Houston City Council today voted 13 -3, with Helena Brown, Oliver Pennington and Michael Sullivan opposed to approve a $410 million bond election on the November Ballot.
The ballot will include five propositions. Council Document
- Proposition A — Public safety: $144 million
- Proposition B — Parks: $166 million
- Proposition C — General government: $57 million
- Proposition D — Library: $28 million
- Proposition E — Housing: $15 million
Brown expressed her opposition to the bond issue in a message posted on the GuidryNews.com Forum. Click Here
"For too long the City of Houston and its leadership have deceived its citizens, the investors, and the general public concerning its austere financial condition," Brown said. Houston is beyond broke."
Pennington and Sullivan questioned the priority of the proposed projects in the bond issue.
“I am certainly for spending for public safety,” Pennington said. “But we need to have more hearings on the prioritizing of those things before we spend money.”
“I have studied the bond referendum closely and with an open mind,” Sullivan said. “However I cannot support it. The proposed projects do not address the highest priorities in my opinion. There was virtually no council input, at least not from this council member, about district projects.”
At her news conference following the meeting, Mayor Annise Parker discussed the need for the bond issue. Listen
“A bond election is like a pre-qualification for a mortgage,” she said. “You still have to get someone to loan you the money later and you still have to decide to spend the money later. A bond election does not require the city to take on debt.”
The city council voted 15-1, with Sullivan opposed, to authorize a $685,000 agreement with the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau for professional protocol services.
“The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau has provided protocol services to the city for many years through its annual funding agreement with the Convention and Entertainment Facilities Department,” said Chief Development Officer Andy Icken in his staff report. “Because of the vital role the protocol office plays in assisting the city in dealing with foreign consul offices and visiting dignitaries, as well as assisting in the city’s ever expanding role in international matters, the city elected to keep protocol services as a direct contract activity for the city rather than allowing it to move to the HFC contract.”
The city council voted 15-1, with Sullivan opposed, to authorize an economic development agreement with Finger Development Company for the development and operation of a mulit-family residential project in the 1500 block of Prairie Avenue.
The city council voted 15-1, with Brown opposed, to approve an amended project plan for Reinvestment Zone Number 21, the Hardy/Near Northside Zone, extending he duration of the zone to December 31, 2040.
The city council voted 15-1 on two items, with Brown opposed on both, to approve approve agreements with the Texas Department of Transportation for STEP Comprehensive Commercial Motor Vehicle Grants.
The city council voted unanimously to make the first week in September a break week with no city council meetings that week.
The city council voted unanimously to confirm Mayor Annise Parker’s appointment of Michelle Mantor to the Animal Advisory Committee Board of Directors and her reappointment of Deborah A. Gebhardt to the board.
The city council voted unanimously to confirm the mayor’s appointment of Debbie Fujimoto to the Harris County Improvement District No. 4 (Energy Corridor Management District) Board of Directors and her reappointment of Chuck B. Cervas, Robert B. Halick and Steve L. West to the board.
The city council voted unanimously to confirm the mayor’s appointment of Rachel M. Smith to the Municipal Employees Civil Service Commission and the Fire Fighters Civil Service Commission.
The city council voted unanimously to appoint Jessica Castillo-Hulsey, Jenifer Rene’ Pool, Franklin J. “Jay” Harberg, Jr., Mary L. Ramos, Shondra E. Wygal and Vernus C. Swisher to the Public Safety Advisory Committee.
The city council voted unanimously to confirm appointments from each council member to the Public Safety Advisory Committee: Ross Dos Santos, Ramona Toliver, Pat Nicholls, Pastor Manson Johnson, Nick A.Crnkovic, Sr., Sandy Reyes, Frank Jones, Blake Masters, Johnny Sessums, Samuel Burton, Lovella Hayes Dickson, Teri Larosa, Vivian King, Beverly Jo Cage, Robert Z. Crane and Art Pronin.
The city council voted unanimously to appoint Fernando Zamarripa to the Board of Directors of Reinvestment Zone Number 21, the Hardy/Near Northside Zone; and to reappoint Mary M. Lawler, Edward “Ed” Reyes, Sylvia Cavazos, Lloyd Burke and Richard Cantú to the board.
A proposed ordinance establishing an economic development program for development of multi-family residential projects in the eastern area of the Central Business District and an agreement with the Houston Downtown Management District was tagged, or delayed for one week, by Stephen Costello.
A proposed ordinance appropriating $220,000 for a professional engineering services contract with Civil Design Associates and a local match to the Texas Department of Transportation for Houston’s Heritage Corridor, Bayou Trails west from San Jacinto Street to Stude Park was pulled from the agenda and was not considered for action by the city council.
All other agenda items were approved unanimously with James Rodriguez and Al Hoang absent. Agenda