Union leaders criticized the report before it was even delivered to the mayor, with Houston Organization of Public Employees President Melvin Hughes declaring the report an attack on employees.
“It’s not about balancing the budget,” Hughes said. “It’s about stripping workers of their voice – not only their voice, but their wages.”
The six union and pension representatives on the 16-member task force released a dissenting report proposing the city refinance debt, end redevelopment zones and pay some city employees with drainage fee money to ease pressure on the general fund.
Though I’ve heard about some of the ideas that HOPE has proposed, I have not seen an actual report from them. I still think there’s been a disproportionate amount of talk about pensions and not nearly enough about growth strategies, optimizing tax revenue, and health care costs. Since economic forecasts are usually wrong, the broader our plans are for dealing with these issues, the better off we’ll be. In any event, now the report is out, so we can stop speculating about it and instead engage more fully in arguing about it. Houston Politics has more.