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Posts Tagged ‘City Council Ad Hoc Charter Review Committee’

Way to go Falkenberg! Check her tweet and read her column today:

Lisa Falkenberg ‏@ChronFalkenberg 3m3 minutes ago
Column: Applause for DA, police union support of #grandjury reform. Now let’s get it right. #txlege http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/columnists/falkenberg/article/Let-s-get-grand-jury-reform-right-6073841.php?t=996f59b7e9ad6264fa&cmpid=twitter-premium

The H-Town City Council Ad Hoc Charter Review Committee met last night at City Hall and decided to move forward with a City Charter amendment proposal that would allow six members of City Council to place items on the Council Agenda.

At their last meeting they moved forward on a Charter amendment to go to two four-year term limits for City Council members.

At their first meeting the Committee decided not to pursue City Council Executive Sessions.

The Committee hasn’t acted on the feeding the homeless ordinance.

At their next meeting they will take up the revenue cap.

Less than a handful of players and a lot of folks that want to do away with the feeding the homeless ordinance have been attending the Committee meetings.

After the Committee completes its work, City Council will then decide which City Charter Amendment proposals to put on the November ballot.

I know it is still February but you have to wonder who will be out in the community later on this year trying to sell the City Charter changes. I wonder if members of City Council who supported the charter changes will be out there campaigning for the proposals and in the process expending their political resources.

The proposal to allow six members of City Council to place an item on the Council agenda kind of goes against our strong Mayor form of government.

Does the current Mayor really give a rat’s arse if six Council members can place items on the agenda if she is not going to be around next year? Why should she use her political capital to help out the next Mayor?

With the exception of the feeding the homeless ordinance opponents, right now there doesn’t appear to be any community interest in the proposed City Charter changes discussion going on over at City Hall. If there is no community interest, where then is the community support. I hope City Council takes this into consideration before they move forward on ballot initiatives so stay tuned!

Jose Altuve had 56 stolen bases last season. How many stolen bases did the rest of the team have last season?

The following tweet came out yesterday:

Evantines Day ‏@evan7257 1h1 hour ago
“Sylvester Turner is the Hillary Clinton of the mayoral race”

I will say once again that I am not ready to call any Mayoral candidate a frontrunner.

At this point in February of 1997, 2003, and 2009 when we had an open race for H-Town Mayor, did we have a frontrunner? I don’t think so! What makes this year different?

Speaking of so-called frontrunners, Hillary Clinton is having some infighting among her top players over fundraising and Jeb Bush had to fire a top staffer the day after the staffer was hired, so don’t show me the frontrunners!

Commentary said this yesterday:

Commentary is trying to figure out where women can make political gains, err win, in electoral politics this season – 2015. Teddy Schleifer wrote this past weekend about no women running for Mayor. Well what about the other city races and the HISD and HCC trustee positions?

Then this was tweeted:

Amanda Edwards ‏@amanda4houston 14m14 minutes ago
Excited to announce my candidacy for Houston City Council AL-4! #HouCouncil #HouNews http://www.edwardsforhouston.com/news.html

That makes two African American women running in At-Large 4.

NBC News gave Brian Williams a six month unpaid leave of absence just because the straw that broke the camel’s back was when Williams told us that his daughter Allison was really flying during the Peter Pan show. I don’t know about that.

Jose Altuve had 56 stolen bases last season and the rest of the team had 66 of course.

There is a kind of sad story in the Chron Sports Section today about those big banners that celebrate titles our pro sports teams rack up. The banners are missing! Here is a bit of the sad news:

There are other missing or misplaced banners in Houston sports lore, from all accounts.

The Astros, for example, relinquished their collection of Astrodome banners to Harris County when the team left for Enron Field (now Minute Maid Park) after the 1999 season, said Mike Acosta, the team’s authentication manager.

“The (Minute Maid) roof opens and closes, so if we were to suspend banners, they would be blowing all over the place when the roof was open,” Acosta said. “So we decided to replicate the banners.”

The team also changed logos and color schemes when it moved downtown, so the blue-and-gold “shooting star” logo that was incorporated into the 1990s banners was out of sync with the team’s rebranding.

Acosta said the Astros still have one of the large American flags displayed in center field at the Astrodome from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. The team also has an orange Astros flag that formerly flew outside the Dome, and Acosta said it might be flown as the team celebrates the 50th anniversary of its renaming from Colt .45s to Astros.

The other flags, along with the banners, Acosta said, “were folded up and stored on the floor of the Astrodome with some of the other things that were taken down.”

But where are they?

NRG Park spokeswoman Nina Jackson, asked this week about the location of the Astros memorabilia, said, “Nobody knows anything about any banners.”

There was no indication whether the banners were sold during the Astrodome “garage sale” in 2013 and, if not, whether they still are stored somewhere within the building.

