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Posts Tagged ‘El Franco Lee’

The Rodeo and the Texans would like to demolish the Dome now, please

Yeah, I don’t know how well this will go over. County leaders said Thursday they are open to considering a $66 million plan devised by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the NFL’s Houston Texans to demolish the iconic Astrodome and turn the nearly 9-acre site into a massive outdoor space reminiscent of downtown’s […]

Astrodome preservationists make their case for historic landmark status

Ted Powell and Cynthia Neely, the driving forces behind the push to designate the Astrodome as a national and state landmark, write an op-ed outlining their reasoning. As the Texans and the Rodeo view a third-party investor as not boosting, but rather siphoning off their revenue streams, we believe they have and will continue to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

Harris Health System plans to serve more patients via Medicaid waiver

The story about what they’re going to do leaves a few details out, however. Harris Health System leaders plan to serve 100,000 new patients in the next three years. That is a 37 percent increase from today, and is particularly ambitious when you consider how many patients the system added in the last year: about […]

Not a big enough picture

The headline on this story reads “County mulls big-picture health council”, but a read of the story makes it clear that there’s a big piece of this picture missing from the discussion. Harris County is discussing a big-picture approach to its complex and overlapping health care costs, proposing the creation of a council to coordinate […]

Could this be the catalyst for Astrodome redevelopment?

Maybe. The city of Houston and Harris County are preparing to create a mammoth, two-part economic development zone covering more than 11 square miles along the South Loop and at the northeast end of downtown. The plan stems from a deal the two governments struck three years ago to secure a new soccer stadium east […]

30 Day finance reports, Harris County candidates

Here’s a look at the 30 day campaign finance reports for Harris County candidates. All reports can be found by going to the Harris County Clerk campaign finance reports page. Candidate Office Raised Spent Loans Cash ========================================================== Garcia Sheriff 192,670 120,957 0 388,197 Guthrie Sheriff 158,700 48,633 171,000 98,152 Alessi Sheriff 1,019 2,007 700 1,719 […]

Endorsement watch: Boring

The Chron expends more words on the history and function of Commissioners Court than it does endorsing the three incumbents running to stay on the Court. Precinct 1: Veteran incumbent El Franco Lee is our choice over an energetic Republican challenger, Chuck Maricle, whom we encourage to continue his interest in seeking public office. Precinct […]

The felony mental health court

I’d celebrate, too. [State District Court Judge] Krocker and others celebrated the official opening of Harris County’s felony mental health court, which started putting mentally ill defendants on probation instead of sending them to jail in May. Krocker has been working to get a special court to oversee felony cases of defendants diagnosed with schizophrenia, […]

No Dome vote this year?

There may not be an Astrodome-related bond referendum on the ballot this year. The last day Commissioners Court can place a referendum on the November ballot is Aug. 20, according to county attorneys. The court’s Tuesday meeting was its last scheduled before that date, and no mention of the Dome was on the agenda. “The […]

We speak again of an elections administrator

As you know, I’ve been wondering when this might happen. Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart said he will ask the Texas Secretary of State’s Office to examine his office’s election processes after a “human error” in his office caused erroneous primary runoff election results to be posted online for hours last Tuesday. The error made […]

County wants to keep its share of the GMP

No surprise. Harris County Commissioners Court made it official Tuesday, passing a resolution calling on Metro to keep a quarter of its 1 percent sales tax flowing to road projects. The 5-0 vote leaves only Mayor Annise Parker backing Metro Chairman Gilbert Garcia’s proposal to cap the so-called “general mobility” payments so the transit agency […]

Abercia resigns, replacement named

As we know, longtime Precinct 1 Constable Jack Abercia announced that he would not be running for re-election. On Monday, he announced that he would resign, effective January 31. On Tuesday, Commissioners Court named a replacement for him to fill out his term. Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday appointed Ken Berry, a retired major […]

Emmett goes after Raycraft

This will be fun to watch. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, spurred by revelations about former finance chief Edwin Harrison’s business practices and personal conduct, is calling for Harrison’s boss — longtime budget director Dick Raycraft — to produce a reorganization plan for his department and prepare for retirement. In a meeting with the Houston […]

Meet the Harris County redistricting map

On the agenda yesterday at Commissioners Court – the long-awaited redistricting plan for County Commissioner precincts. The proposal would bring significant changes to several precinct boundaries, seeking to make the populations in the four commissioners’ precincts roughly equal, as required by law, and based on the 2010 Census. The draft will be the subject of […]

