Archive for October 19th, 2017

Silent Bats

What is Justin Verlander’s career postseason won-loss pitching record?

A 15 to 2 H-Town City Council vote yesterday against the Mayor’s property tax rate proposal is all you need to know about how poorly it was handled and presented. Not even the Mayor’s twitter attack dogs could muster a tweet in support.

Here is from the Chron E-Board on yesterday’s vote:

Watching a talented quarterback bobble the ball on the one-yard line is exasperating, especially in an important game.

So it’s no surprise the city controller and council members this week were frustrated with Mayor Sylvester Turner. He had done a remarkable job of carrying the ball right up to the goal line; he has been on the verge of solving Houston’s potentially catastrophic pension problem. But days before voters begin casting their ballots on a related bond issue, Turner startled City Hall with an ill-timed proposal that would deny homeowners a small property tax cut.

The mayor wanted to sidestep the city’s revenue cap, which he’s allowed to do because Hurricane Harvey put the city under a federal disaster declaration. But the move generated needless controversy, and council members who fully support the pension plan were right to reject the proposal. Most important of all, voters must not let this distract them from supporting crucial bond issues on the ballot.

The revenue cap became a lightning rod for controversy when the mayor proposed basically suspending it and raising the tax rate by 8.9 percent in the wake of Harvey. But he pointedly suggested the tax hike wouldn’t be necessary if the state government would tap its Rainy Day Fund to help Houston pay disaster expenses. If the mayor hoped to pressure Gov. Greg Abbott into opening the state’s checkbook, the tactic worked. The governor bowed to intense criticism and presented Turner with a $50 million check to help fund the city’s disaster recovery effort. At that point, the mayor dropped his proposed property tax hike.

But on Monday, City Controller Chris Brown circulated a memo saying that the mayor once again planned to sidestep the revenue cap, which would have required a small cut in the property tax rate. Instead, the mayor intended to keep the tax rate at its current level for another year. The impact on taxpayers would have been negligible – the average homeowner would have paid another $7 next year – but it would have raise another $7.8 million for the city government.

The mayor argued that the city essentially did the same thing after floods in two previous years by including disaster relief expenses in its calculations. That surprised council members, who didn’t recall any similar controversy when they voted on the tax rate the last couple of years.

No doubt the city needs the money. The mayor’s property tax plan was perfectly legal and fiscally responsible. But its rollout was badly mishandled and the pointless controversy it generated couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Here is the entire read: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Read-voters-lips-12289031.php.

City Council did what it had to do.

Bill King also has to do what he has to do. Here is what he has to say about the H-Town city bonds:

City Bond Election

Pension Bonds: YES

Improvement Bonds: NO 

As many of you are aware, the City will hold a bond election on November 7.  Early voting begins next Monday, October 23.  There will be five bond propositions (A-E).  The first (A) seeks approval to issue $1 billion in bonds to shore up the police and municipal pension plans.  The other four (B-E) are “improvement” bonds asking mostly for funding for the purchase of police and fire vehicles, and improvements to City parks, health clinics and libraries.  I intend to reluctantly vote for Proposition A and against Propositions B-E.

Go here for Bill’s explanation: https://www.facebook.com/BillKingForMayor.

Justin Verlander is 10-5 in his postseason career of course.

Verlander can’t do it by himself tomorrow night at The Yard. The bats have to wake up or else. Very good teams do not choke in the playoffs.   Silent bats don’t cut it. Show up tomorrow night.

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