Photos taken in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina evacuees were housed at the Dome, show Astros and Oilers banners still on display. The banners had been removed by 2010, when county officials staged a media tour of the stadium.

Similar questions surround the Oilers’ championship banners and retired number banners. The Oilers left Houston after the 1996 season for Nashville, Tenn., and a spokesman for the Tennessee Titans said the Oilers banners have not been seen in storage in Nashville.

Come on Hunker Down, could you please ask someone to go find the banners, PLEASE!

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Commentary attended last night’s H-Town City Council Ad Hoc Charter Review Committee meeting at City Hall and it was interesting. The meeting lasted just a bit over four hours – yikes! While I was there I sent out a couple of tweets. Here they are:

Marc Campos @MarcCommentary • 14h 14 hours ago
75 or so folks here at City Hall for Council Ad Hoc Charter Review Committee meeting. #FeedingTheHomeless supporters? pic.twitter.com/6Y5vMYo3bB.

And:

Marc Campos @MarcCommentary • 12h 12 hours ago
H-Town City Council Ad Hoc Charter Review Committee decides not to pursue Executive Sessions. #hounews #Transparency

First up was a presentation by the City Attorney on Executive Session. It turns out H-Town is one of the few municipalities in the Lone Star State without Executive Sessions. The City Attorney kind of made the case for H-Town getting into the Executive Session business.

Six folks testified against and nobody for. The most persuasive argument against came from well-respected neighborhood activist Jane Cahill West who said “we ought to be proud we are one of the few without Executive Session.” She was very effective.

There wasn’t any stomach on Council for moving forward on this so they voted not to pursue. And that’s the end of that!

Doing away with the feeding the homeless ordinance got a ton of play last night. The charge against was led by Council Member Michael Kubosh.

Around 30 or so folks spoke against including a few members of the Kubosh family. I don’t think anyone spoke for.

The City Attorney kind of signaled last night that the administration doesn’t think this issue is charter amendment worthy. This one is going to another Council committee so we all better stay tuned.

Name the MLBer with the nickname “El Oso Blanco?”

We all know the City of H-Town needs to improve its criminal justice facilities but it ain’t going to be cheap. The Mayor knows this and kind of laid out some options that were handed back to her at City Council yesterday. Here is from the Chron today:

Pushed by Mayor Annise Parker to decide whether Houston’s aging police and courts buildings should get patchwork repairs or be fully replaced, with both options carrying staggering price tags, City Council members instead opted for indecision.

By a 12-4 vote, the body sidestepped both options – one of which could cost more than $1 billion – and referred the item back to the Parker administration. The measure was a nonbinding resolution, meaning any choice would have seen no money spent and no plan formally committed to.

Parker, however, said she presented the item to gauge whether council was willing to move forward with building a new cops-and-courts complex, as several million dollars are needed to continue the planning process, money that could be wasted if the council has no plans to ultimately approve the project itself.

“It’s either put hundreds of millions of dollars into the existing buildings or put hundreds of millions of dollars into new construction,” Parker said. “Council members want to vote ‘none of the above,’ and my job is to tell them you can’t say ‘none of the above.’ The buildings are becoming hazardous. It’s clear council members don’t want to take a position. When there’s no good answers, if they can duck, they’re going to duck as long as they can.”

City Hall insiders saw hypocrisy on both sides, however.

Just as Parker complained that council members, many of whom often complain about being excluded from key decisions, punted when given the chance to make a hard call. However, those suspicious of the mayor griped that Parker sought council input only when it was convenient for her to share the heat over a potentially unpopular proposal.

Here is the entire Chron piece that is behind the paywall: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Council-sidesteps-decision-on-justice-center-6016115.php.

I don’t blame the Mayor. This is a big ticket item that she probably won’t get enough support for from Council this year so go on ahead and punt it over to the next administration. I don’t have a problem with justifiable punting on this.

New ‘Stro Evan Gattis of course is El Oso Blanco.

And here is from Tags on some news from The Yard:

The chance to add a power bat to their lineup to improve the club for 2015 was enticing enough for the Astros to trade three prospects — pitchers Mike Foltynewicz and Andrew Thurman, and third baseman Rio Ruiz — to the Braves on Wednesday in exchange for slugger Evan Gattis and Minor League right-hander James Hoyt.

Gattis, 28, has hit 43 homers in 211 games in his first two seasons in the Major Leagues with the Braves. He’s battled injury problems during his career, but he passed a physical on Wednesday. Gattis gives the Astros another 30-homer threat at Minute Maid Park with Chris Carter and George Springer.

“Offense is hard to find, and for us to have an opportunity to acquire a young player with four years of control who has the offensive potential of Evan Gattis, that’s something that we found very attractive,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “When we look at our lineup for 2015, having Springer and Carter, and Gattis and [Jason] Castro, we’re talking about a lineup that can compete in our [American League West] division, and I think that’s really what we’re looking to accomplish.”

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