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Posts Tagged ‘Commissioners Court’

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 […]

Public Integrity Unit employees get layoff notices

What is to come if nothing changes. Travis County commissioners are still holding out hope the state will fund the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit, but took an early step to let employees know their jobs are on the line. Voting unanimously Tuesday, commissioners are giving layoff notices to more than 30 employees whose jobs […]

If we need more courts, we should ask for more courts

I’m not sure why there hasn’t been more of a push to deal with this. As Harris County’s population continues to swell, more people means more crimes. And that results in more work for the county’s 22 felony courts. But no court is busier right now than the 209th, which is overseen by Michael McSpadden, […]

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 […]

Interview with Willie Loston

Willie Loston is the Executive Director of the Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation, which is the not-for-profit company that operates and maintains the public facilities at Reliant Park, including Reliant Stadium and the Astrodome. It was the HCSCC that called for and evaluated the private proposals for the Astrodome, and the HCSCC that ultimately […]

No override of Public Integrity Unit funding veto

Alas. A legislative move to restore state funding for the ethics-enforcing Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County district attorney’s office died Friday afternoon. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, said no vote is expected on House Concurrent Resolution 6 — the attempt by state Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, to override Gov. Rick Perry’s […]

More on the New Dome Experience

The Chron’s subscription site story adds some more details to the news about the New Dome Experience. [Harris County Judge Ed] Emmett said that if the court signs off on the plan next week, it likely would ask the county budget office to look for alternative ways to pay the $194 million tab, which includes […]

The New Dome Experience

Behold: If the future of the Astrodome has been keeping you up at night, you’ll rest easy knowing that a major step was taken in favor of preservation at a board meeting on Wednesday afternoon: The Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation (HCSCC) board unanimously agreed on a recommendation to repurpose the Houston landmark. Willie […]

Would you pay more for pre-K in Harris County?

You might get the chance to vote on it. The recently formed Harris County School Readiness Corp., a group whose membership includes former Houston first lady Andrea White, is circulating a petition calling for the placement of an item on the next election ballot that would increase the county property tax rate by 1 cent, […]

Turner seeks a way to get around Public Integrity Unit de-funding

Rep. Sylvester Turner takes aim at one of Perry’s vetoes. Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, said he would propose a House Concurrent Resolution advocating restoration of funding for the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County district attorney’s office, which was vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry last week. [...] This morning on the floor of the […]

So many Dome ideas

The Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation has plenty of material to work with as it prepares to make a recommendation to Commissioners Court about the Astrodome. Harris County Sports & Convention Corp. staff will spend the next week evaluating 19 plans for redeveloping the Astro­dome and putting the finishing touches on the agency’s own […]

The Texans and the Rodeo will have their say on the fate of the Dome

There’s this little matter of their lease agreement to deal with. Five years ago, Harris County appeared on the brink of striking a deal with a group of entrepreneurs to turn the Astrodome into a 1,300-room hotel and convention center, a $450 million plan that never came to fruition. County officials say its failure came […]

Astrodome-palooza

In case you aren’t completely full of my opining on the Astrodome and its possible fate, I was the author of a op-ed in the Sunday Chron on the subject. It’s kind of the Reader’s Digest version of the things I’ve been saying here, so if you don’t click over you won’t miss anything new […]

The fault lies not with Commissioners Court

Chron columnist Ken Hoffman fired a shot in his Sunday column. What to do with the Astrodome? It’s had its day. Let it go before it becomes even more of an embarrassing money pit. Dump the Dome! M. Meagher, Houston I figured out why the Astrodome is just sitting there falling into disrepair – because […]

It’s about use, not just sentiment

NYT reporter Jere Longman, who hails from Houston, penned a love letter to the Astrodome after hearing about its possible impending demise. So it was despairing to hear that the vacant Astrodome might be torn down and its site paved over as Houston prepares to host the 2017 Super Bowl. Demolition would be a failure […]

Making San Antonio more musical

San Antonio is a little jealous of Austin, it seems. Tired of San Antonio playing second fiddle to Austin when it comes to a live music scene, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff on Friday laid out ambitious plans to change that. Wolff said he’s ready to work with two top-notch promoters to raise San Antonio’s […]

Does the Super Bowl doom the Dome?

The Texican ponders what the announcement about Houston landing Super Bowl LI means for everyone’s favorite unused arena. So what does this mean for our Dome? A parking garage would be an ignoble end for the Dome, though I am sure many would settle for parking somewhere in the former lodge section if it meant […]

Getting all of the courts ready for e-filing

I confess to being a little confused at first when I read this. A half-dozen Harris County departments will spend the rest of the year scrambling to fulfill a Texas Supreme Court mandate that all civil courts accept only electronic filings, starting next January. In a ruling issued last December, the high court said large […]

A Q&A about the TCDCC

Last week, I introduced you to the Texas County Democratic Campaign Committee (TCDCC), which is focused on recruiting and supporting county-level Democratic candidates outside of our current urban strongholds. It’s an idea and an organization that is long overdue. I wanted to know more about it, so I sent some questions to TCDCC founder Robert […]

If only it were that easy to get our act together

Outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has some blunt words for Houston about light rail. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood likes Houston’s light rail that’s up and running but warns that regional transit officials have squandered opportunities the past decade by not building greater consensus. “The region needs to get its act together,” LaHood said during […]

The emotional Dome decision

Nobody really wants to tear the Astrodome down. That in a nutshell is why the process to determine what to do with it has taken so long even though there aren’t any viable alternatives to demolition at this time. A failure to come up with a feasible plan with the financing to make it happen […]

Astrodome anti-climax

That’s it?!?!?!? The Harris County Sports & Convention Corp. board of directors approved a resolution Wednesday calling for staff to collect ideas for what to do with the vacant Reliant Astrodome between now and June 10. The Sports Corp., the agency that manages Reliant Park, would analyze any proposals its receives before bringing them to […]