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Posts Tagged ‘bond referendum’

My thoughts following the 2017 election

1. Turnout in Houston was considerably higher than anyone predicted. Adding in Fort Bend to Harris yields 101,178 voters. Harris County had 149,730. The Houston share of Harris County was 66.43%, which is lower than I expected as well. 2. Early voting in odd years is not the same as early voting in even years. […]

2017 results: City bonds

Pension obligation bonds pass easily. Houston voters passed a $1 billion pension bond referendum by a wide margin late Tuesday, securing Mayor Sylvester Turner’s landmark reform package and, the mayor hopes, marking the beginning of the end of a 16-year fiscal crisis. The ballot item’s passage now means the city can follow through on its […]

Election Day 2017

It’s time to vote if you haven’t already. Not many people have, as we know. Harris County turnout is expected to remain feeble through Election Day, with no marquee race to draw voters to the polls and thousands still displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Fewer than 59,000 of the county’s more than 2.2 million registered voters […]

2017 EV daily report: Just remember, the reports we get are all of Harris County

Here are today’s numbers, and here are the daily totals from previous years: 2015 2013 2011 2009 2007 And here’s a select comparison: Year Early Mail Total Mailed ======================================= 2017 11,953 7,513 19,466 19,581 2015 36,322 19,789 56,111 42,520 2011 10,818 3,823 14,641 13,697 2007 8,080 3,126 11,206 12,775 So 2011 appears to be the […]

What about those constitutional amendments?

Would you like someone to explain to you what those seven Constitutional amendments are about, in painstaking detail, with a recommendation for how to vote on each? Daniel Williams is here for you. It’s that time of the biennium again! Time for voters to consider constitutional amendments on small minutia of public policy. Texas has […]

Endorsement watch: Don’t forget the city bonds

The Chron circles back to where they started this endorsement season. The spotlight of public attention has focused on the billion dollar pension bond referendum, Proposition A, whose passage is absolutely critical to Houston’s financial future. But if you’re a Houston voter, you’ll also find on your ballot four bond issues that will pay for […]

Endorsement watch: State propositions and Katy bonds

Hey, did you know that there are constitutional amendments on the ballot? It’s true! (Spoiler alert: There are constitutional amendments on the ballot every odd-numbered year.) The Chron has some recommendations for how to vote on them. State of Texas, Proposition 1: For This amendment would allow the Legislature to exempt partially disabled veterans and […]

Another contemplation of turnout

Let’s see where this one takes us. Last time, I made some guesses about turnout in the HISD races based on overall turnout in the city of Houston. Now I’m going to turn that around and take a shot at pegging city turnout based on HISD. It was suggested to me that we do have […]

Still some fretting about the bonds

Generalized anxiety, nothing specific. Fire engines bursting into flames at a scene. Roof leaks damaging walls at city health clinics. Bike trails eroding into the bayou. Those are among the reasons Mayor Sylvester Turner is asking voters to approve $495 million in public improvement bonds this fall. Early voting starts Oct. 23. As with the […]

An unsatisfying attempt at projecting turnout

So as we all know, this in an unprecedented election, as there are no city races on the ballot. This has everyone wondering about turnout, because the usual drivers of turnout are a Mayor’s race and/or a big referendum, and we have neither of those. What can we guess from past turnout? There are two […]

The fire department’s needs

This is a conversation we need to have, but it’s one we need to dig into and work all the way through. Fire Chief Sam Pena gave City Council a bleak assessment Tuesday of his department’s readiness to respond to significant rainstorms, or even daily fire and medical calls, saying a ramshackle fleet and inadequate […]

Endorsement watch: The bonds

Endorsement season has officially begun. The key referendum, Proposition A, is a solution to Houston’s potentially disastrous pension problem. A complex deal ushered through the Texas Legislature by Mayor Sylvester Turner would reduce the $8.2 billion unfunded pension burden now carried by Houston taxpayers to $5.2 billion. Union leaders representing police officers and municipal employees […]

Lift Up Houston

Hey, you know there are bonds on the ballot, right? And Mayor Turner would like you to vote for them. Mayor Sylvester Turner spent much of his first year and a half keeping the civic conversation focused on winning legislative approval of his plan to end Houston’s spiraling pension crisis, and then, last May, achieved […]

Harris County may do Harvey bonds

Turns out Harvey recovery will cost money. Who knew? A majority of the Harris County Commissioners Court on Wednesday said they would support a large bond issue, perhaps upwards of $1 billion, and a tax increase to pay for it. The bond issue would bolster cash-strapped flood control initiatives, which could include a improvements to […]

Bond issue set for November

Should be pretty straightforward, though I suppose you never know. November’s ballot will feature $495 million in public improvement bonds after City Council agreed Wednesday to send the package to Houston voters. The general bonds, which would not require a tax hike, would fund improvements to libraries and parks, as well as items like new […]

Mayor will take revenue cap referendum off the 2017 ballot

Not gonna lie, I’m disappointed by this. Mayor Sylvester Turner abruptly reversed course Wednesday on his plan to ask voters to repeal Houston’s revenue cap this fall, saying it now is “unlikely” he will ask for its removal. The politically cautious move would leave the city fiscally shackled in the hope that a lighter November […]

