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Interview with Mayor Annise Parker

Mayor Annise Parker

Another person who needs no introduction here is Mayor Annise Parker, who is running for a second term in Houston’s top office. It’s no secret that I’m a supporter of hers, and I think she’s done a good job in what has been a very challenging environment. We covered a lot of ground in this interview, and frankly we could have covered a lot more, but in the interest of keeping this under an hour I had to edit my list down a bit. Here’s our conversation:

Download the MP3 file

You can find a list of all interviews for this cycle, plus other related information, on my 2011 Elections page.

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6 Comments

  1. Jules says:

    Charles, thanks for asking Parker about the Ainbinder (Walmart) 380.

    Her answers are disingenuous. When you asked her “tell me what the City is going to get out of the 380 agreement” she answered “the development is spending 6 million dollars to upgrade drainage, to put in sidewalks, to improve the median – they are doing work in a public space on their dollar.”

    Sidewalks are required by the City – the developer has to build sidewalks. Yes, there is drainage – drainage for the Koehler Street extension and the widening of Yale, Bass and Koehler. They have to put in curbs, gutters and drains as part of widening/building the streets. You can’t build a street without drainage. These improvements mostly serve the development – you’ll notice she didn’t mention any specific improvements except for the median (aka “bike trail to nowhere”) – she didn’t answer your question.

    She mentions “public infrastructure” several times but never mentions the $308,000 (add 20% for soft costs and then 20% on top of that for contingency) that the Ainbinder 380 reimburses for private detention – public monies for private infrastructure.

    She says that at the time they started negotiations with Ainbinder that Walmart wasn’t the tenant – I think this is true – I think the Ainbinder 380 was designed to lure Walmart to that tract.

    She says “We allow them to recoup their payment out of the taxes they would generate – there’s no money upfront from the city at all. They have to spend their money to create the public infrastructure and if they don’t generate any any tax dollars – say the company goes belly-up, and no, let’s not talk about Walmart because that’s not going to happen but we’ve done other 380 agreements, the Oak Farms Dairy, uh uh Lovet Homes has a couple of 380 agreements. If the company were to make this agreement, they put the infrastructure in, and then they go belly-up, I don’t have to pay them back at all. It allowed me to use their money for something that I need in the city anyway.”

    From the point she says “no, let’s not talk about Walmart”, she isn’t talking about Walmart or the Ainbinder 380 – she’s being disingenuous. The Ainbinder 380 must absolutely be paid back – the only requirement is that they build an Anchor Retailer and open it – the Ainbinder 380 specifically says that the City can issue bonds to pay them back. The other 380’s are paid back over time and only from the taxes the projects generate – the Ainbinder 380 is different. (Oak Farms Dairy is the Dean Foods 380 and I think the Lovet Homes must be the Intown 380).

  2. Joshua bullard says:

    I think iam going to say this one last time and i want any one reading this to get this message clear-i was sick and tired and so were a half million other people whom were solely subjected to having to pay 8 dollars for a bag of socks at the target on taylor-those people at target took my money and alot of other peoples money for that matter becuase they were the only game on that side of town-
    I swear to god i am going to shop there and will discontinue going to target- i suspect about ninety percent of the critics of the 380 will follow right behind me when the walmart opens-i dont care what eighty it took-380-m80-880 1280 1680 any 80-just get the thing open so i can get in the joint-the mayor did a fantastic job getting this walmart and i support the 380 agreement a hundred percent. iam surprised i didnt hear as much crying from the heights as i suspected-good job heights keeping your opinions to yourself and your traditional crying to a minmum- finally allowing the city of houston to prevail and grow.

    take your medicine-and stay out of the way
    respectfully submitted joshua ben bullard

  3. Jules says:

    JJ – just a five minute drive up 45 or down I10 will get you to your socks until Parker’s Walmart opens. Until then – darn your socks!

  4. Jules says:

    I mean Joshua – not JJ.

  5. [...] interview with Mayor Parker is here. For reasons unclear, the Chron has broken its pattern and left us hanging on the At Large #5 race. [...]

  6. Jack O'Connor says:

    You appear to have good intentions in bringing the liberal segment of our population the news and opinion they want. It is unfortunate that you leave out information that is important to private citizens and businesses alike because it may impact those people you support. Have you considered what happens if the Houston City government becomes insolvent. In Nassau County New York, Jefferson County Alabama (Birmingham) among a number of other metropolitan areas with large populations the state governments have had to takeover their finances.

    We may not be quite be at that point yet but some think we are. In the mid 1970′s New York City had to accept a large amount of cash from the Teachers Union Pension Fund to avoid default and it took that city 10 years to recover. We are borrowing from our government workers pensions now. You can be pro union but not want the unions to be our city bankers.

    I am for the best public transportation possible but the cost and scope of the proposition we voted for early in the last decade has changed dramatically. The resistance of the Mayor and those connected to the light rail to questioning the wisdom of those changes and the costs increasing fourfold is unhealthy. Anyone who questions is attacked. There is a requirement for a proposition to be on the ballot in 2012. It will address the stipulation in the original proposition in how much Metro gets from the city( 1% of the total revenue) Under the Law Metro is required to refund 25% of those revenues to the City’s infrastructure fund. Metro owes the city approx 100 million dollars for this purpose. Metro is keeping it so can raise its bond capacity (more borrowing). The Drainage Fee (Rebuild Houston) was born out of Metro shorting the city. Is this mismanagement or a contrived money grab. I think both.

    Your blog should include some of these issues whether you dispute them or not. The Light Rail plans will cause gridlock in areas and we all know what happened during our Super Bowl with the Main Street line. We need another independant look about where we go from here.

    I suggest you broaden your purview and opinion to keep your liberal audience more informed. I do not know you but I know where you are coming from. That is OK if you are able to look at the bigger picture as well.

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