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Posts Tagged ‘Ed Emmett’

AG opines against Early To Rise

This kind of snuck in there. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued an opinion Monday saying a court would likely have found a petition effort last year to send a 1-cent property tax hike to voters to buoy local preschools to be illegal. [...] On Monday, Abbott wrote in a 4-page opinion addressed to state […]

What should we do about hurricane preparedness?

Or, to put the question another way: Ike Dike, Ike Floodgate, something else, or nothing? In 2009, months after Hurricane Ike devastated the upper Texas coast, Texas A&M-Galveston professor William Merrell unveiled a multibillion-dollar plan – to much skepticism – dubbed the “Ike Dike.” The proposal calls for extending Galveston’s seawall 15 miles to the […]

A new day for the Harris County GOP?

Lisa Falkenberg postmortems the changing of the guard at the Harris County GOP. Now that [Paul] Simpson defeated [Jared] Woodfill in the Republican primary election earlier this week, [Rep. Sarah] Davis is hoping her past experience with him is prologue. She and others are looking to Simpson to provide a new kind of leadership, one […]

Primary results: Harris County

The big news here is that there were no surprises on the Democratic side, in particular no unpleasant surprises. By far the best news was that Kim Ogg easily bested Lloyd Oliver in the primary for DA, with over 70% of the vote. I doubt we’ve seen the last of this particular plague on our […]

State of the county 2014: Let’s keep working together

Time for Judge Emmett to tell us how things are going in Harris County. (Spoiler alert: They’re going fine, thanks for asking.) On the eve of what could be his final term as Harris County’s top elected official, County Judge Ed Emmett on Thursday called for the consolidation of various government entities and services, citing […]

The historic Astrodome

Not sure what effect this will have. The National Park Service has added the Astrodome, the world’s first domed stadium, to the National Register of Historic Places, making it eligible for tax breaks to aid in its rehabilitation but offering no real protection from the wrecking ball. Historical preservationists, who successfully pushed for the Dome’s […]

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 […]

January campaign finance reports for Harris County candidates

In our previous episode, we looked at the campaign finance reports for Democratic statewide candidates. Today, let’s have a look at the reports for candidates for countywide office in Harris County. I’m not going to get down to the Constable or JP level – I’m not aware of any interesting primaries, those districts tend not […]

Parker 2018

It seems pretty certain that a statewide candidacy is in Mayor Parker’s future. LSQ: What’s next for you after your term expires at the end of 2015? There’s been a lot of talk that you will run for statewide office as a Democrat in 2016 or 2018. AP: I don’t intend to run for anything […]

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 […]

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 […]

North Line opens this Saturday

Exciting times. Two major transportation projects scheduled to open in Houston this week – perhaps on the same day – represent distinct and sometimes warring visions of regional mobility and growth. On Saturday, the Metropolitan Transit Authority will open its Red Line light rail extension from downtown to just north of Loop 610. And state […]

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 […]

Susan Criss to file in HD23

Some excellent news from the inbox, via Carl Whitmarsh: For fifteen years I was honored to wear a black robe for the people of Galveston County. Four times I raised my hand and swore, so help me God, to faithfully execute the duties of the office of the 212th District Court of Galveston County, Texas […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

Early To Rise referendum probably would have passed

For what it’s worth. It’s one of those questions we always ask ourselves in love, life and politics: What if? In this case, what if the Early to Rise campaign had gotten its one penny tax increase for early education on the ballot? “The good news for them is it was support for this. The […]

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 […]

Here comes the Dome renovation committee

I was wondering when we’d see this. Reliant Park and Harris County officials on Thursday announced the launch of a campaign to garner voter support for a plan to redevelop the Astrodome, with Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Precinct 1 Commissioner El Franco Lee each pledging $5,000 to the effort. A referendum to fund […]

Early to Rise appeal denied

That pretty much wraps it up, for now at least. A controversial 1-cent property tax to buoy local preschools will not be on the November ballot following a Houston appeals court ruling. The 14th Court of Appeals, in an opinion issued late Thursday, rejected the Harris County School Readiness Corp.’s lawsuit to force County Judge […]

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 […]

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 […]

No Early To Rise on the ballot

Place your bets on the outcome of the litigation. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said Monday he would not place a 1-cent property tax on the November ballot intended to buoy area pre-schools, prompting a lawsuit by a local nonprofit that suppliedtens of thousands of signatures on a petition asking him to do so. Emmett, […]

The law and the Early To Rise petition process

Much has been made about the obscurity of the state law that allows for the petition process that the Early To Rise folks have followed to put an item on the ballot that would raise money for pre-K education in Harris County. The Chron takes a closer look at the statutes in question and the […]

Time for more information about Early To Rise

What Lisa Falkenberg says. They’ve turned over more than 150,000 signatures in favor of putting an early education tax on the Harris County ballot in November. Now the folks behind the Early to Rise campaign need to turn over the details. Actually, they should have turned them over a while ago. The well-meaning folks who […]

Early To Rise submits its petitions

From here it gets real. The Harris County School Readiness Corp., a new nonprofit led by business and civic leaders, is calling for a ballot intiative to levy a 1-cent-per-$100 tax through the Harris County Department of Education to generate about $25 million a year for training teachers and buying school supplies for child care […]

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 […]

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 […]