The Sports Authority wants you to know it’s working hard for you

I feel like the Chron should send a bill for its standard advertising rates to the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority for running this op-ed by its chair, J. Kent Friedman. It’s one part victory lap for negotiating the Dynamo Stadium lease and one part “Hey! Look at all this stuff we’re doing!” rah-rah. I like […]

The single easiest pickup opportunity Democrats will have in 2012

I trust you are familiar with Roy Morales. He’s run for City Council, he’s run for Mayor, this year he ran for Congress (he lost to Rep. Gene Green), and I presume he’ll run for something in 2011. And in 2012, he will (again, I presume) run for re-election to the office he now holds, […]

Public defender office gets OK from Commissioners Court

Good. The Harris County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to start a public defender office on an experimental basis, as long as the state covers the $4.4 million cost for the first year. The unanimous vote authorizes the county to apply for a grant from the Texas Task Force on Indigent Defense. If awarded the money, […]

Another step forward for a public defender’s office

I’m not sure exactly what this entails, but it’s good to see progress. Harris County plans to launch a limited public defender office in October if it receives a $4.4 million state grant. The office would start with 30 people defending the indigent on appeals of felony cases and in misdemeanor cases with mentally ill […]

Commissioners Court to vote Tuesday on Dynamo Stadium deal

One presumes that since they were the holdup on this, the fact that they’re finally bringing it to a vote means it will go through. “I expressed concern (weeks ago) when we started getting this kind of Christmas tree built with all other things added to it,” County Judge Ed Emmett said Friday. But he […]

First steps in dealing with jail overcrowding

They’re baby steps, but they’re in the right direction. The first of 20 county inmates to get their sentences reduced by two-thirds for completing job training will get out of jail Monday. The experiment marks Sheriff Adrian Garcia’s first tentative step away from the long-standing practice of two days’ credit for each day served in […]

Here comes the Sports Authority

Ready or not, here they are to ride to the rescue. The Harris County-Houston Sports Authority agreed Monday to talk to city and county officials about its possible involvement in a soccer stadium for the Houston Dynamo. The authority will establish a task force to determine its response to an invitation from the city and […]

Sports Authority to the rescue?

After many months in limbo, there may finally be a way forward for Dynamo Stadium, though it’s a somewhat convoluted path. The Harris County-Houston Sports Authority board is scheduled on Monday to discuss becoming the landlord for a professional soccer stadium in Houston’s East End. [...] [Harris County Commissioner El Franco] Lee repeatedly has said […]

East Enders appeal to El Franco

As we know, the main holdup with the proposed East End location for Dynamo Stadium is that County Commissioner El Franco Lee, in whose precinct the stadium site mostly sits, has not indicated that he intends to put the issue on the Court’s agenda. At this week’s meeting, he heard from some constituents who want […]

“There’s no such thing as a project like this without public money”

Dynamo President Oliver Luck throws a little cold water on the claims that a Westpark Stadium could be built exclusively with private funding. “We have not been presented a plan by the Midway Companies,” Luck said. “I can’t say whether there’s ‘no public money’ involved. “We (the Dynamo) won’t talk to the city or county […]

The Dynamo contemplate their options

Is the future of Dynamo Stadium on Westpark? Could be. Dynamo President Oliver Luck is in talks with a developer about building a soccer stadium on private land about a mile south of the Galleria. The Dynamo have not abandoned plans to build on a 12 acres of city-owned land downtown, Luck said. But the […]

Dynamo fans rally for the stadium

There was a rally by Houston Dynamo fans over the weekend in support of getting the stadium deal done. Hair Balls and the Chron’s Glenn Davis have coverage. From what I can see, it looks to me like the ralliers have the right idea. From the Chron: “This is the best stadium deal that has […]

Post-election Dynamo Stadium update

So where do we stand with Dynamo Stadium now that the Mayoral election is over? Pretty much where we were before it, actually. Of the MLS teams pushing for a stadium, the Dynamo appear closest to the goal. Team ownership hopes to strike a deal with the city of Houston and Harris County for a […]

Getting smarter about crime

The news that Harris County DA Pat Lykos has changed the office’s policy to no longer will file state jail felony charges against suspects found with only a trace of drugs is good news indeed. Lykos said the move “gives us more of an ability to focus on the violent offenses and the complex offenses. […]

Putting prisoners to work

This sounds like a pretty good idea to me. Harris County Commissioner El Franco Lee has proposed that the county consider putting more prisoners to work cleaning local bayous and parks. The plan would give working inmates three days’ credit per day served in jail instead of the two they receive now so they could […]