Archive for March 5th, 2015

I think I have mentioned before that future City of H-Town court and police facilities changes ought to be left up to the next administration. It is a big ticket item that needs a lot more discussion. In today’s hard copy of the Chron there is a story about what the current administration knew and when they knew it when it comes to the latest on the idea of moving court and police operations to the Exxon Building. Here is a little bit from the Chron story:

The Houston Chronicle, however, has obtained a memorandum dated in 2014 showing top city officials discussed cost estimates for the renovation and lease of the tower, contradicting claims that the idea was entirely in its infancy before being announced in late January. The document also renews questions about why Parker did not present leasing space as an option when City Council discussed the future of the city’s justice facilities on Jan. 14. The mayor then offered only the options of repairing the city’s current buildings or building new ones, saying there was no formal lease proposal to present.

The memo estimates the city could lease the building for $25.2 million per year for 30 years, and includes figures on what it could cost to upgrade heating and air conditioning systems, restrooms and other areas of the 1.2-million-square-foot tower, as well as the estimated fees the developers would receive.

Councilman Dave Martin said he was disappointed the estimates in the memo were not shared with the council, but said more pressing is whether the city could afford $25 million in annual lease payments.

“You’re going to have to have some serious budget cuts to make this thing happen,” Martin said. “Where are you going to make them?”

You kind of have to agree with CM Martin and that’s why I say it needs a lot more discussion. I say again to leave it up to the next administration. Here is a bit more from the Chron:

The memo was not among the papers (Mayor Parker spokeswoman Janice) Evans produced in response to a January open records request by the Chronicle seeking documents related to the lease proposal. Those records showed city officials had understated the extent of the lease talks and the timeline on which they occurred, but revealed little about the deal itself and contained nothing as detailed as the memo.

The memo did appear, however, when Evans was asked to produce the records again after it became clear the Chronicle had paid for more pages of documents than had been provided.

Evans said she believed she had produced the document the first time, saying any omission was a “copying error” and that she had no motive to skirt open records laws.

“That’s all I can say,” Evans said. “Because that’s silly. Why would we do that and then two weeks later give it to you? If we wanted to withhold it, we would have withheld it the second time, too.”

I know Janice didn’t really want it to come out the way it sounded. She would never want to “withhold” anything at any time from the public. Here is the entire article that is behind the paywall: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Questions-surround-mayor-s-lease-proposal-6115710.php.

Way to go Chron for finally getting all the documents you requested!

New ‘Stro Luis Valbuena will start at third base today. He will be competing with Matt Dominguez this spring for starting position. Of the two, who has the highest career batting average?

Did you see this from the Chron’s Ericka Mellon yesterday?

Zeph Capo, vice president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, will replace longtime union president Gayle Fallon on June 1.

Fallon, 70, is retiring after 32 years of leading the Houston school district’s largest teacher group.

“I was very proud to nominate Zeph Capo as my replacement,” Fallon said in a statement. “He is extremely qualified for the job, and the HFT will go far under his leadership.”

Capo, elected to the Houston Community College board of trustees in 2013, was elected by his peers as that board’s chairman this year.

Congrats to Zeph!

Matt Dominguez has a .233 career batting average and Luis Valbuena a .229 career batting average of course.

This tweet came out yesterday:

Brian McTaggart ⚾️ ‏@brianmctaggart 2h2 hours ago
#Astros GM Jeff Luhnow at Matt Dominguez: “He’s got to win himself a job.” http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article/111183386/matt-dominguez-welcoming-opportunity-to-evolve-as-ballplayer

The ‘Stros start Spring Training play today and I have some concerns. I don’t know if we are a .500 club today. On paper our pitching has improved but I am concerned with our offense and position players. I am OK with our second base, shortstop, catcher, DH and right field (George Springer). We need better production from our third baseman. I don’t know if Jon Singleton will do what we want him to do a first. I don’t know about putting a catcher in left field and I am not sold on Colby Rasmus in center. I hope Spring Training sorts some of this out – I hope!

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