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Posts Tagged ‘bond referendum’

HISD Board approves one cent tax rate increase

Still a low tax rate, just slightly higher now. As architects prepare designs for dozens of new campuses, the Houston school board on Thursday approved a 1-cent tax rate increase to help pay down debt from the largest school district construction bond in Texas history. The board voted 7-1 to raise the tax rate, the […]

HCC has not begun any 2012 bond construction yet

I hadn’t realized it was taking this long. A divided Houston Community College board has failed to approve construction contracts for its November 2012 voter-approved bond program, potentially costing the college system tens of millions of dollars in fines. The clock to break ground on building projects is ticking to meet federal spending deadlines that, […]

Lots of pushback on HISD’s school closure proposal

People don’t like it when schools get closed. With the temperature near freezing, Maria Salazar bundled her three young children in jackets on Tuesday and walked them eight blocks to Port Houston Elementary School. She dropped off Joaquin, 7, and Arianna, 5, and then hiked home with her 2-year-old son on her hip. She doesn’t […]

Precinct analysis: The Dome and the jail

Now that precinct data is out, the Chron has an updated take on what sunk the Astrodome referendum. Overall, 53.4 percent of Harris County voters rejected the bond issue that would have renovated the long-vacant Dome into a convention and exhibit space. In Houston, 50.1 percent of the voters turned it down, while in unincorporated […]

Theories abound about why the Dome referendum failed

I have three things to say about this. University of Houston political scientist Brandon Rottinghaus said the outcome of both county bond propositions, as well as the Katy stadium, is indicative of resistance among conservative voters to big-ticket spending items they believe are not necessary, or, in the case of the Dome, that could be […]

Interview with County Judge Ed Emmett

In addition to all of the races for local office and the nine constitutional amendments, there are two county referenda on the ballot this fall. One is the Astrodome proposition, with which I trust you are familiar. The other is for the joint inmate processing facility, which will allow the county to more efficiently deal […]

Endorsement watch: For the joint processing center

An easy call. [V]oters should consider themselves fortunate that they can easily cut $25 million in unnecessary spending from the city’s annual budget by voting for the Joint Processing Center on Election Day. The overlapping criminal justice duties of Houston and Harris County have been the target of the good governance crowd for several years, […]

Inmate processing center polls favorably

The other issue on the county ballot appears to be in good shape. Results from a recent KUHF-KHOU 11 News poll suggest strong voter support for a $70 million November bond issue for a city-county inmate processing center. The poll, conducted by Rice University political science professor Bob Stein, found 58 percent of respondents support […]

Hoteliers for the Dome plan

Count the Hotel & Lodging Association of Greater Houston among the supporters of the Astrodome renovation plan. Harris County Sports and Convention Corp. Chairman Edgar Colón, with back-up from Deputy Executive Director Kevin Hoffman, presented the agency’s vision for revamping the half-century-old structure into “The New Dome Experience,” a 350,000 square-foot, street-level space they and […]

One more ballot item

In addition to the Astrodome and (maybe) Early To Rise referenda, Harris County voters will also get to decide on a jail bond referendum. From the preview story on Tuesday: Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday also is expected to order a $70 million bond election for a long-discussed facility to process inmates arrested by […]

Astrodome referendum officially on the ballot

It’s been a long, strange trip, but at last you will get to vote on the fate of the Astrodome. The Commissioners Court on Tuesday unanimously voted to place a bond election for up to $217 million to convert the iconic stadium into a massive, street-level convention hall and exhibit space, saying residents should take […]

Astrodome referendum headed for the ballot

If you’ve been waiting for the chance to vote on the fate of the Astrodome, your wait will soon be over. Commissioners Court next Tuesday is expected to approve a measure asking voters to authorize the county to spend as much as $220 million to transform the vacant stadium, County Budget Chief Bill Jackson said […]

Waiting to hear about New Dome financing

Just a reminder that the process is still in progress. Two weeks ago, the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation presented its vision for a 194 million dollar project dubbed THE NEW DOME EXPERIENCE. It included turning the inside into a multi-purpose facility that could be used for a variety of events. The exterior will […]

Commissioners Court approves HCSCC Astrodome plan for further review

I noted this briefly in an update to my interview with Willie Loston, but on Tuesday Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously approved the proposal by the Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation to redevelop the Astrodome for further study. Commissioners did not comment on the proposal before or after the vote, but County Judge Ed […]

Three things in life are certain

Death, taxes, and Bruce Hotze filing a lawsuit every time he loses an election. A local anti-tax activist filed a lawsuit Thursday to block the city of Houston from borrowing $410 million to add, expand and repair parks, libraries, police and fire stations and other government buildings. Bruce Hotze’s suit says the bond measures, which […]

Precinct analysis: City propositions

And we come to the city of Houston bond referenda, of which there were five on the ballot. Here’s the usual breakdown of them: Dist A Yes A No B Yes B No C Yes C No D Yes D No E Yes E No ========================================================================== 126 720 231 725 239 711 228 671 275 […]

Precinct analysis: HISD and HCC

I was reasonably confident that the HISD bond referendum would be successful, mostly because there wasn’t any real opposition from officials or constituencies that would normally be expected to support it. It had a much smoother path than the 2007 referendum, which still managed to pass, so it wasn’t hard to see this one making […]

