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Posts Tagged ‘Houston City Council’

More on the Uber ultimatum

Initial reaction is not terribly receptive. Ride-hailing giant Uber threatened Wednesday to stop operating in Houston unless city leaders amend local regulations the company said are making it tough for them to recruit drivers. The ultimatum, the latest skirmish in what has been a contentious relationship between Uber and the city since it started operating […]

Council approves body camera storage funds

Good. City Council voted Wednesday to spend $1 million to buy servers and other equipment to store video collected by city police officers equipped with body cameras. The vote, passed with relatively little fuss following months of sometimes-contentious public debate, marks the next step in the Houston Police Department’s ongoing effort to equip more than […]

Kill that trash subsidy

Works for me. Mayor Sylvester Turner, working to close a $160 million budget deficit, has proposed scrapping payments that scores of Houston neighborhoods served by private trash haulers receive to help offset the cost of their waste contracts. The idea when the program started in the 1970s was that residents should not have to pay […]

On drainage and flooding

Two items of interest from Gray Matters, both on the subject of the week. First, from Cynthia Hand Neely and Ed Browne of Residents Against Flooding: Man-made, preventable flooding has surged dirty, sewage-ridden water through Houston living rooms three times now in seven years, yet city government fails to prevent these recurring emergencies. Really? If […]

Fundraising for the next city election cycle has begun

Whether you realized it or not. Last year’s court ruling undoing Houston’s fundraising ban during non-election seasons means that the city’s contribution cycles reset immediately after last year’s general and runoff elections, according to the city, instead of in early spring. As a result, unless a candidate is retiring old campaign debt, money raised post-election […]

Have I mentioned lately that the revenue cap is stupid public policy?

Because it is. Sales taxes are Houston’s second-largest source of revenue for the general fund, which pays for most core services. Just as concerning for city officials, however, was more news about the city’s largest general fund revenue source: property taxes. Mayor Sylvester Turner, as he did in February, criticized what he said is an […]

Mayor Turner releases transition team report

From the inbox, a glimpse of what to expect in the near to medium future from Mayor Turner. Mayor Sylvester Turner has released a 17-page report that details the work of his transition team chaired by businessman and long-time civic advisor David Mincberg. More than 250 Houstonians from all walks of life participated. They have […]

Recycling officially re-upped

That new recycling agreement with Waste Management was on Council’s agenda yesterday. Here’s a reminder of what it was about. Originally, Houston was to ink a four-year deal with Waste Management, paying a $95-per-ton processing fee, a nearly 50 percent price hike. [Mayor] Turner, hoping the market would rebound quickly and strengthen the city’s negotiating […]

More speed bumps coming

Like ’em or not. Houston officials are speeding up the process of slowing down residential street traffic. A laborious process to improve traffic and safety by installing traffic calming devices such as speed humps is radically streamlined in a new method by the city’s public works department, unveiled Monday at a City Council committee meeting. […]

Now what for recycling?

Sure hope there’s a plan. Houston’s curbside recycling program is in limbo after Mayor Sylvester Turner and City Council rejected a new contract with Waste Management on Wednesday, prompting concern among residents and environmental activists about a potential lapse in service. Such a lapse would come about a year after the city finally expanded its […]

Recycling contract impasse

Uh, oh. The city of Houston’s curbside recycling program could be put on hold after negotiations between Waste Management and Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office reached an apparent impasse over a new contract Tuesday. Though Turner said he remains committed to recycling and his office said he will be “pursuing any and all available options” before […]

RIP, One Bin For All

It had a good run, but at the very least the timing was all wrong. The One Bin For All program would let Houstonians throw all trash in the same bin, to be separated for recycling later. The hope was to push up Houston’s low recycling rate. But now the city could end up with […]

It’s hard out here on a recycler, part 4

It was a bad year last year. Recycling continues to hurt Waste Management’s bottom line, as low oil prices and low commodity prices have made that a challenging business for at least the past year. The Houston company on Thursday reported a decline in revenue and earnings for its fourth quarter and full year in […]

Questioning CM Le’s residency

This sort of thing is practically a tradition in District F. Houston City Councilman Steve Le last month became the fourth man to represent District F in the last seven years, and the third to face questions over whether he actually lives in the Alief-area district. Houston’s city charter requires district council members to have […]

Layoffs are coming

It’s gonna suck, though hopefully not as hard as last time. Mayor Sylvester Turner said Wednesday that a still undetermined number of city employees will be laid off in the coming months, making his first formal acknowledgment that Houston’s projected $126 million budget gap can’t be closed by July without personnel reductions. Though Turner did […]

More questions about body cameras and video accessibility

Still sorting it all out. Months after statewide body camera legislation took effect and the Houston Police Department outlined its policies regarding the devices, local criminal justice watchdogs worry that some video from high-profile incidents may never see the light of day. At issue, they say, are provisions in the law that could stymie requests […]

HPD Chief McClelland to retire

From the inbox: Mayor Sylvester Turner today announced that he has accepted the retirement of Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland, effective February 26, 2016. McClelland was sworn in as a police officer in September 1977. He rose through the ranks at HPD and was sworn in by former Mayor Annise Parker as police chief on […]

Resign to run has kicked in for Council members

Another change that our new term limits law has wrought. Houston elected officials who become a candidate for another elected office are now automatically required to resign their current seat, uncharted territory for city officeholders who previously had not been subject to the so-called “resign-to-run” provision of the Texas Constitution. The requirement that has long […]

