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Archive for March 12th, 2015

Still Smarting

The H-Town Mayor said yesterday that it wasn’t her idea to put out the news on the pension deal last Thursday evening. She said she only called for a press announcement for Friday after the news was already out. Well I guess it was either the pension folks or State Rep. Sylvester Turner’s folks who put out the news. Oh, well!

While watching the H-Town City Council meeting on the flat screen yesterday, I tweeted the following that got a response from Mike Morris of the Chron:

Marc Campos ‏@MarcCommentary 1h1 hour ago
@AnniseParker said @mmorris011 @HoustonChron got it wrong on her office lobbying against quorum for Friday’s Special Called Council Meeting.

Mike Morris ‏@mmorris011 1h1 hour ago
@MarcCommentary @AnniseParker No, she said i didn’t “interview” him. I was standing next to him as he made the comment at a public meeting.

Yeah, well I kind of didn’t hear The Mayor clearly. CM Kubosh was complaining about an aide lobbying against a quorum and reading about it in the Chron and The Mayor did say that the Chron didn’t interview the aide and that she would talk to him. Of course, she would talk to him a day after the article appeared. Oh, well.

Here is what Morris’ colleague Katherine Driessen put out today on Friday’s meeting:

But (Council Member C.O.) Bradford and other council members said that power is largely an illusion because they claim staff from Parker’s office has been working to discourage a quorum at Friday’s meeting, which Parker later said she did not order and would not do.

It looks like the Special Called Meeting will happen but it is hard to say at this point what will happen at the meeting.

I will say this. There is not the enthusiasm for the pension deal today as there was just prior to the deal being announced. I am guessing even the enthusiasm got kicked down the road.

Remember when I posted the following about The Dean mentioning to the Chron E-Board H-Town Council Members Dwight Boykins and Michael Kubosh and their role with pensions. Here is that E-Board take again:

Whether they decide to act, state legislators can’t escape their role at the core of the pension fight.

In addition to employee contributions, the firefighter pension is funded by tax dollars collected by City Hall. However, City Hall can’t set the amount it is obligated to pay. State law creates a framework that dictates what Houston taxpayers owe. Local tax dollars should be controlled by the elected officials at City Hall, but that isn’t what Democratic state Sen. John Whitmire thinks.

“Do you really want [Council Member Michael] Kubosh to be in charge of a $3 billion fund?” Whitmire asked the Chronicle editorial board during the past election season. “Do you want [Council Member] Dwight Boykins to be in charge of a $3 billion fund?”

Yes. In fact, that’s exactly what Houstonians elected them to do. City officials control the city budget.

Well now that The Dean and State Rep. Sylvester Turner are carrying a bill on the pension deal, CM Boykins took a shot at The Dean at yesterday’s Council Meeting. I guess CM Boykins is still smarting some. Here is what I tweeted:

Marc Campos ‏@MarcCommentary 21m21 minutes ago
#Ouch! @DwightBoykins just called @whitmire_john “Little John” at #Houcouncil meeting. #pensionreform #HouNews #TheDean

Here is part of what CM Boykins said: “So ‘Little John” listen to me. I want to see what you are going to do this legislative session to help solve this problem for the City of Houston.”

Name the ‘Stro who committed the most fielding errors last season?

Commentary is a fan of Hillary Clinton for President but I think she needs to go through Spring Training, err, a competitive primary. She needs more than just BP in a batting cage. She needs to see live pitching and game situations before she gets into the General Election.

Today the Chron E-Board kind of agrees here: http://www.chron.com/opinion/editorials/article/Editorial-Clinton-redux-6128750.php.

Commentary said this wasn’t a good idea. I am talking about the H-Town City Council Ad Hoc Committee on Charter Review. The Mayor is not agreeing with one of their key recommendations. What did the Mayor expect Council to recommend with less than ten months left in her term? Here is from the Chron:

Mayor Annise Parker has largely dismissed a council-backed city charter change that would allow six members to place an item on the agenda, undercutting Houston’s strong-mayor form of government that grants only her that power.

Last summer, Parker branded the proposal a “non-starter,” saying “voters don’t care” about the issue. Recently, she also said that it might violate the state’s Open Meetings Act, which prevents council members from gathering to discuss an agenda item outside of a properly posted meeting.

“What they want to do is for six council members to get together and secretly meet and decide on an agenda item,” Parker said. “Well, you can’t secretly meet to decide on an agenda item. You can’t even publicly meet. In order for council members to confer at all about an item of business, it has to be publicly posted.”

A Houston City Council charter review committee, however, has unanimously recommended putting the issue to voters, saying it would give the city’s legislative body greater ability to actually legislate. With the charter review committee meeting for the last time Tuesday night, both the agenda-setting recommendation and another recommended proposal to change term limits from three two-year terms to two four-year terms in 2019 will now go to Parker for consideration. The committee voted down repealing the decade-old revenue cap and giving council the power to meet in closed-door executive sessions. Any charter changes must get voter approval.

Here is the entire article that is behind the Chron paywall:
http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Parker-skeptical-of-proposal-to-give-council-more-6129006.php.

I have said before, if you are going to look at major charter changes, then invite all stakeholders to participate. That way you get a lot more buy in. They didn’t.

I am not going to say anything about us facing Andre Johnson twice next season.

Shortstop Jonathan Villar of course committed 18 fielding errors in 86 games to lead all ‘Stros last season.

Villar played center field yesterday.

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