Archive for May 16th, 2019

Some things never change. The GOP in #TXLege continues to hate and suppress minority voter turnout.

Name the MLB division leader with the biggest lead?

Honestly. That was my first reaction. I burst out in laughter when I read the Chron’s E-Board take on the latest on Prop B.

Here is this:

Firefighters should accept the ruling and return to the bargaining table, this time with newfound leverage: Prop B was proof that the voters of Houston want their firefighters to be better paid.

And this:

But no one can deny that the people have spoken. And despite firefighters’ loss in court this week, the popular will of Houston voters provides powerful incentive for Turner, who is up for re-election, to negotiate generously with firefighters this time around.

Wow! Let me say this again. The H-Town Mayor doesn’t become Mayor without the help of the Houston Firefighters. They obviously couldn’t work things out and that’s why the Firefighters went the Prop B route. 60% of the H-Town voters or 288,000 or so voted for Prop B despite the Mayor vigorously campaigning against. It didn’t look like he was that interested in implementing the will of the voters over the past six months. Yes, six months.

The Chron E-Board is funny. The current situation is toxic. They have tried sitting down.

It’s toxic. Get it?

Here is the entire hilarious E-Board take:

From Steve Houston:

What some failed to realize about the pay raises, the mayor decided to impose the same requirements on firefighters as police in terms of implementing Prop B (before it was declared unconstitutional in court). So positions that require a college degree with police, required one with HFD in order to get a rank-based raise. In a last minute move to save a great deal of money, it was also required that an engineer/operator have the same minimum 12 years and a fire equivalent of a master certificate to obtain that part of the raise, of course invoking more howling from the fire union and it’s supporters. As a result of imposing these type of requirements, the ultimate cost of the raise was reduced a great deal and the bulk of it went to the most senior firefighters-most of whom are wise enough to stay away from social media while drunk posting unlike their junior peers.

Now that the district judge has ruled Prop B unconstitutional, both parties should go back to negotiating as the appellate process can last years, the mayor has already thrown HFD a bone with a 9.5% offer, almost certainly tied to agreeing to drop the appeal. The mayor needs to formalize the offer and the union negotiators need to make a counter offer in line with the economic realities the city faces. If this happens fast enough, the city budget can absorb a sizable portion of the raise in the upcoming fiscal year without layoffs or demotions. If the 2020 budget starting July 1 doesn’t provide for a raise, the options will quickly shrink until the following year. Isn’t getting 13 or 14% with no layoffs, no demotions, and promoting the fire cadets worth such a substantial sum?

Those willing to bet on a new mayor next year are the same kind that have kept HFD from obtaining raises for years, doubling down on the courts seems foolish as well. But if either side shows the continued animosity toward a compromise, it will definitely hurt their cause. Bury the hatchets gentlemen or watch the legal bills soar with no end in sight.

I was watching #TXLege yesterday and there was debate on a bill on restoring the Battleship Texas. They are proposing to take it to dry dock and reskin it. State Rep. Briscoe Cain had to tack on an amendment to make sure they return it to the San Jacinto Battleground which happens to sit in HD 144, State Rep. Mary Ann Perez’s district and Sen. Carol Alvarado’s SD 6. It says something that they had to have an amendment to make sure it isn’t put somewhere else when it is repaired.

I wonder how many House members have even been to the San Jacinto Battleground. It ought to be mandatory, that if you are a member of #TXLege, you have to go visit the San Jacinto Battleground.

The Astros of course have a 7 ½ game lead in the AL West over the second place Mariners, the biggest division lead in MLB this morning.

Eight in a row. We have the day off. We are at Fenway this weekend.

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