Selecting a successor for El Franco Lee: Process and questions

From the inbox, sent by Carroll Robinson. The Issue During the past few days, there has been a great deal of speculation about the legal process for selecting someone to replace the late Commissioner El Franco Lee on the November 2016 General Election ballot. (Texas Election Code, Subchapter C. Sections 172.057, 172.058 and 172.054 (1).) […]

Mayor Turner sworn in

The new era begins. Lauding Houston as a city where, “when you dream big, big things can happen,” Mayor Sylvester Turner delivered his inaugural address Monday morning at a packed Jones Hall downtown. Turner also announced his first policy plan, saying by Jan. 18 each pothole reported to the city help line will be “assessed […]

Precinct analysis: At Large #5 runoff

Our last Council runoff review: Dist Christie Moses ====================== A 8,729 3,657 B 3,273 11,539 C 17,743 8,757 D 5,285 13,847 E 16,652 4,324 F 4,108 2,747 G 23,150 4,954 H 4,230 4,405 I 3,716 3,611 J 3,149 1,985 K 6,152 8,582 A 70.47% 29.53% B 22.10% 77.90% C 66.95% 33.05% D 27.62% 72.38% E […]

The incumbents’ advantage

Is it about to become that much harder to vote incumbent city officials out of office? The already difficult task of ousting incumbent Houston officeholders likely has become even tougher. City elected officials now have an extended runway to accumulate cash before returning to the campaign trail, thanks to a voter-approved extension of term limits […]

Precinct analysis: At Large #4 runoff

Here we have the least competitive runoff of the six that were citywide. Dist Edwards Morales ======================= A 6,322 6,153 B 14,660 1,761 C 17,813 10,238 D 18,341 2,882 E 7,688 13,231 F 4,046 3,080 G 11,996 15,203 H 5,610 3,903 I 4,371 3,774 J 3,070 2,287 K 12,150 3,830 A 50.68% 49.32% B 89.28% […]

More HERO public information requests

The bullying continues. Does President Barack Obama regularly drop a line to Houston City Council members? Probably not, but we could soon find out, thanks to a public records request that opponents of the city’s equal rights ordinance, known as HERO, filed this week. It’s a response to a public records request that a nonprofit […]

Runoff precinct analysis: At Large #2

Now for a race that’s both a little easier and a little harder to understand, in At Large #2: Dist Robinson Davis ====================== A 6,193 5,825 B 7,698 7,508 C 18,432 8,938 D 9,941 9,840 E 8,762 11,677 F 3,557 3,233 G 13,439 13,197 H 5,677 3,026 I 4,570 2,919 J 2,773 2,336 K 8,592 […]

Turner’s Council

So what kind of City Council will Mayor-elect Sylvester Turner have to work with? In addition to Turner replacing term-limited Mayor Annise Parker, the council also will gain five new faces, four thanks to term limits and one who defeated an incumbent. Political analysts, however, sensed little ideological shift among the 16-member body. How city […]

Precinct analysis: At Large #1 runoff

Let’s move on to the At Large races. Here’s how the vote went in At Large #1: Dist Knox Provost ===================== A 8,758 4,042 B 2,518 13,058 C 14,925 12,240 D 3,692 16,877 E 16,406 4,735 F 4,040 2,871 G 21,391 6,190 H 3,684 5,080 I 3,272 4,340 J 3,029 2,182 K 5,442 9,846 A […]

Is Bill King a sign of a trend?

Probably not. Doesn’t mean that other candidates like him can’t do well, however. Bill King’s near-upset over Sylvester Turner in the Houston mayoral runoff stoked the hopes of some Republicans that the party soon could break Democrats’ 34-year hold on City Hall. Political experts, however, attributed King’s success more to his unique profile as a […]

Other runoff results

Here are the rest of the winners from yesterday: Controller: Chris Brown At Large #1: Mike Knox At Large #2: CM David Robinson At Large #4: Amanda Edwards At Large #5: CM Jack Christie District F: Steve Le District H: Karla Cisneros District J: CM Mike Laster HISD II: Rhonda Skillern-Jones HISD III: Manuel Rodriguez […]

Today is Runoff Day

From the inbox: Runoff Election Day is Saturday, Dec. 12 for citizens registered to vote within the legal boundaries of the City of Houston and Houston ISD Trustee District II and III. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. “I encourage every eligible voter to do their homework on the candidates and […]

Overview of the open Council seat runoffs

Kind of late in the cycle given the number of lesser known candidates in these races, and not nearly complete, but here it is anyway. In addition to the first open mayor’s race in six years, Houstonians can expect to see at least four new faces on City Council next year – three of which […]

More candidates for Sheriff

We’re up to four now. Lt. Jeff Stauber confirmed Thursday he is running for Harris County sheriff. “It’s the job that I always wanted. There’s no doubt that I could lead this agency,” Stauber said. Now a lieutenant assigned to the court division, Stauber, 52, has been with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office since 1986. […]

Council members complain about open records requests

Oh, please. Councilmen Michael Kubosh and Dave Martin on Tuesday blasted a records request from a D.C.-based nonprofit to those council members who voted against the Houston equal rights ordinance, known as HERO, last year. The Campaign for Accountability’s request seeks communication between prominent local anti-HERO activists as well as anti-LGBT groups, such as the […]

CM Ed Gonzalez to run for Sheriff

Good. City Councilman Ed Gonzalez, an 18-year Houston Police Department veteran, announced Tuesday that he will run for Harris County Sheriff next year. Gonzalez is finishing his third and final term as councilman of District H, the majority Hispanic district that includes the Near Northside and the Woodland Heights, in addition to some neighborhoods north […]