Archive for February 8th, 2019

Whitley Stuff

MLB lost a great one yesterday. Frank Robinson is no longer with us. He was an MVP in the AL and NL. He won 2 World Series rings. Since Commentary has been alive, only 4 MLBers have won the Triple Crown. Mickey Mantle in 1956, Frank Robinson in 1966, Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, and Miguel Cabrera in 2012. Great guy.

Commentary watched a lot of the Secretary of State David Whitley confirmation hearing yesterday and here is a bit from the Chron:

State Sen. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, said the mistakes Whitley’s office made are so big that they were either the result of failing to double-check data, or Whitley’s office sent out bad information intentionally.

“Which one of those occurred?” Alvarado asked.

Whitley insisted the data had been double checked.

And this:

“I’m not satisfied with the answers I got,” Alvarado said after the hearing.

Here is the Chron story: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Texas-Secretary-of-State-acknowledges-no-errors-13598367.php.

If you ask me, he would have been better off saying they just screwed up. I really didn’t feel like the GOPers on the Nominations Committee were all in in trying to save his arse. It seems like everyone knows this was a big screw-up – except Whitley.

This isn’t a good look from Ted Oberg from Channel 13. What do you think?

For just one shift, just a few hours at Station 7, in the midst of a two-month training program, Joel Duraso got to ride like a real Houston firefighter.

“I think we made like six or seven runs,” Duraso said.

But it turned out to be the only runs he would ever get in what he hoped would be a career here.

“I saw my future as graduating the academy, going to a station, and learning from some of the best firefighters in the country,” Duraso said.

Duraso, a professional firefighter for 10 years, quit his job, took a pay cut and enrolled at the Houston Fire Academy. But just when he thought he’d graduate, graduation was canceled. The 24 cadets were caught in the middle of a political fight over firefighter pay raises. After nearly three months of what appears to be at least some make-work projects, Duraso quit and went back to his old job.

What are the people of Houston getting for the money taxpayers spent to train Duraso?

“Nothing,” he said.
“We’re not in the practice of hiring people we don’t need, so we do need them,” Houston Fire Chief Samuel Pena said.
But they’re still here at the academy.

ABC13 Investigates obtained videos of the cadets chopping wood and pouring concrete. SkyEye showed them raking leaves outside a classroom building. And on a recent visit, the cadets were seen folding hose and pouring concrete slabs.

“They’re not doing busy work,” Pena said. “If it’s maintenance, it’s yard maintenance and station maintenance. But look, the most efficient use of these resources is going to be out deployed in the field. I would much rather have them deployed in the field. It’s a city administration decision. That’s the mayor.”

After voters approved Prop B in November 2018, matching pay for police and fire, Mayor Sylvester Turner decided not to swear them in.

“It doesn’t make any sense to keep hiring individuals in the fact of Proposition B,” Turner said on Sept. 26, 2018, as he announced a hiring freeze for all but priority hires.

But since voters approved Prop B, the city has sworn in 73 new police officers who finished training after the hiring freeze started.

And Houston records show the city has hired 182 other full-time employees since Election Day. In Public Works, 65 new employees have been hired. The airport system hired 22 new employees. The health department, 19.

All in all, 17 different city departments have hired employees, despite the hiring freeze, all while those trained firefighters work to keep busy not doing the job they’re trained to do.

Like I said, not a good look.

No MLB or stuff from The Yard today.

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