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Posts Tagged ‘City Council’

Ivy Taylor named interim SA Mayor

Congratulations, Madam Mayor. The City Council appointed Councilwoman Ivy Taylor to become San Antonio’s next mayor. She did not win a majority of the council vote, as her colleagues split 5-3 over her and Councilman Ray Lopez. Lopez then withdrew from consideration, saying that it was important for the city to move forward. Mayor Julián […]

In defense of Ivy Taylor

Ivy Taylor is a San Antonio City Council member. She’s currently considered a frontrunner to succeed outgoing Mayor Julian Castro once he leaves to become Housing Secretary. Her elevation to Mayor would be historic, as she would be the first African-American Mayor of San Antonio, but it has also generated some controversy because in 2013 […]

On e-cigarettes

From the Rivard Report: After a 2011 ordinance banned indoor smoking in public places around San Antonio, some smokers were left trying to find options to leave tobacco behind. In the ensuing three years, electronic cigarettes and vaporizers have seen exponential growth around the country, with several retail outlets popping up in and around San […]

The Mayoral succession process starts in San Antonio

With the confirmation as Housing Secretary seemingly in the bag for San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, the process of naming an interim Mayor has begun. Not too surprisingly, there’s some conflict about this, though the issue at the root of the conflict may not be what you expected. City Council is set to approve Thursday […]

The Uber/Lyft debate comes to Austin

Get ready, y’all. The discussion around Austin’s public transportation debate has been at times both fevered and nuanced, driven in large part by social media. There have been discussions about lightrail, late-night bus service, parking ticket waivers, taxi driver accountability and, of course, drinking and driving. But during this call to action, no one name […]

San Antonio City Council has its first hearing on Uber and Lyft

Sounds pretty familiar. Chief William McManus said Wednesday that the Police Department might impound vehicles belonging to Lyft and Uber drivers if they continue to violate the city’s regulations for vehicles for hire, such as taxis and limos. The city has cited 10 drivers for Lyft and Uber for providing a taxi or chauffeurlike service, […]

Dallas and Seattle redoing vehicle for hire ordinances

I’ve said before that the review of Houston’s vehicle for hire codes will be a process and not a one-time deal, and that we ought to be prepared to review what we do now in another six or twelve months since we don’t really know what the effect of whatever we do here will be. […]

SA City Council to begin the plastic bag debate

I look forward to seeing what direction they go. City staffers Wednesday plan to recommend to the City Council’s Governance Committee that San Antonio move forward with a ban on single-use plastic and paper bags. The recommendation comes after vetting by the Solid Waste Management Department, which researched policies in other cities across the state […]

Pasadena lurches towards redistricting

It’s getting ugly. A Pasadena councilwoman was forcibly ejected by armed officers and the mayor was accused of packing a gun during recent meetings on a controversial redistricting plan. Councilwoman Pat Van Houte was removed from a meeting Tuesday on orders of Mayor Johnny Isbell after exceeding a three-minute speaking limit. And at a redistricting […]

The Seattle approach to Uber and Lyft

While we wait in Houston for City Council to take action on amending the taxi and limousine codes to deal with the entry of Uber and Lyft, the city of Seattle took a novel approach to the issue. In a major victory for the city’s taxi cab drivers, the Seattle City Council voted Monday to […]

Funding after school programs

This should be a no-brainer. To combat youth crime, a former Houston police chief says the city must first solve another problem: unstable and inadequate funding for after-school programs. City Councilman C.O. Bradford said it is more urgent than ever to make after-school programs a public-safety priority as federal grants continue to dwindle or expire, […]

San Antonio begins plastic bag ban consideration

I very much look forward to seeing how this goes. San Antonio spends about $1.3 million annually cleaning up plastic bags, while an estimated $25 million is spent across the state, [District 7 Councilman Cris] Medina’s Council Consideration Request says. Council members Ray Lopez, Ivy Taylor, Rey Saldaña and Shirley Gonzales have signed Medina’s request, […]

Election results: Harris County

The big story: RIP, Astrodome. A $217 million bond measure to fund a massive Astrodome renovation failed by several percentage points, a decision expected to doom it to the wrecking ball. Proposition 2 would have allowed Harris County to issue up to $217 million in bonds to turn the beloved but bedraggled stadium into a […]

Endorsement watch: Sometimes the answer is No

The Chron recommend a No vote on the Pasadena redistricting referendum. There is no need for mid-decade redistricting in Pasadena, least of all with a plan that has been dug out of the trash. The once lily-white town of Pasadena has grown over the past decade to become majority Hispanic, but a large population doesn’t […]

Chron overview of the Pasadena redistricting referendum

The Chron covers the most important ballot item in Harris County that isn’t the two countywide propositions, the charter amendment in Pasadena. The charter change would replace two of Pasadena’s eight single-member City Council districts with seats elected citywide. But a citizens committee that reviewed the proposed change rejected it, 11-1. Four council members from […]

No repeal petition for San Antonio non-discrimination ordinance

Good. Opponents of San Antonio’s nondiscrimination ordinance spread the word at churches and parks about their petition drive to place the policy on a citywide ballot. A few hours before Tuesday’s deadline, they informed city officials that effort had fallen short. Pastor Gerald Ripley, a petition leader, estimated the group collected about 20,000 signatures, well […]

Sen. Garcia joins the fight in Pasadena

Good. State Sen. Sylvia Garcia on Tuesday joined forces with four Pasadena council members and a community organizing group to mount a campaign against a new redistricting plan they say is designed to dilute the voting strength of Pasadena’s growing Hispanic population. Garcia called Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell’s proposed plan, which would switch two council […]

