Archive for May 26th, 2017

B’More is in town for the weekend. Who was the most recently selected player to the Baseball Hall of Fame who wore a B’More uniform as a player?

The Chron E-Board gave the Mayor props today.  Here is how it ends:

Still, the mayor deserves a victory lap. Turner has earned his place in Houston history by cutting a Gordian knot that threatened to strangle our city’s financial future.

Here is the entire take: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Turner-s-moment-11174609.php.

And here is a take sent to Commentary:

The Chairman of the state pension review board, Josh McGee, made it clear that not a single retiree would have their pension lowered due to this legislation, only slow how much benefits would increase in the future, pointed out how the benefits HFD enjoyed were still much better than anything the other groups receive, and reminded folks that the other pensions had been cut even more in the past. The investigative writers at the Chronicle pointed out how the cost of HFD benefits themselves, not any debt due to under funding, was in excess of 30%, and how none of the three pensions were as well funded as initially thought, even the best of the three was at 81% despite employees claiming otherwise.

Fiscal conservatives have pointed out how firemen benefits include pensions in excess of 60k a year with enormous bonus checks between a half million dollars “on up” or that some of the remaining cops still have the bonus check perk that was taken from them over a dozen years ago, the expectations of people going into negotiations guiding just how mad they were with the final results. Mayor Turner was supported by all three employee groups because his cuts were going to be the smallest of all the people running for office, those who watched any of those debates know he never said cuts to any specific group were off the table, even HFD’s pension board providing initial cuts of nearly 800 million bucks. If widows and disabled employees were so important to that pension board, they were free to craft different cuts instead but again, there were no “cuts” to existing retirees, only measures to slow down the growth of benefit increases.

Houston voters rejected giving employee pensions constitutional protections in 2004, the one time opt out passing by a 70 to 30 vote that May. As a result, cries that the legislation violates the state law come up short, nobody making that claim has been able to provide a credible response as to why the cuts were contrary to state law. The threats by HFD groups to sue, their willingness to toss out bogus numbers, and even the racial and sexual orientation slurs many of their people have directed toward the mayor on social media have lost them a lot of support of late, many in the legislature weren’t too fond to hear the threats of lawsuits to override their will either, apparently the group is no longer the darling of the legislature. That’s too bad but as they sowed, so shall they reap, their decision to turn down the city’s recent offer of raises reminding voters that they have done so before while claiming they get no raises. Maybe a different approach involving cooperation would help them next time? – Steve Houston

I guess that is all for pensions for a while.

I guess we will be discussing revenue caps next. Pay more for more? Pay more for less? Pay more for what? Let’s see who wins this argument.

Folks are always asking Commentary about the ‘Stros. So, check this from Chron.com:

If you’re bullish on the Astros winning the World Series, there might be some free furniture in it for you.

Houston furniture magnate Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale announced that his retailer Gallery Furniture will fully refund customers who purchase $3,000 or more of mattresses, box foundations or adjustable bed bases – including the Tempur-Pedic brand – if the Astros win this year’s World Series.

“It’s a great way to re-engage with our loyal customers and attract new ones,” McIngvale said. “We’re thrilled to be able to host such a fun promotion for Houstonians and give them another reason to get excited about our Astros this season.”

If you are in the need for over $3,000 in mattresses and related stuff, make the deal. We are playing good baseball.

Tim Raines of course who earlier this year was selected to the Hall of Fame played for B’More back in 2001.

Now you know.

To kick-off the Memorial Day weekend tonight, the ‘Stros will hand out 10,000 beach towels this evening.  Hope to see you at The Yard this weekend. Oh, yeah – 32-16 and 8 up.

Read Full Post »