Continuing the discussion of the Metro referendum, today’s interview is with Metro Board Chair Gilbert Garcia, and Board Member Christof Spieler. Garcia originally proposed a referendum that would continue the GMP but freeze revenues for the member entities at 2014 levels, with Metro getting all of the revenue increases above that. After an alternate measure was put forth by the Board that would have reallocated GMP funds in a way that primarily benefited Houston and caused loud complaints from the county and the smaller cities, he brokered a deal to adopt the current ballot language, with the proviso that Metro would get half of the sales tax revenue increase but could not use it on light rail construction. Spieler is a longtime transit advocate who was appointed to the Board along with Garcia by Mayor Parker. He was the only Board member to vote against the substitute ballot language. Here’s the interview:
You can still find a list of all interviews I did for this primary cycle, plus other related information, on my 2012 Harris County Primary Elections page and my 2012 Texas Primary Elections page, which I now need to update to include fall candidate information. You can also follow this blog by liking its Facebook page.
UPDATE: In the interview, Spieler refers to a board meeting “this Friday”. The interview was conducted on September 19, so the meeting in question has already occurred. My apologies for the confusion.