Archive for April 24th, 2018

On Public Policy

Who was the first Japanese baseball player to play in MLB?

Gov. Greg Abbott wants to call a special election to fill the #TXCD27 vacancy. Here is from a Chron piece today:

“Because so many of the hurricane relief efforts depend on action at the federal level, it is all the more important that the voters of District 27 have an effective voice in Washington, D.C.,” Abbott wrote to (AG Ken) Paxton.

Commentary wants to know who is in charge of telling the governor that #TXCD27 hasn’t had an effective voice in DC in like seven years. Oh, well!

This is a kind of day when you are glad you are not an HISD Trustee or a member of the H-Town City Council. Commentary is certainly not being critical. On the HISD issue, it didn’t happen overnight, so an overnight fix should not be expected. On the H-Town City Council agenda item, it is what it is. If you can do it, do it is kind of an H-Town mantra for some developers.

Governing and public policy can be a rough business. I posted this from the Chron yesterday. A vote is coming soon. Here, again:

A long-awaited proposal from Houston ISD to temporarily surrender control over 10 of its lowest-performing schools is facing mixed reviews ahead of a crucial vote Tuesday.

Now check out this response from the same article:

Meanwhile, Board of Trustees President Rhonda Skillern-Jones defended the arrangement as “the best choice of all the bad choices” available to HISD.

That is tough one for sure at HISD.

And this from today’s Chron on H-Town City Hall:

Mayor Sylvester Turner and the City Council balked at a developer’s plan to build hundreds of homes in a west Houston flood plain last fall in the weeks after Hurricane Harvey, but will take up the same proposal this week with no apparent revisions.

The homebuilder, Meritage Homes, said its plans for the Spring Brook Village development did not change because the drainage system it is building is robust enough to remove the 150-acre former Pine Crest Golf Course, at Clay and Gessner, from the 100-year flood plain, as well as protect the site’s future homes and those downstream.

And this:

Councilwoman Brenda Stardig, who represents the area around the golf course site, said she supports the plan because the builder has committed to build only single-family homes, not apartments, and to build fewer homes per acre than city ordinances allow.

Stardig also pointed to an April 11 letter of support signed by David Durham, chairman of the Spring Branch North Super Neighborhood, which cited “extensive meetings” between the developers and community groups about the project.

Stardig noted that voting down the developer’s preferred financing method — the utility district — would not prevent the site from being developed.

“My concern is that we have responsible development, and killing the MUD is not going to kill the project,” Stardig said. “I would have loved to have had a park and green space and the golf course or other recreational activities there. However, this is private property. They worked within the parameters of the ordinances.”

Aside from the optics of approving development in a flood plain so soon after Harvey, said Councilman David Robinson, who chairs the council’s infrastructure committee, city regulations are based on historical data and professional judgments.

“We can’t say no just because it might look bad if it adheres to existing policy,” he said.

Here is the entire read: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Plan-to-build-hundreds-of-homes-in-west-Houston-12858540.php.

Like I said, governing and public policy can be a rough business. It is not my job.

Here is what the Chron E-Board says today about the issue:

Remember those bad horror movies in which a villain everybody thought was dead comes back to life?

Zombie alert: Houston City Council this week faces the revival of a truly awful idea that people who followed the story probably thought had already been killed. Call it “A Nightmare on Bagby Street.”

Maybe that sounds like a joke, but this arcane agenda item is deadly serious. Mayor Sylvester Turner and the City Council will once again consider authorizing the creation of a municipal utility district for a new subdivision on what’s now a golf course in the middle of a floodplain. It’s the dreadful sequel to a bad, original production that never should have appeared on the agenda.

Here is the entire E-Board take: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Has-City-Hall-learned-nothing-from-Harvey-12858201.php.

Cheap shot? Depends on your position on public policy. It is tough.

Masanori “Mashi” Murakami is the first Japanese baseball player to play in MLB when he made his debut with the Giants in 1964 of course.

Pitcher Shohei Ohtani of will start tonight for the Angels and I am told his fastball nears 100 MPH.

It is Dollar Dog Night.

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