For a fella that has talked about running for Mayor, yesterday’s front page Chron story with a headline saying “Controller and the con man” certainly didn’t help. It is a very politically damaging story if you ask me. Here is how the article it starts off:
City Controller Ron Green, Houston’s top elected money manager and self-described watchdog, is seeking leniency for a five-time convicted felon and contractor who masterminded an elaborate real estate and forgery scam targeting the city’s historically African-American neighborhoods.
Wow! Running for Mayor? I don’t think so. Heck, it wouldn’t surprise me if someone ran against him for Controller. The Chron story certainly puts the Controller in a very vulnerable position. Stay tuned!
Three U.S. of A. cities have hosted the Summer Olympics and have won World Seriouses. Name the three?
The Chron E-Board endorsed the HISD bonds yesterday – sorta. Here is the Chron E-Board headline: We support the HISD bond, but with strings attached.
The E-Board wants the following strings attached:
But to win the public’s trust and votes in November, HISD’s board and superintendent face immediate challenges. There’s work to do:
The school board’s ethics policy needs to be much stricter. Relative to other big-city school boards (like, say, Dallas’), HISD’s rules regarding conflicts of interest, campaign donations from contractors and procurement procedures are shockingly loosey-goosey. The most scandalous thing about recent scandals wasn’t that board members broke the rules by, say, helping a best friend’s pursuit of juicy HISD contracts, or by taking trips bankrolled by an HISD vendor. It’s that such behavior wasn’t clearly against the rules already. Before we send $1.9 billion HISD’s way, we need to know that the money won’t be siphoned into sweetheart deals.
HISD needs to show that it’s learned from problems with its last bond issue. Contractors who did clearly shoddy work for the district shouldn’t be able to win new contracts. Renovations need to take place in a reasonable time frame. (Many funded by the 2007 bond still aren’t finished.) And the district clearly needs a long-term construction plan: Some of the improvements paid for by the 2007 bond may have to be torn out for this latest round of work. Such waste shouldn’t happen again. Our schools should be built to last.
Commentary can pretty much guarantee that these two strings will not be attached so it is going to be interesting to see if the E-Board will come back and snatch back their endorsement in a couple of months or so.
In her Chron story Friday about putting the $1.89 bil worth of HISD school bonds on the ballot this November, Ericka Mellon wrote this:
Houston voters will get to decide in November whether to approve the largest school bond package in recent Texas history after HISD trustees endorsed the plan on an 8-1 vote Thursday night.
I was watching the proceedings on live TV Thursday night and that’s really not what happened. Three HISD Trustees really didn’t come out and say they “endorsed” the plan, instead they said they would vote to allow the voters to decide on the bonds. Hey, but who’s splitting hairs? That’s all I’m going to say about that!
San Luis, Los Angeles, and The ATL of course have hosted the Summer Olympic Games and won World Seriouses.
There was a contingent of organized labor folks at The Yard yesterday including the Working Man Hero who was on the field before the game and introduced to the 19,000 and change that saw the ‘Stros lose a game they should have won. What else is new!