AG won’t sue over San Antonio non-discrimination ordinance

Mighty decent of him. Citing a late change in the nondiscrimination ordinance that San Antonio recently passed, a spokesman for the Texas attorney general’s office said the state is now unlikely to file suit. A clause that disallowed appointed city officials to “demonstrate a bias, by word or deed” was deleted from the ordinance before […]

All about Pasadena

Meet Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell, the man behind the redistricting scheme there that we’ve been talking about lately. For more than four decades, Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell has had his feet sunk deep into the city’s political landscape of smokestacks and honky tonks like Gilley’s, made famous by the 1980 John Travolta movie, “Urban Cowboy.” […]

The aftermath of the NDO in San Antonio

The Council vote is over, but don’t expect the fight to be. In four separate public forums since mid-August, more than 1,500 people approached the dais at City Hall and addressed the council, speaking passionately in support of and against the ordinance that drew national attention. Final public comments were heard about three hours before […]

San Antonio council passes non-discrimination ordinance

Well done. The City Council voted 8-3 Thursday to approve adding sexual orientation andgender identity to the list of classes protected from discrimination in San Antonio. Council chambers erupted with emotion — red-clad supporters of the updated nondiscrimination ordinance applauded and offered a standing ovation, while blue-shirted opponents sat silently. People from both factions quickly […]

More redistricting shenanigans on the way

The city of Galveston prepares to make like Pasadena. [Gulf Coast Interfaith], which includes representatives of the NAACP and others, sent a letter Thursday to the city of Galveston’s attorney also questioning the wisdom of the city seeking to make a change by having two council seats elected city-wide, rather than coming from individual districts. […]

Farmers Branch still hasn’t learned

There’s stubborn, there’s mulishly stubborn, and then there’s Farmers Branch. The City Council is not ready to give up its fight to ban immigrants in the U.S. illegally from renting in the city. The council voted 3-2 Tuesday night to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court its rental ordinance’s latest failure in court. The chamber […]

Pasadena proceeds with its needless redistricting

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Except for one agenda item which drew a large crowd, many public speakers, an unusually long time of councilmember’s explanations and a 5-4 vote, Tuesday’s (August 20) Pasadena City Council meeting was “Regular.” Their next meeting, scheduled for Thursday (August 22) at 8 a.m. is going to be “Special.” […]

From Shelby to Pasadena

You might have noticed this Chron editorial from last week. After former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s fall from grace, we thought that Texas politicians would know better than pursue mid-decade redistricting. Not so in Pasadena, where Mayor Johnny Isbell is trying to change Pasadena’s city council districts. Isbell proposed last month to replace two […]

John Hagee drops opposition to San Antonio equality ordinance

Wow. Television evangelist and pastor John Hagee on Sunday told congregants — and a national and international audience watching live — that he no longer opposes a proposed ordinance that seeks to protect the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in San Antonio. He read a statement during his Cornerstone Church’s two morning […]

Farmers Branch loses again

Same story, next chapter. The Farmers Branch ordinance barring people in the U.S. illegally from renting in the city is unconstitutional, an appeals court ruled for the second time Monday. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said the ordinance encroached on the federal government’s authority. Monday’s decision ended the city’s second […]

I love it when anti-GLBT candidates lose

A good runoff result in San Antonio. Ron Nirenberg, once an underfunded dark-horse, secured the District 8 seat in [last] Saturday’s runoff, overwhelmingly defeating establishment candidate Rolando Briones. “It feels good knowing that in San Antonio, the message of grassroots, neighborhood-oriented politics is still what will carry the day — not money, not machine, but […]

Getting out the “hard-to-motivate Latino vote” in Farmers Branch

Great story about Ana Reyes, the first Hispanic person elected to City Council in Farmers Branch, in the first election after a lawsuit forced the city to adopt single-member Council districts, and how she actually got elected. “What happened here is what helped us get off the couch,” Ana Reyes said, inside a childhood home […]

The fight over domestic partnership benefits is just beginning

Stuff like this was inevitable. Leaders of two Christian groups want City Council to stop extending benefits to domestic partners of city employees, now that the state attorney general has called the benefits unconstitutional. City officials reject the demand, at least for now. Pastor Gerald Ripley of Voices for Marriage and Philip Sevilla of Texas […]

Ana Reyes makes history in Farmers Branch

I didn’t pay much attention to Saturday’s elections, since there was nothing on the ballot for me and there were few races of interest around the state. One place where there were races worth watching was in Farmers Branch, and the news from there was excellent. Ana Reyes became the first Hispanic to win a […]

Single member districts for Farmers Branch

Another long battle comes to an end. A Dallas federal judge has directed Farmers Branch to implement single-member City Council districts after the U.S. Justice Department signed off on the city’s proposed map. The move could set the stage for a fiery May 11 election in which the outcome may provide the suburb of 29,000 […]

First pass at analyzing the 2012 results

This is kind of a brain dump, based on the information available now. I’ll have plenty more to say once precinct data has been released. – The current tally in the Presidential race on the Secretary of State webpage, with comparison to 2008, is as follows: 2008 Votes Pct =========================== McCain 4,479,328 55.45% Obama 3,528,633 […]

Austin’s choices for Council districts

The Statesman has a look at the choices Austin voters have for how to redesign their City Council from an all-At Large system to one with Council districts. In the debate over whether to change the City Council from citywide members to those who represent smaller districts, one question has galvanized supporters and opponents: who […]