Archive for August 8th, 2017

The Governor Mark White obituary in today’s Chron is well written. Nothing is glossed over. Nice job and here it is: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/houstonchronicle/obituary.aspx?n=mark-white&pid=186311790&fhid=6290.

The memorial service is tomorrow.

The Chron E-Board pays tribute to Governor Mark White. I guess it will run tomorrow. Here is a part:

It’s sadly ironic that White departed this life at a time when a rancorous Texas Legislature has tied itself into knots over, in White’s words, “some silly restroom bill.” The son of an East Texas first-grade teacher, he believed in public education. He lost the governorship after one term in large part because he was willing to tell his fellow Texans that they were too focused on games their children played and not on whether they were learning in the classroom.

With the assistance of Dallas billionaire H. Ross Perot, he persuaded lawmakers to institute a controversial no-pass, no-play policy for high-school athletes. His education-reform package, known as House Bill 72, also included limits on elementary class size and the first-ever statewide testing standards. It’s hard to imagine today, but he managed to persuade skittish lawmakers to pass a $4 billion tax increase to help pay for teacher pay raises and class-size limits.

The state’s 43rd governor was proud of the fact that a west Houston elementary school, not a building or a street, bears his name, and yet his reward at the time HB 72 went into effect was galling defeat at the polls. He lost his bid for reelection to Bill Clements, the Republican incumbent he had defeated four years earlier. The loss was hard to take, and yet White drew strength from a guiding principle espoused by a predecessor in the governor’s office.

“Do right and risk the consequences,” his hero, Sam Houston, said. The iconic Texan lived it. So did White, who in 2009 told the Houston Public Library’s Oral History Project that he had no regrets about his efforts on behalf of Texas schools.

Here is the entire E-Board take on Governor White: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/White-sought-to-make-life-better-for-all-Texans-11740059.php&cmpid=twitter-premium.

I will always remember our Election Day drill. Campaigning in San Antonio and having lunch at La Fogata.

Good for the H-Town Mayor for defending H-Town and other cities in Texas. If it weren’t for the cities, Texas would be a one stoplight state. If it weren’t for us, folks would be getting their entertainment at the local DQ and six-man football would rule.   Here is part of the Mayor’s Op-Ed:

Remember the Alamo?

The most famous piece of history in Texas is not located in a ghost town or on a dusty plain. It sits in the very heart of San Antonio, a dynamic and bustling place that has surpassed Dallas as the state’s second most populous metropolis.

Remember Houston?

Our governor and lieutenant governor do. They weren’t born in Houston, but they got to Houston as soon as they could.

For good reason. They came to Houston to build their professional and political careers. And they succeeded in Houston, which is a worldwide leader in free enterprise and innovation; the biggest city in Texas and the fourth most populous in the United States.

Following a life-changing accident, the governor sought and received treatment at Houston’s top-ranked Institute of Rehabilitation and Research Memorial Hermann, one of the many pioneering medical institutions that have made Houston a global mecca for healthcare.

Now it’s time to remember what big cities mean to Texas and what Texas means to big cities.

It’s time to stop the bashing of big cities that suddenly, and without cause, has taken hold of the highest leaders at the state Capitol in Austin.

Here is the entire Op-Ed: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Turner-Abbott-and-Patrick-s-scorn-of-Texas-big-11740136.php?cmpid=twitter-premium.

Steve Houston sent me his two cents, more like twenty bucks on my mention of the H-Town Firefighters and their 2015 endorsed candidate for Mayor this past Friday. Here it is:

The firefighters are fair weather friends at best, their years of support for Turner cast aside when he carried through his campaign promise of pension reform. Most of that reform was supported by HFD’s pension board too, as soon as the new law passed, all of their wailing about amazing funding levels and ability to generate specific returns were dropped in favor of them demanding an over 50% increase in yearly funding, lowering their yearly goal on returns to almost what was imposed on them, and more accurate numbers provided than the numbers they continued to promote from ~5 years prior.

Then, after years of bashing former city attorney David Feldman, pointing out what a hack he was, how incompetent his legal skills were, and how he was not only one of the highest paid municipal lawyers in the country but how he was given huge yearly raises while other employees were laid off or received no raises; they hire the guy themselves. I’m not in a position to evaluate Feldman’s legal acumen but for years, all we heard from HFD were these personal attacks yet now they are hiring him, presumably at much higher hourly rates than the city paid, to champion their cause.

But as far as all the back and forth regarding the counting of the petitions, maybe HFD’s union should have started the process sooner, after all, the city secretary’s office has about 9 people in it to handle all their duties and it is likely that several of them have scheduled vacations or other time off this being a high demand time for vacations. Given the wailing by HFD to be allowed to take off any time they want regardless of the resulting overtime cost, they should understand this, although admittedly it isn’t deer season. And their belief that everything else should be dropped to expedite their petition over all else is just childish, the matter will eventually come to a vote whether it is in November or May if they have the signatures, the matter almost certain to end up in the courts for years afterwards no matter what.

So if Marty and the others making wild-eyed conspiracy claims that Mayor Turner is manipulating Anna Russell’s office don’t want to sound like lunatics, they really need to come up with some credible, irrefutable proof of Turner’s involvement because nobody seems to think Ms. Russell, the city secretary for over 45 years (working at the city for over 65 years) is prone to being influenced. The woman has won various awards over the years, including some from the League of Women Voters, and given claims of how many signatures were collected, the sheer bulk of the task could easily take months. There’s a big difference between Turner taking an active hand discouraging a quick tally and simply letting their own procrastination to implode the vote for now.

Check out today’s Chron on another story about the Firefighters and their petitions.

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