Archive for January 30th, 2015

Show Me Your Potholes!

I wonder if Belton GOP State Rep. Molly White is aware that there are 422,000 Muslims living in the Lone Star State or roughly 21 times the size of folks in Belton. If they all lived together as a city, the city would be the 7th largest in the state, ahead of Arlington’s 380,000. I wonder if the 422,000 Muslims feel welcome at our State Capitol this morning.

Who sang the National Anthem at last year’s MLB All Star Game at Target?

Over two weeks ago Bill King tweeted out this:

Bill King @BillKingForHou • Jan 14
Pothole on Elgin across from UH. I thought I bent rim for sure. #HoustonPotholes.

And then this:

Bill King @BillKingForHou • Jan 15
Got this by text from a friend – “Kirby across from charter school” Where is your “favorite” pothole?

It looks like Bill has some company? I am talking about Channel 11 wanting viewers to show them their H-Town potholes. Bill King started tweeting out potholes a couple of weeks ago or so then folks started tweeting him their potholes. A week later Channel 11 started airing an announcement asking folks to send in their potholes. Did Channel 11 copycat Bill’s idea or were they just on the same wavelength if you know what I mean.

Hey you can’t go wrong launching a political attack on potholes. They don’t have any friends, allies, or a constituency. It is a nice issue for Bill so it will be interesting to see if the other Mayoral candidates jump in or worse, accuse Bill of exploiting potholes for political gain – HUH! Tell that to your tires! Here is a Chron story on the potholes:

KHOU 11 is fed up with potholes, so they’re challenging the City of Houston to fix the streets.

The month-long initiative to prevent punctured tires and fix the city’s streets is called Pothole Patrol.

Throughout the month, Houstonians can photograph and share stories of their own pothole disasters through KHOU’s website. KHOU’s I-Team will forward the complaints to the City Council to address and the worst problem spots will be featured on the station’s news broadcast.

Throughout the Pothole Patrol, the station will track repairs – or lack thereof – to see if the City followed up on its citizens complaints.

After the intensive efforts during February to have these holes filled, KHOU 11 will continue to crusade for all of Houston’s streets to be fixed. All 16 city councilmembers have committed to use all of their resources in efforts to make the pothole problem a thing of the past.

I-Team’s Jeremy Rogalski acknowledges that they can’t force the city to act, but he promises Houstonians won’t be ignored.

“Whether you’re driving a BMW or an old jalopy,” he said, “this problem will be addressed.”

In June 2014, the City of Houston approved a $10 million budget to fix the city’s worst roads.

Last night Channel 11 went a bit further and exposed the City and how it has tried to hide the pothole facts. Channel 11 makes the City look like they are trying to pull a fast one on us. Here is a part of the story:

The City of Houston has been playing fuzzy math with how it handles your pothole complaints—making it look like they are taken care of, when they’re really not.

That’s what the KHOU 11 News I-Team discovered after reviewing thousands of citizen complaints to the city’s 311 service helpline. When you open a 311 pothole complaint, the city gives itself 10 days to “close” that complaint as part of a service level agreement.

The 10-day self-imposed deadline sounds simple enough.

But that’s where the rubber really meets the road.

The I-Team identified hundreds of street repair requests in which the Houston Department of Public Works and Engineering “closed” on paper, without doing any repair work whatsoever.


But instead of fixed, the I-Team wanted to know: Is the fix in? On paper, the city appears to be doing an A-plus job. In its performance insight quarterly performance management reports, the city routinely listed more than 99 percent of 311 pothole complaints being closed and completed within the 10-day service agreement deadline.

But when you hit the streets, it’s a far different story. In the 200 block of Fairview in the Montrose area, more than a dozen 311 complaints since February 2014 were opened and “closed” with no apparent repair work ever done.

Here is the entire story: http://www.khou.com/longform/news/investigations/2015/01/28/pothole-patrol-houston-closes-pothole-cases-without-repairs/22490165/.

That is kind of sad if you ask me. The potholes issue is not going away.

Only three members of the public spoke yesterday at the H-Town City Council Ad Hoc Charter Review Committee meeting. Yesterday’s topic was term limits. Three folks testifying is not a whole lot of citizen participation if you ask me especially if you are talking about changing term limits. The committee came out for two four-year terms. They shot down serving two consecutive four-year terms then sitting out a term and then being able to run for a couple of more terms, then sitting out a term, then ….. got it! Two four-year terms will obviously eliminate some campaigning but certainly not the 24/7 fundraising that is now how we do business. And of course, an ambitious council member that is looking beyond serving on council can continue to raise money right up until her or his last day in office.

Idina Menzel sang the National Anthem at the 2014 MLB All Star Game of course and will also sing it this Sunday at the Super Bowl.

Ok. Are your ready for Super Bowl 49 this Sunday?

As usual, I’ll be checking and making notes on the ads. I will probably put a wager on the over-under of Giselle shots during the game. Most likely I will bet the over because she is Giselle of course. It won’t bother me at all if Bill Belichick and Tom Brady win another ring. They have kind of been put through the ringer the past week or so and we still haven’t been shown a smoking gun.

Nothing to report from The Yard today.

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