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Posts Tagged ‘Annise Parker’

Council approves hoarding ordinance

I think they’re on the right track. The Houston City Council unanimously approved an anti-hoarding ordinance Wednesday without a clear idea of how it will be enforced. The ordinance, which does not apply to single-family homes, clarifies when police can seek a warrant to enter a home and prioritizes mental health treatment before turning to […]

City issues One Bin RFPs

From the inbox: Mayor Annise Parker today announced the issuance of a Request for Proposals and creation of an advisory committee for the One Bin for All waste management and diversion project. The City of Houston invites submittals from short-listed firms that participated in an earlier Request for Qualifications process. “One Bin for All will […]

HPD’s good, bad, and ugly

The good news is that the testing of backlogged rape kits has led to the identification of a serial rapist in Houston. Houston police on Tuesday for the first time identified a criminal suspect – a possible serial rapist – from testing of sexual assault kits that once gathered dust in the police property room. […]

Counting votes on the non-discrimination ordinance

From the Houston GLBT Political Caucus Facebook page: Members have asked for the responses on our questionnaires to the questions below. The President of the Caucus, Maverick Welsh, has asked me to post the information. As the chair of the Screening Committee, I have reviewed the questionnaires from 2013 and below is the result: Mayor–We […]

First Sunday Streets seemed like a success

The weather was kinda lousy but there were plenty of people out on White Oak Street on Sunday. The city of Houston closed a 2.5 mile stretch of Quitman and White Oak to motor vehicles for four hours on Sunday, encouraging Houstonians to play in the street and explore their neighborhoods pushing strollers or riding […]

The farm team

Roll Call takes a look at the Texas Democrats of the future. Democrats rarely fielded competitive Senate candidates over the past two decades — the party’s three best performers in that time span received 44 percent, 43 percent and 43 percent — but that may change by the next midterm cycle. State and national Democrats […]

Enforcing non-discrimination

In her annual State of the City address, Mayor Parker put a long-awaited item on the table. Mayor Annise Parker on Thursday said she would create a human rights commission to review violations of anti-discrimination laws, saying just talking about equality in the nation’s most diverse city is not enough. “We don’t care where you […]

The rideshare battles continue

From Houston: The issue came up at yesterday’s council meeting and Mayor Annise Parker said that undercover Houston police sting operations have resulted in 26 citations for Uber and Lyft drivers. They were likely, misdemeanor violations for operating an illegal taxi. The mayor’s remark was in reply to testimony from Duane Kamins, a partner, along […]

The Mayors opine for high speed rail

They pen an editorial in its favor. We are proud to be mayors of three of the largest and fastest-growing cities in America. Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston have weathered the recent economic downturn and are now the engines powering our state’s tremendous job growth. While we celebrate the individual successes of our respective cities, […]

Fearing the fire reform

This ought to be interesting. Rumblings of coming reforms in Houston Fire Department’s operations have union leaders and the department’s command staff wary, despite Mayor Annise Parker’s insistence that these concerns are unwarranted. HFD’s staffing shortage has driven up overtime costs, creating a budget crisis that has, on some days, seen ambulances and fire trucks […]

The Mayors love high speed rail

As well they should. The mayors of Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth announced Thursday their unified support for the construction of a privately funded bullet train between the two metropolitan regions. “If successful, Houstonians will have a reliable, private alternative that will help alleviate traffic congestion and drastically reduce travel times,” Houston Mayor Annise Parker […]

Zipcar expands in Houston

Very cool. A car-sharing service on Wednesday expanded from spots on the Rice University campus to other locations in Houston, providing city residents with another option for transportation. Zipcar is making available 25 vehicles in 10 different locations in Houston including the downtown area, Mid-town, Greenway Plaza, and Upper Kirby. “We want the locations to […]

Goal Zero Fatalities plan for bikes adopted

From the Mayor’s office: Mayor Annise Parker today announced the City and BikeHouston are joining forces to launch a major bike safety campaign to enforce and educate motorists and cyclists about the existing Safe Passing Ordinance, as well as create a Bicycle Master Plan for the City. “As the name of this program implies, the […]

We have our first HFD rolling brownout

And nothing bad happened. Three Houston firetrucks were pulled from service Friday morning, the first “brownout” in the city’s fire fleet since the Houston Fire Department’s budget struggles came to light in early February. In keeping with a plan Fire Chief Terry Garrison announced last month that called for trucks in areas with lower call […]

HPD crime lab update

The man who wrote the report detailing all of the HPD crime lab’s problems was back to give a progress report on how things look now. Houston police managers at the once-shuttered crime lab have failed to re-examine tests on DNA, blood and most other forensic evidence on a random basis to ensure the results […]

Lyft has some stumbles

Oops. Lyft, known for its pink mustaches, has again been caught red-handed in Houston breaking a basic driving law. A driver for the company, which pairs riders with drivers via smartphone app, picked up a Houston investigator Monday and was cited for operating an illegal taxi service because the passenger was charged for the ride. […]

Street closings ahead

This ought to be interesting. Three busy Houston streets will shut down to vehicular traffic on selected Sunday afternoons in an effort to see if car-bound residents will walk, bike and explore each block rather than simply drive through. The program, called Open Streets, originated in Bogota, Colombia, more than 30 years ago and has […]

