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Posts Tagged ‘Houston’

Endorsement watch: Pushback on the process

The early endorsement by the firefighters’ union – and now the Houston Police Officers Union – of Rep. Sylvester Turner for Mayor has ruffled some feathers. The Houston Police Officers’ Union on Tuesday followed their firefighter counterparts who on Monday endorsed Turner, a 25-year state representative who long has maintained close ties to first responders. […]

Beautifying Broadway

Sounds like a good idea to me. Broadway between Hobby Airport and Interstate 45 may offer a first impression of Houston to first-time visitors, but not the one many civic boosters would like. The 2 miles along the main road between the airport and the highway include strip developments and aging apartment complexes. Grassy medians […]

Two challengers emerge in At Large #5

After Jan Clark bowed out in At Large #5, incumbent CM Jack Christie was left with no opponents after he announced his intent to run for re-election. That lasted until yesterday. Early in the morning, this email hit my inbox. Philippe Nassif is proud to announce his candidacy for Houston City Council At-Large Position 5. […]

Metro board seeks to expand

It’s change that has been anticipated since the 2010 Census data was released. With all indications pointing to more people in the Metropolitan Transit Authority service area living outside Houston than inside the city, Metro officials are asking to accelerate a state-mandated expansion of the transit agency’s board. The change would mean more members appointed […]

ULI releases its Astrodome plan

Feast your eyes on what the Urban Land Institute has in mind for the Astrodome. A final assessment by a group focused on sparing the Astrodome from the wrecking ball sets the price tag of reusing the iconic stadium at up to $242 million, and lays out a multi-step process to gin up the political […]

WaPo profiles Mayor Parker

Nothing we didn’t already know, but a nice story nonetheless. Annise Parker keeps a leather-bound journal on the desk in her wood-paneled office in City Hall. If it had a title, she says, it would be: “Would This Have Happened to Another Mayor?” Its pages are filled with her cursive script of the stories she […]

Endorsement watch: Firefighters for Turner

From the inbox: HOUSTON, March 23, 2015 – State Rep. Sylvester Turner has earned the endorsement of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association in this year’s mayoral race, the HPFFA said today. HPFFA President Alvin W. White, Jr. said 84 percent of voting fire fighters approved the recommendation of the HPFFA board of directors to […]

The Memphis pension cutting experience

In discussions about Houston’s pension liabilities, the city of Detroit is often trotted out as an analogy and cautionary tale. There’s another city that may be a more accurate comparison, and it’s offering an illustration right now of what might happen if things proceed as many candidates for local office and the Houston Chronicle would […]

Alvarado’s term limits bill

From the inbox: State Representative Carol Alvarado has filed HB 2917 that, if passed by the Legislature and approved by voters, would change the city’s term limit structure to two four-year terms for the mayor, city controller and councilmembers. “The city’s current structure of three two-year terms restricts an elected official’s ability to truly dive […]

Police officers’ pension fund speaks up

The firefighters’ pension fund is the one that gets all the attention, but it’s not the only one the city is responsible for. The Houston Police Officers Pension System (HPOPS) has sent a letter to the city reminding it that they have a deal that restricts what the city can request from the Legislature. Police […]

De-industrialization update

The transformation of the Montrose/Heights border area will soon be complete. After 100 years on Washington Avenue, the Detering Co. has sold all of its prime near-downtown property and relocated to north Houston. The Houston-based building materials supply company had occupied 5.4 acres of land and some 70,000 square feet of headquarters space at 3028 […]

Christie will not run for Mayor

From the inbox: Jack Christie announced this morning that he will run for a third term as the At-Large Five Member of Houston City Council. Christie stated, “Numerous people asked me to run for Mayor, which was incredibly flattering, but after careful consideration, I have decided to run for re-election. There are several great people […]

How many candidates are too many?

The Rivard Report brings up a point I hadn’t considered before. Candidates or their representatives arrived at City Council chambers Monday morning to draw lots to determine the order of name placement on the ballot. As candidates waited in the audience, the room seemed to be filled with equal parts anticipation and dread. It doesn’t […]

At Large comings and goings

Meet Atlas Kerr, who will be running in At Large #3 against CM Michael Kubosh. I am an accounting and finance double major at the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business. I have in-depth knowledge over capital budgeting, debt/bond valuation, and capital asset price modeling. I am a registered volunteer instructor at the Women’s […]

Sources say Garcia is in for Mayor

I feel like I’ve read this story before. Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia has decided to run to become Houston’s next mayor and could announce his bid within the next month, according to multiple sources with firsthand knowledge of his plans. Garcia has sent signals over the past six months that he would join the […]

Overpass groundbreaking

Progress. After years of conflict among community members and leaders, construction of Metro’s new Harrisburg overpass is officially underway in Houston’s East End. “It’s not just a bridge; it’s going to be a landmark in the city,” Metropolitan Transit Authority board member Diann Lewter said at a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday. […] City Council member Robert […]

HISD postpones redrawing school boundaries

This stuff is hard, y’all. The school board [had planned] to vote Thursday on the district’s biggest rezoning plan in recent years, involving more than two dozen campuses. The proposal mostly would redraw attendance boundaries to shift homes from more crowded schools to campuses with space. The major impact may not be immediate, however. As […]

