Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘Commissioners Court’

Game room injunction lifted

The temporary reprieve that Harris County ganerooms got from the courts has been lifted. Houston and Harris County moved one step closer Friday in their quest to crack down on illegal game rooms after a judge threw out a restraining order which had blocked new regulations due to come into effect this month. Game room […]

County enforcement of game room regulations halted for now

Oops. A quest by the county and city to crack down on illegal game rooms has hit a legal roadblock after a civil court judge granted a temporary restraining order barring Harris County from enforcing strict, new regulations. The city had been poised to piggyback on the county’s rules under a new state law. Instead, […]

If we must have voter ID, let’s make sure people know about it

The Democratic Senators from Harris County write a letter to County Clerk Stan Stanart. Three Houston state senators are asking Harris County officials to emulate Dallas County’s voter outreach efforts tied to Texas’ new voter identification law. State Sens. Rodney Ellis, Sylvia Garcia and John Whitmire — all Democrats — wrote a letter on Monday […]

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 […]

Harris County threatens to sue Harris County Appraisal District

That headline may sound dry, but this is a big deal. Worried about the erosion of the tax base, county officials said Wednesday that they may consider suing the Harris County Appraisal District over concerns it is undervaluing certain business properties at the expense of homeowners. Officials said HCAD’s Appraisal Review Board in recent years […]

From the “If at first you don’t succeed” files

Sometimes you have to try try again for 24 years to get what you want. It seems as if he never existed, but he certainly did. For 24 years, Charles Hixon attended nearly every Harris County Commissioners Court meeting to complain about a drainage problem at his property in Huffman, delivering a speech that evolved […]

Wilson sued over residency for HCC

Dave Wilson and lawsuits go together like peanut butter and jelly. The Harris County attorney sued Houston Community College trustee-elect Dave Wilson on Thursday, alleging the small business owner and anti-gay activist was not a resident of District II when he was elected to the post last month. “We think there is a reasonable doubt […]

County to tighten regulations on game rooms

It’s sort of a crackdown, but within limits. And something that’s regulated is something that’s legal, so there’s that. The regulations, made possible by a state law passed earlier this year by the Legislature, requires an establishment housing six or more video poker machines known as “eight-liners” to obtain a permit and pay a $1,000 […]

County jail diversion program moving forward

News like this is always welcome. Harris County is moving forward with a much-anticipated jail diversion program aimed at reducing the soaring number – and the associated cost – of mentally ill residents who repeatedly cycle through the county lockup. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett this week announced his pick to head the four-year pilot […]

The Dome’s status is complicated

Is it a landmark or not? If so, what kind? Mayor Annise Parker this week called an effort by the city historical commission to designate the Harris County-owned Astrodome a city landmark “ill-advised,” and said she had no plans to put the item before City Council for approval. The Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission on […]

Back to private investors for the Dome

Sure, why not? Commissioner El Franco Lee, whose Precinct 1 is home to the county-owned Dome, said Commissioners Court is “not under any time constraint” in deciding what to do with the vacant stadium. “The only constraint we’re under is spending any public money,” Lee said. [...] Lee noted that about $8 million worth of […]

LaCroix files in SD15

As of the Monday candidate filing update from the HCDP, Damian LaCroix has made official his primary challenge to Sen. John Whitmire in SD15. He announced his challenge in August, and what I said at that time still holds true for me as a voter in SD15 – I’m not interested in making a change […]

Not in a rush about the Dome after all

We’ll get to deciding what to do with the Dome when we get to it. Harris County leaders are in no rush to decide what to do with the Astrodome, leaving the empty and decaying stadium to languish further following last week’s voter rejection of a $217 million plan to convert the iconic stadium to […]

So what happens now with the Dome?

