections department said 377 voters were able to “cure,” or fix, their rejected ballot by the May 31 deadline for it to be counted.
Districts Begin Summer Meal Service: Area school districts begin their free summer meal programs next week. The El Paso, Ysleta and Socorro independent school districts will serve free breakfast and lunch to any child ages 1 to 18, regardless of whether they are enrolled in the district. Campus locations and times for EPISD’s program can be found here; for YISD here; and for SISD here. Children can eat at any campus.
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