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Who you calling lame duck?

“Not me”, says Mayor Parker.

Mayor Annise Parker

Mayor Annise Parker

City Council has voted down or delayed several items put forward by Mayor Annise Parker in recent weeks, events that some City Hall observers interpret as a sign of the term-limited mayor being afflicted with lame-duck syndrome as the race to succeed her heats up.

Parker and her allies dismiss these suggestions, saying they see no trend in a series of tiffs stemming from unrelated proposals to tweak the makeup of two city-appointed boards, make it easier to work with public easements, or administer longstanding programs. Parker has even declared her intent to remain politically relevant by scheduling a fundraiser for May 17.

Having accomplished most of her major initiatives, the mayor said, council members are left to debate themselves to distraction about minor issues that aren’t part of her political agenda, but are simply routine recommendations from city departments.

“The things that clearly needed to be done and I was willing to put a lot of muscle behind got taken care of early. What we have is things that have percolated through the process,” Parker said. “If council members had some huge new ordinance to deal with, they wouldn’t even be reading those. Those kinds of things would fly through.”

I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this. There were a couple of votes on minor items that no one who doesn’t live at 901 Bagby is aware of that went against her, and she’s basically achieved the things she’s going to. The last big challenge she might have had would have been winning a HERO repeal referendum, but pending any adverse appellate decision she won’t have to do that. If Council manages to make a significant alteration to Mayor Parker’s proposed fiscal year 2016 budget, then we can correctly call them “emboldened” or whatever other colorful adjective you want to use. Until then, this looks like business as usual to me.

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