Firefighters union ratifies no-brownout agreement

Good. Members of the Houston firefighters’ union have signed off on a deal with Mayor Annise Parker that would prevent pulling firetrucks from service to help balance the Fire Department’s budget. “We’re very pleased that the union membership ratified the agreement,” Houston City Attorney David M. Feldman said in a statement released Friday. Now that […]

HFD union reaches a deal with the city to avoid “rolling brownouts”

From the Inbox: Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association (HPFFA) President Bryan Sky-Eagle joined Mayor Annise Parker this morning to announce a tentative agreement on an interim contract that will avoid the brown-outs of fire apparatus proposed earlier to solve an $8.5 million overtime shortfall at the Houston Fire Department. “I want to thank the union […]

City to Uber: Enough with the emails already

So this happened. The battle over Houston’s taxi rules moved Thursday from the streets to cyberspace, reflecting ongoing tension between an aggressive newcomer and a city government determined to proceed cautiously. Thousands of email messages urging elected leaders to allow the ridesharing service Uber into Houston slowed city servers and led City Attorney David Feldman […]

State of the county 2014: Let’s keep working together

Time for Judge Emmett to tell us how things are going in Harris County. (Spoiler alert: They’re going fine, thanks for asking.) On the eve of what could be his final term as Harris County’s top elected official, County Judge Ed Emmett on Thursday called for the consolidation of various government entities and services, citing […]

Next steps in the Texas same sex marriage lawsuit

In case you were wondering, Attorney General and candidate for Governor Greg Abbott will appeal Wednesday’s historic ruling striking down Texas’ constitutional amendment barring same sex marriage. The state of Texas has officially given notice that it is appealing a San Antonio judge’s ruling that completely struck down its ban on same sex marriage. “Defendants […]

Firefighters union sues city to block cutbacks

Not sure about this. Houston firefighters went to court Tuesday in an effort to block the city from removing personnel, trucks and ambulances from service. But a judge rejected their argument that the “rolling brownouts” plan violates the union’s collective bargaining agreement with the city. State District Judge Elaine Palmer turned down the request for […]

HFD’s budget problems

I’m sure you’ve heard of this by now. The safety of Houston’s citizens and its firefighters will be compromised over the next four months as the fire department limits the number of personnel on duty and removes trucks from service in an attempt to cut spending, Fire Chief Terry Garrison said Thursday. “People that are […]

Turner for Mayor 3.0

This is what you call a poorly kept secret. Just three months after Annise Parker captured a final term as mayor, a major contender has declared his desire to succeed her in the City of Houston’s top job. “You know I’ve had my challenges. I’ve come through them,” said State Representative Sylvester Turner. In what […]

More on the audit letters

The Chron asks some outside experts to go over those recently released audit letters. Houston leaders appeared to have ignored the significance of recurring accounting and management problems or did not have the resources to fix them, according to accounting experts who reviewed 11 years’ worth of audit letters released by the mayor’s office last […]

January campaign finance reports for Houston officeholders

One more set of finance reports to document, from city of Houston officeholders and candidates. I’m not going to link to the individual reports this time, since the city’s system automatically downloads the PDFs and I don’t feel like uploading these all to my Google drive. Here are the basic summaries, with my comments afterwards […]

Bexar County to offer “plus one” benefits

Good for them. Without referencing same-sex couples, Bexar County on Tuesday agreed to extend health insurance benefits to the unmarried companions of county employees. The “Plus One Qualifying Adult” policy adopted by Commissioners Court attempts to circumvent legal roadblocks that bar the county from offering benefits to workers’ domestic partners. Modeled after an approach used […]

Audit letters

There’s a thing called audit letters that I hadn’t known existed. We’ve got them for Houston, but we had not been making them public even though other cities do as a matter of course. Houston officials have blocked the release of letters detailing weaknesses in the city’s financial accounting even though other large Texas cities […]

The preservation ordinance is a work in progress

That’s the tl;dr version of this. In October 2010, an emotional Sue Lovell, then a city council­woman, lauded the passage of a strengthened historic preservation ordinance for Houston after a long, complex and divisive battle she and Mayor Annise Parker had led. In recent months, however, Lovell has appeared before the commissions tasked with implementing […]

Clearing the rape kit backlog is producing results

Very promising results. Private forensic laboratories hired to clear the Houston Police Department’s untested DNA evidence – including a decades-old rape kit backlog – have identified potential offenders in a third of the cases where sufficient DNA samples were found, according to a HPD report. [...] Since the HPD lab resumed operations about six years […]

City sues HFRRF again

From the inbox: In the face of growing concern about its ability to meet long-term retiree pension obligations, the City of Houston filed a lawsuit today against the Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund (HFRRF), one of three pension systems covering City employees. The lawsuit seeks to enable the City to have the same input […]

Abbott inserts himself in Houston same sex benefits lawsuit

Not a surprise. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has filed briefs arguing that a state court should be given an opportunity to declare Houston’s new policy of granting benefits to some same-sex partners of employees unlawful under Texas’ marriage laws. In the first of two amicus briefs, Abbott argued that a lawsuit filed by a […]

Annise Parker’s journey

The Chron reviews how Mayor Parker went from activist for the LGBT community to Mayor on the occasion of her wedding. The country’s first openly gay mayor became the country’s first openly gay married mayor this week. A wedding wouldn’t seem the sort of event to justify partisan commentary, yet at least one critic questioned […]