Bonds on the ballot

Mayor Turner has one more item to deal with this November. Mayor Sylvester Turner is poised ask voters to approve bonds this fall to fund improvements to city parks, community centers, fire stations and health clinics, adding hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to a crowded November ballot. The proposed five-year capital improvement plan, […]

More on the Whitmire Astrodome bill

I still don’t care for this. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett voiced concern Tuesday that a bill filed by a veteran state senator jeopardizes the county’s plan to revitalize the Astrodome, adding that county representatives would continue to try to persuade legislators to support the $105 million project. Emmett said state Sen. John Whitmire’s bill, […]

The State of Metro

Metro Chair Carrin Patman gave a “State of Metro” speech at the Greater Houston Partnership this week, and among other things she said that another referendum is in the works to finish some tasks from the 2003 vote and to address the issues we see today. One of the projects that remains unfunded is the […]

Mayor Turner announces pension fund deal

From the inbox: Negotiators for the City, the Houston Police Officers’ Pension System, the Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund and the Houston Municipal Employees Pension System have developed Preliminary Points of Understanding on a structural approach to long term, sustainable, defined benefit pension reform. Detailed formal plans continue to be developed and will need […]

No bonds this year

Maybe next year. Mayor Sylvester Turner likely will not ask voters to approve bonds this November to replace the nearly depleted debt residents approved in 2012, a move that may delay several projects. […] Having addressed a $160 million shortfall with the unanimous passage of his first budget last month, Turner said he now is […]

Montgomery County Judge suspended for road bond allegations

This just keeps getting better. A state commission has suspended Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal without pay after a grand jury charged him with violating Texas’ open meetings law while developing a bond package for new and improved roads. The move by the State Commission on Judicial Review came four days after the indictments of […]

Montgomery County officials indicted over road bond shenanigans

I know I’m a bad person, but this continues to amuse me greatly. A grand jury has indicted Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and two commissioners, charging them with violating Texas’ open meetings law last year while developing a bond package for new and improved roads. Traffic-weary voters in the rapidly growing county approved the […]

On big money high school stadiums

Texas Monthly is against ’em. As a part of a $220 million bond package, McKinney ISD is adding an opulent events center and 12,000-seat high school football stadium that will cost a total of $62.8 million. According to the Dallas Morning News, the stadium, set to open in 2017, will cost $50.3 million itself with […]

Precinct analysis: The Harris County bonds

Courtesy of Mike Morris at the Chron. It’s an open secret of local politics that, when Harris County needs voter approval for big projects, they turn not to suburban county residents but to those in the city of Houston’s urban core. Just look at this month’s elections: Though county offices are on the ballot in […]

Bondings

Congratulations, Montgomery County! After rejecting two bond measures for new and improved roadways in four years, including one last spring, traffic-weary voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly backed a $280 million plan to unplug bottlenecks in rapidly growing Montgomery County. With all precincts reporting, the road bond received the support of more than three-fifths of county voters […]

More on MUDs

The Chron covers this topic. A few months ago, a cabinet maker and his wife were recruited to move into a manufactured home parked on a dirt road that was plowed into the woods on the west side of Conroe in Montgomery County. Daniel and Deborah Spiecher are now the only residents of a newly […]

Chron overview of the Montgomery County bond referendum

The voters there are engaged in this issue, that much is for sure. Life is on hold in the parking lot that is Rayford Road, 4 miles of too many cars squeezing into too few lanes. Even when it isn’t so busy, which isn’t often, there is a chance a passing train can bring traffic […]

The parks part of the county bond package

The plans are more specific for the part of the bond package that’s easier to sell. Commissioner Jack Morman thinks of the East Aldine residents waiting outside Crowley Park before dawn for workers to unlock the gates. Commissioner Steve Radack cites Easter weekend crowds of roughly 75,000 at Bear Creek Park. Commissioner El Franco Lee […]

Endorsement watch: Bonds, five bonds

There are four Harris County bond issues on the ballot this fall. The Chron supports them all, with some reservations. I’m just going to focus on the first one, since it’s by far the biggest and the one for which there is the strongest argument against it. Proposition 1 – For More than 75 percent […]

Turner’s public agency work

A lot of the attacks in the Mayoral campaign so far have been aimed at Adrian Garcia, in part to knock him out of second place where he is perceived to be, and in part because there’s some real material to use. There has been some sniping between Costello and King, as they fish in […]

The Woodlands versus its neighbors

I have three things to say about this. The Woodlands prides itself on being the best-planned community around, with tree-studded neighborhoods, miles of trails, sprawling parks and a town center with a distinctly urban feel. Across Montgomery County, however, some see The Woodlands as a snooty, well-off enclave that grouses about its tax dollars subsidizing […]

No way to run a road bond election

Am I a bad person for being unreasonably amused by this? A special prosecutor has been assigned to determine whether behind-the-scenes negotiations could void a last-minute deal struck by Montgomery County commissioners to get a scaled-back $270 million road bond package on the upcoming November ballot. At question is whether some commissioners and a powerful […]

What next for HISD?

The board ponders its options for Superintendent while they prepare to search for a successor to Dr. Terry Grier. The Houston Independent School District board is set to meet Tuesday morning to discuss the district’s next steps after Superintendent Terry Grier’s surprise announcement Thursday that he was stepping down effective March 1. Board president Rhonda […]