It’s mostly dead, but I suppose it’s not all dead just yet. The board of the Harris County Sports and Convention Corp., the county agency that runs Reliant Park, passed a resolution in April saying that if a vote were to fail, the agency would ask Harris County Commissioners Court to allow it to “prepare […]

Why stealth campaigns can work

Here’s the Chron story about the HCC Trustee election results. See if you can spot what’s missing. A total of 13 candidates, including the four incumbents, vied for the five open seats on the nine-member board. Many ran on a platform that called for more transparency, a stronger ethics policy and hiring a new chancellor […]

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 […]

On the uses of the New Dome

So it’s looking pretty good for the Astrodome renovation referendum. But what exactly will we get if it does pass? In particular, will the New Dome be economically sustainable in a way that the current one is not? To date, Harris County and Reliant Park officials have offered little more than verbal assurances the New […]

2014 Democratic lineup updates

In honor of Peggy Fikac, an update on who is running for what as a Democrat in 2014. Starting at the top, folks who attended the HCDP Johnson-Rayburn-Richards event on Saturday had the opportunity to meet Maxey Scherr, a 33-year-old attorney from El Paso who will be filing to run for Senate against John Cornyn. […]

Ike floodgate update

Call it Ike Dike 2.0 if you want. Five years after Hurricane Ike devastated the upper Texas coast, a group of Houston scientists presented details Tuesday about a proposed gate to protect the Houston Ship Channel and much of the Bayou City’s industrial base during another hurricane. Meeting at Rice University, the scientists generally agreed […]

Endorsement watch: Saving the Dome

The Chronicle gives its blessing to the Astrodome renovation referendum. There has been a lot of finger-pointing over the Astrodome’s mismanagement, but come Election Day it only matters that voters point their fingers to the ballot button and approve the $217 million bond initiative to save the Dome. [...] The eyes of the nation are […]

City and county make a deal on airport toll road revenues

Good. After two years of negotiations, the Houston City Council approved an agreement Wednesday that provides toll revenue from the airport connector to the city for the first time – 24.5 percent, to be precise. Officials at Harris County, which has collected all revenue on the segment since it opened in January 2000, said it […]

July finance reports for Harris County officeholders and challengers

Odd-numbered years are primarily about city elections, but primaries are just around the corner, and some hopefuls for county and state offices are already out there lining up support and raising money. Here’s a peek at some of the Harris County incumbents that are on the ballot in 2014 and the people that have filed […]

Appeal filed in country redistricting lawsuit

From the Chron: Activists who believe a now-adopted Harris County redistricting plan illegally dilutes Latino votes in the only Latino-opportunity commissioner precinct are set to appeal a ruling made at the beginning of the month. In her long-anticipated decision, issued Aug. 1, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore said the plaintiffs, led by Houston City Councilmen […]

Who’s advocating for the Dome?

Some old familiar names are getting back in the game. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett on Tuesday after the Commissioners Court meeting name-dropped two former county judges — Jon Lindsay and Robert Eckels — who will lead the charge on a campaign to garner support for an Astrodome renovation project. A $217 million bond referendum […]

Dallas County to sue state over voter ID

The shoe is on the other foot. Democratic Dallas County commissioners narrowly agreed [Tuesday] afternoon to join a lawsuit against Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry over state efforts to enforce a controversial voter identification law. Democratic Commissioner Elba Garcia stepped out of the partisan fray inextricably linked to the national debate on voter ID laws […]

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.” […]

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 […]

Endorsement watch: Chron for Early To Rise

Technically, this isn’t an endorsement, since there isn’t anything to endorse just yet. Nonetheless, it is clear that the Chron supports the Early To Rise campaign. It looks like Harris County will vote on the future of the Astrodome this November. If we can get $200 million on the ballot for a convention center, we […]

Travis County to fund Public Integrity Unit

Not optimal, but better than the alternative of shutting it down till 2015. The Travis County Commissioners Court agreed [last] Tuesday to restore some money to the Travis County district attorney’s Public Integrity Unit after Gov. Rick Perry in June eliminated state funding for the office. The five-member commissioners court voted 4-1 on the proposal, […]

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 […]

County prevails in redistricting lawsuit

This came out on Friday. Activists failed to prove that a Harris County redistricting plan illegally diluted Latino votes in the only Latino-opportunity commissioner precinct, a federal judge has ruled. In a long-anticipated decision filed late Thursday, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore said the plaintiffs, led by Houston City Councilmen James Rodriguez and Ed Gonzalez, […]

Petitioning for Early To Rise

This arrived in my inbox a couple of days ago: With only two weeks to go, we really need your help! We are working to get an initiative on the ballot in November 2013 to fund the Early to Rise Program. The Early to Rise is a program designed to help young children up to age 5 get […]

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 […]