R Kelly still on the bill at FPSF 2015

Progress report from the Cancel R Kelly At FPSF 2015 Facebook page: No progress to report. Thanks for all the support! On Monday March 9th, we met again with Free Press Summer Fest. They had nothing to report about any decision. So, it’s time to move into all the strategies of a campaign that we […]

Council’s pension meeting

It was about what you’d expect. Many City Council members who attended a special meeting Friday to discuss Mayor Annise Parker’s controversial deal with the city’s firefighters pension called the gathering a success, despite two members walking out and breaking a quorum before a vote could be held to support or oppose the agreement. The […]

Taxi companies federal lawsuit against Uber and Lyft can proceed

Part of it, anyway. Taxi companies in Houston and San Antonio that took their turf war with two online companies to federal court by accusing Uber and Lyft of operating illegally and skimming money from cab firms can continue pursuing their lawsuit, a U.S. district court judge in Houston ruled this week. U.S. District Judge […]

Council recommends term limits change

Meh, I say. A Houston City Council committee Tuesday night recommended changing the term limits of elected officials from three two-year terms to two four-year terms starting in 2019, a charter change that could go to voters in November. The ad-hoc charter review committee voted 10-3 to recommend the two four-year terms in January, but […]

Council meeting called to discuss firefighter pension deal

Some Council members are determined to discuss the deal Mayor Parker made with the firefighters’ pension fund. Four City Council members have taken advantage of a rarely used provision in city law to call a special meeting Friday to discuss Mayor Annise Parker’s controversial deal with the city’s firefighter pension board that was announced last […]

Costello makes his official entry

That makes him number five of some as yet unknown number to make that announcement. Houston City Councilman Stephen Costello pitched himself Monday as a no-frills, no-nonsense politician who would address the city’s problems like the engineer he is if voters elect him mayor this fall. Costello, a wonky at-large councilman who chairs the body’s […]

Uber’s lobbying efforts

Cry havoc, and let slip the lobbyists of, um, lobbying! After spending months securing a spot on Houston’s roadways, Uber is stepping on the gas in Austin: hiring at least 23 lobbyists and paying them as much as $700,000 to make sure its on-demand ride service gets favorable treatment in the Legislature, according to records […]

The pension deal

Not sure yet how I feel about this. Mayor Annise Parker and Houston’s firefighter pension trustees have reached a deal that would lower the city’s payments for three years, a move that would mark an abrupt reversal for the mayor. The announcement came late Thursday from the fire pension board, whose leaders for years have […]

McVey announces his candidacy

Another day, another Mayoral hopeful. Private equity executive Marty McVey said Thursday he would reinvigorate Houston’s international business ties if voters elected him mayor this fall. McVey said at the formal launch of his campaign he would usher in a new era of international investment in Houston, which he pledged to make a “visionary city.” […]

Ezra Charles

Great story about a local music legend. The Ezra Charles Band was playing tighter than ever in its decades-spanning history when its leader decided to pull the plug. Charles – a remarkable pianist from Beaumont – received a lifetime achievement award from the blues society in San Antonio, and enjoyed a huge response to the […]

An Uptown BRT skeptic

Here’s one guy who doesn’t like the idea. Ridership models developed by the Uptown TIRZ board project that the new bus route will carry 10,000 riders per day in 2018. This estimate is outrageously inflated, given that the more than 30-year-old Park & Ride system only carries 16,000 riders per day, most of whom are […]

Chron covers R Kelly controversy

Here’s the story. Free Press Houston and concert promoter Pegstar are deciding what to do about the inclusion of R&B performer R. Kelly at the 2015 Free Press Summer Festival after a local protest began to draw national attention. Kelly was announced last week as one of the event’s headliners. Both the popular independent music […]

Revised SA vehicles for hire ordinance not good enough for Uber

That would be a nope. With an impending council decision, efforts by the city to revise its vehicles-for-hire ordinance to convince the ride-hailing companies Lyft and Uber to remain in San Antonio appear to have only left both sides in the fight dissatisfied. The San Antonio City Council is scheduled to vote [today] on city […]

Wilson’s legal fees

Oh, come on. The ongoing legal battle over Houston Community College Trustee Dave Wilson’s residency is poised to pit one source of taxpayer dollars against another, as the college may be on the hook for his legal fees and the county continues to pay to pursue a case it has lost twice. HCC has an […]

Ethics Commission rejects Bell’s complaint

No go. The Houston Ethics Commission has ruled against mayoral candidate Chris Bell’s complaint that City Hall was letting Rep. Sylvester Turner start the race with a $900,000 head start in fundraising. […] Bell argues that Turner’s legislative account should not be able to transfer more than $10,000 to his mayoral account, the most that […]

Why is R Kelly in the Free Press Summerfest lineup?

Maybe this wasn’t such a hot idea. Music fan David Hayes has attended the Free Press Summer Fest every summer since 2010, and was planning to go this year as well—that is, until he saw that one of the headliners was R. Kelly, the popular R&B singer who has been accused of having sex with […]

King makes his official entry

Add Bill King to the “made his official announcement” list. In the middle of a noisy, torn-up west Houston street that he said epitomized Houston’s crumbling roads, Bill King launched his campaign for mayor Monday morning, pledging to return the city “back to basics.” King, a former Houston Chronicle columnist and a mayor of Kemah, […]