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The Long-Range Financial Management Task Force report is out

A little light reading for your Sunday. The report generated criticism before the figurative ink was dry on it.

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.

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2 Comments

  1. Peter Houston says:

    There is no way Harris County is going to spend more resources in democratic-controlled Houston so scratch that idea. I would like to see the dissenting alternative report given the same exposure by local media as the formal report but then everyone knows the Chronicle has long supported Parker and it won’t happen.

    In terms of cuts, cut the less important things out and stop buying votes, that alone will cover most of the deficit spending that we now see has been going on (despite the law) for years, breaking the backs of employees to continue wasteful spending certainly a poor long term strategy from what I’ve seen in the private sector. And the Bill King editorials are getting worse with time, he cherry picks stats so aggressively to invoke another crisis he can profit from that I wonder if he realizes how evident it is. Even under the middle of the road, do nothing different course presented, the amount of funding the pensions need to be in shape amounts to about 10% of total revenue in 20 years; focusing solely on property tax revenue alone to juice up the stats is awfully transparent to those schooled in statistics.

  2. […] Here are the citizen members of the Long-Range Financial Management Task Force, fresh off of their report release, taking to the pages to lay out what the city wants from the Lege on pension […]

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