Skip to comments.Houston budget wins approved: Council funds, bilingual stipend not slashed
Posted on 06/24/2010 12:51:22 PM PDT by Thurston_Howell_III
For seven hours Wednesday, City Council members pored over Mayor Annise Parker's $4.1 billion budget, cutting programs or initiatives as varied as the use of unneeded 800 numbers and tuition reimbursement for municipal employees.
One cut that was not made: City Council budgets.
City Councilman Al Hoang and others backed an effort to apply the same 2 percent budget cuts required of many city departments for fiscal 2011 to council members, who have been allocated $392,222 in the coming year to pay staff and take care of other expenses.
The proposal, which would have required a cut of nearly $8,000 per council office, was rejected by 11 council members. Only Hoang, Councilman Stephen Costello and Councilwoman Anne Clutterbuck voted for the measure. The cut would have saved an estimated $110,000.
"I think it's disingenuous to ask departments to cut their budgets, and not cut our own," Hoang said in a statement. "We were elected to lead by example, not by decree."
Councilwoman Jolanda Jones opposed the cuts, saying that council member budgets are used almost exclusively to pay the salaries and health care costs of staffers and should not be compared to departments that can cut spending on equipment or freeze hiring to reach budget targets.
She called the proposal an example of "form over substance."
"If someone calls my office and I don't have staff or resources to help them solve their problem, they're going to be mad at me. ... They're going to be mad at the city," she said.
(Excerpt) Read more at chron.com ...
ya...they can just raise property appraisals ...to get more taxes.
One thing that *won't* break their piggybank is street maintenance.
Houston's surface streets are atrocious. Over the years, subsidence has made them into a lunar landscape of 4-inch dropoffs and potholes. The City public works dept. has as two remedies: asphalt patch or 1/2 in. steel plate cover. I've seen some of these plate covers in place for years.
The horrible condition of the streets tears up front-wheel drive suspensions, and is one of the reasons many Houstonians prefer pickup trucks or SUVs
Good, they can start with restoring the million dollar reduction in Bill White's home appraisal that he claims he knew nothink about.
I am *sooo* glad I live in League City. Crazy City Council and all.
Translation, it'll hurt my ability to get re-elected.
These politicians think they won’t be held accountable. They think they won’t be painted with the same brush.
Bill White should be in jail for conspiring to have his property tax lowered; not running for Gov.
I am SO glad I don't live in a City !!!
I guess I might be interested in knowing why District “E” Counselman Mike Sullivan didn’t chime in here...But I know he does interesting things with his office budget anyway...
He takes overages and other savings and puts that into direct support and purchases of equipment and other infrastructure improvements directly to District “E” city services...Now it looks like he can put in a little more to that effort...Outside of normal bureaucratic purchasing snags...
Sounds like a mountain out of a molehill, that appears to be democrats fighting with other democrats to appear more fiscally responsible than the others...
What a bunch of goobers...They’re not fooling anyone...
Bill White claims it was in error that it was so high, that he never asked for it to be lowered, etc.
Then why didn’t he ever file an amended tax return to get BACK his overpaid taxes? If he feels the lowering was justified and the local officials are going to say it was overvalued for awhile, why not get his money back? I mean, if it’s all on the up and up?
Every city is like that now. These idiots spend all our money on their fanciful “development” projects and let the streets fall apart. American cities are starting to look like East Berlin.
Could this city be more Third-Worldish if it tried?
Oh that's not new. Did y'all happen to see the news story earlier this week where the city refused to pick up "heavy" trash at this one house.
Their excuse was that the home owner paid her cousin to tear down an old dog house, thereby making the cousin a "contractor" and contractors have to take care of any trash they create.
I’m convinced that the City has a department dedicated to “work avoidance”.