Church and school leaders testified at a special council meeting that it still was not good enough.
For one thing, critics said, the exemptions cover only existing buildings. Future schools and churches would have to pay the drainage fee on any increase in impervious cover — such as roofs, parking lots or playgrounds.
In addition, religious leaders criticized the proposal for not exempting church schools and other private campuses.
Councilman C.O. Bradford also said that public schools chartered by the state — independent but publicly funded campuses not affiliated with Houston Independent School District — also deserved exemptions.
For Councilwoman Melissa Noriega, who said she has not decided whether she will support any exemptions when the ordinance reaches the council agenda Wednesday, the criticism of the mayor’s compromise proposal was a little too much.
“Nobody likes a sore winner,” Noriega said, “If someone says, ‘Yes,’ take yes for an answer.”
CM Noriega speaks for me. You want to see what a sore winner looks like, read their statement. I’ll say again, I understand why the Mayor did what she did here, but from where I sit if you extend a hand and it gets slapped away, the logical thing to do is to un-extend it and go back to what you had originally wanted. If these guys want to fight, I say let’s fight. And while we’re at it, let’s clarify once and for all whether these guys agree that flooding and drainage is an issue in Houston, and if so just what exactly they think we should do about it. I hate to break it to them, but the Magic Drainage Fairy doesn’t actually exist. In the real world, solutions cost money.