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Archive for August 10th, 2012

We’ve all heard the term “hardball politics.”  Today’s front page Chron story describes “hardball politics” in detail and locally.  Allen Watson is an engineer with Cobb, Fendley & Associates.  He’s also a City of H-Town appointee to METRO – nominated by The Mayor.   Last week Watson and the four other City METRO appointees voted to approve November ballot language on the General Mobility Payments (GMPs) that if supported by METRO service area voters, will provide more funds to the City of H-Town and three other local burgs and less money to the County and other smaller burgs. 

The County retaliated earlier this week and pulled a road design contract for Cobb, Fendley from the Commissioners’ Court agenda.  County Commissioner Steve Radack had the item pulled from the agenda and made no bones about why:

“If somebody that wants to work for Harris County goes out and figures out a way to deprive Harris County’s unincorporated area out of tens of millions of dollars in Metro funding, I really don’t think they need to be doing business with the county."

What’s refreshing is that Commissioner Radack is upfront and honest.   Often time political retaliation of this sort is not talked about publicly, explained off as a technical matter, or downright lied about.  Commissioner Radack is being brutally candid.

What is going to be interesting if this escalates, after all, Watson was presumably representing the City and looking after the City’s best interest.   The H-Town Mayor isn’t one to back down so it would not surprise me or disappoint me if she fired back at some point in the near future.  Stay tuned!

Here is the Chron article.

Of the nine ‘Stros that started on Opening Day against the Rockies, how many will definitely not have the opportunity to get into the game tonight against the Brewers?

HISD and HCC decided to have bonds put on the ballot this November.  If you include the City of H-Town, that’s $2.725 bil worth of bonds on the ballot – yikes!  That’s a lot to ask some voters to swallow.

The Chron E-Board still reads Commentary and listens to CMs James Rodriguez and Stephen Costello because they came out and opposed the closed door City Council meeting sessions proposal that the City was considering then shelved.  Here is from the Chron E-Board’s take:

But back to the "behind closed doors" question. We’re leery of such things, with a few exceptions, because our business as a newspaper is making information available to the public – voters and taxpayers.

Of all government entities, the city of Houston should understand the importance of full access to information. It suffers from a glaring lack of such access when it comes to full details about the police and fire pensions that city taxpayers fund. That is both costly and wrong.

Changing that situation – letting the sunshine in – will require better cooperation during the coming legislative session to change state laws that allow the unions’ secrecy.

Let’s get that important business out from behind closed doors and into full council view before we consider whether to conduct other city business with doors closed.

Here is their entire take.

Speaking of letting the sunshine in, I wonder if the Chron E-Board would film their E-Board candidate interviews and put them on their website so voters could check them out.

The Harris County Clerk also read Commentary and does some ‘splaining in a Chron Op-Ed today. 

Check it out.

CEWDEM has put out various takes from the partisans who are against an Elections Administrator.  I don’t have a problem with that.  Of course, we’re never going to get anywhere as long as we have this discussion wearing partisan lids if you know what I mean.

Six Opening Day starting lineup ‘Stros of course won’t see action tonight against the Brewers:  Jordan Schafer (CF) is on the DL, J.D. Martinez (LF) was shipped to Oklahoma City last night, Numero 45 (1B) is a Fish, Chris Johnson (3B) is a D-Back, Jason Castro (C) is on the DL, and Wandy (P) is a Pirate.   The other three Opening Day starters – Altuve (2B), Brian Bogusevic (RF), and Marwin Gonzalez (SS) – are available for tonight’s weekend series opener with the Brewers. 

Here is what the new owner told the Chron yesterday:

“It’s been extremely painful the last three nights.  We’re just looking for a spark to get over the edge here. It’s been tough, very tough, for everybody.  Once we made that decision and Jeff (GM Luhnow) started moving some of the talent we might start sliding back a little bit. But we weren’t hoping it would be this bad.”

Shut up!  There’s no crying in baseball!

Jeff Bagwell throws out the first pitch tonight plus they are handing out Blue and Gold jerseys.  On Sunday they are handing out umbrellas.  I wonder when they are going to hand out little white flags.  No Mas!

 

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