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Archive for February 1st, 2019

Trash Talk

On a sad commentary, some close family members know one of the priests who were named yesterday by the diocese. Terrible.

Channel 13 has a story on the City of H-Town’s drinking water and the city is pushing back. The city won’t let their drinking water folks get interviewed. Huh? Here is the story: http://dig.abclocal.go.com/ktrk/immersive/houstonwater/index.html.

I have to hand it to the Chron E-Board for their very thorough take on the latest on #SJL. Here is how it starts:

Opinion // Editorials

Jackson Lee’s #MeToo moment isn’t what she expected [Editorial]

By The Editorial Board Jan. 31, 2019

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee was wise to step down from two key leadership roles amid allegations that she fired a woman who planned to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against the nonprofit Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. It will take time to sort out this complex case, which shows both why the #MeToo movement is needed to end workplace exploitation of women and why snap judgments must be avoided when such accusations are made.

I encourage you to read the entire take here: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Jackson-Lee-s-MeToo-moment-isn-t-what-she-13578499.php.

For the past couple of months, H-Town Council member Dwight Boykins has been proposing a garbage fee to help with the costs of Prop B. I don’t know of any other council members who has joined him. I do know of a few council members who have been trying to explain to their constituents the trash pickup mess of the past couple of months. Here is some trash talk from CM Boykins who put this out yesterday:

Op-Ed

By

Houston Council Member Dwight Boykins 

On November 6, 2018, Houstonians voted on Proposition B, with an overwhelming 60 to 40 percent majority voting in favor of pay parity for public safety employees. On that day, the voters of Houston made their voices heard.

Yet despite the irrefutable results tallied on election day, Houston’s deadline to begin the implementation of pay parity has come and gone.

As members of the Houston City Council, our charge is to seek meaningful and effective solutions to the problems that confront us as city leaders. With respect to Proposition B, that means finding ways to provide pay parity without wreaking havoc on the city’s budget or compromising public safety and reducing the workforce of municipal employees.

Last October, Houston’s City Controller placed the estimated cost to city government of Proposition B’s passage at approximately $85 million annually. Since then, Houston’s Mayor has publicly warned of massive layoffs to public safety and municipal workers as being the only way forward to meet the city’s obligation. I have categorically rejected this idea.

Last December, I proposed the enactment of a garbage fee bringing Houston in line with other large and medium-size cities (Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, El Paso, Pearland, Bellaire, Sugarland) in Texas. My research has shown that a monthly fee of between $25.00 to $40.00 could generate an estimated $107 to $172 million each year.

The revenue would be placed in a lockbox and allow Solid Waste Management to retrieve garbage twice a week and provide heavy trash pick-up service twice a month. Due to fixed income limitations and other hardships, seniors would either pay a discounted rate or qualify for an exemption, and disabled veterans would be exempted from paying all together.

Over the last several years, Solid Waste Management’s annual budget has averaged around $84 million. The garbage fee would allow the city to use this money instead to supplement the cost of Proposition B while eliminating the need for painful layoffs that would hurt families and leave our citizens less safe and less secure.

Leadership is not defined by taking actions that are politically favorable or likely to lead to one’s reelection. Leadership is defined by making the difficult decisions that reflect the best interests of the people you’ve been elected to represent. Under the city’s revenue cap which was adopted by the voters in 2004, I strongly believe the adoption of a garbage fee represents our most viable way forward to meet the mandate of ensuring pay parity between our police and fire fighters.

Through my service to District D on Houston City Council, I’ve been blessed to represent the very community where I was born and raised. I understand the hardship that any additional fee may cause to a household struggling to make ends meet. But when weighing a $40 fee versus the impact of laying off up to 400 police officers, 400 firefighters and hundreds of city workers, the choice for me was clear.

I’ve always considered myself to be a public servant, not a politician. And as such…I know in my heart…that the time has come for city leaders to step up and lead.

There is no groundswell for this today.

I guess I will watch the Super Bowl this Sunday.

No MLB question today.

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