Not a surprise that the bonds passed

All of the bond issues on the ballot this year had favorable conditions working for them, so their ultimate passage should not be a surprise. The dire warnings of crippling debt, the long presidential campaign conversation about the limits of government and the potential for sticker shock over local governments’ asking to borrow $2.7 billion […]

2012 election results

As I type this there are still a number of unsettled races in Texas, so things may change between now and tomorrow morning after we’ve all had an insufficient night’s sleep. But here’s how they stand at this time, and I will use my what I’ll be looking for post as a jumping off point. […]

What I’ll be looking for tonight

Just a reminder that I’ll be on KPFT tonight starting at 7 PM to talk about the elections. Here’s a preview of the things I’ll be looking for: 1. SD10 – Sen. Wendy Davis vs Mark Shelton: Easily the most important race on the ballot in Texas. Davis has been a progressive champion and a […]

Endorsement watch: Various miscellaneous

Just a brief roundup of various endorsements that have come to my attention lately. No particular theme to them, just what I’ve seen in the past few days. – The Environmental Defense Fund has endorsed the HISD bond referendum. The $1.89 billion proposition will be use to build, replace and renovate schools in adherence to […]

Endorsement watch: For the bonds

The Chron reiterates its support for the bond issues on the ballot. While all eyes are on the presidential race, we would like to remind voters that some of the most important issues for Houstonians aren’t on the first page of the ballot or covered by selecting straight-ticket voting (which we don’t advise in any […]

Obama leads in poll of Harris County

More polling goodness for you. The poll conducted for KHOU 11 News and KUHF Houston Public Radio indicates Obama leads Romney in Harris County, but not by much. That gives some indication how election night might go for politicians running for offices that are down the ballot. The poll shows the president leading in Harris […]

Elsa Caballero: Public Employee and Janitors Mobilize in Support of City of Houston Bonds

Note: The following is a guest post. For the past month, Houston’s janitors have joined forces with our city’s public employees in favor of the City of Houston bond package and METRO referendum on the ballot this election cycle. Volunteers, made up of HOPE and SEIU Local 1 members, are having voter-to-voter conversations about the […]

On the city bonds

Here’s an overview of the city bond issues. The city of Houston is asking voters on Nov. 6 for permission to borrow $410 million to shore up its parks, police stations, libraries, other government buildings and substandard housing. Propositions A, B, C, D and E for the most part are what Mayor Annise Parker calls […]

Who doesn’t like parks?

The usual suspects – cranks, malcontents, and the Harris County GOP, that’s who. Proposition B on the Nov. 6 ballot asks you to pay for part of that plan, of course. Not with increased taxes, though, [Mayor Annise] Parker insists. The bond measure asks voters to authorize $166 million in borrowing that the city plans […]

Endorsement watch: For the city bonds

The Chron gives its approval to the city bond referenda. While all eyes seem to be on the presidential election, the upcoming city bond measures on the ballot this year may have more immediate impact on Houston than any federal changes. Broken down into five propositions, the bonds will fund much-needed repairs and construction projects […]

The opposition to the bonds

Noted for the record. Longtime City Hall naysayer Dave Wilson and other anti-tax activists gathered on the grounds of an elementary school that was slated to get $3.7 million from the last Houston Independent School District bond measure but instead was closed for lack of enrollment. Their message was that politicians cannot be trusted to […]

Endorsement watch: Another critic on board

State Sen. Mario Gallegos sent out the following email on Monday: “The 2012 Bond Referendum will modernize outdated high school buildings and build new schools to meet students’ needs across the city. This proposal is a good investment that will create much needed new classrooms and improve safety and technology at campuses city-wide. Houston cannot […]

Interview with Terry Grier

In addition to the many races for office this year, there are several referenda on the ballot that are worthy of your attention. I will be conducting interviews to discuss them as well. The first one up is the HISD bond referendum, and for that I have a conversation with HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. As […]

HISD board passes ethics reform

It was a unanimous vote at Thursday’s board meeting. Under the new rules, which will be finalized next month, trustees will have to abstain from voting on deals involving vendors who contributed at least $500 to their political campaigns the prior year. District contractors also will be barred from donating to trustees during the competitive […]

Favorable poll for HISD and other bonds

It’s a good start. Most Houston-area voters plan to support $2.7 billion worth of city, public school and community college bond packages on the November ballot, according to a new poll. The results defy conventional wisdom that a crowded ballot makes passage of multiple bond measures less likely because of sticker shock. “Voters are in […]

Making the case for the HISD bonds

Bobby and Phoebe Tudor, the chairs of the Citizens for Better Schools campaign, lay out their case for the HISD bond referendum in this Chron op-ed. Study after study has shown that children have more difficulty learning in inadequate school buildings. The 21st Century School Fund, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit organization, reports that these inadequate […]

Endorsement watch: For HCC bonds

Apparently, the Chron has decided to get into the endorsement business early this year, certainly earlier than I’d have expected them to get into it, as they come out in favor of the HCC bond referendum. “We can either train and educate Houstonians to provide the skilled work force Houston businesses need, or we can […]