Mayors to Abbott: Don’t mess with our cities

Good luck getting through.

Less than 24 hours after Gov. Greg Abbott blasted local government restrictions like tree ordinances as a threat to the “Texas brand,” city government leaders statewide are seeking a meeting with the Republican leader.

“We would like the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the role cities play in attracting jobs and investments to support the prosperity of the State of Texas,” a letter signed by 18 mayors, including Houston mayor Sylvester Turner to Abbott states.


The letter from the mayors makes clear that they fear the Texas Legislature is overreaching and doing too much harm to local governments.

“Harmful proposals such as revenue and spending caps, limiting annexation authority, and other measures preempting local development ordinances directly harm our ability to plan for future growth and continue to serve as the economic engines of Texas,” the letter states.

The mayors on the letter include those from Houston, Amarillo, Arlington, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Fort Worth, Frisco, Galveston, Irving, Lubbock, McKinney, Plano, San Antonio, San Marcos, and Sugar Land.

You can see the letter here. You might note that some of the cities in question are Republican suburban kind of places. It’s not just us smug urbanites that would like to have our current level of autonomy left alone. I’m going to say the same thing to these Mayors that I’ve been saying to the business folk that have been working to defeat the bathroom bill, and that’s that they are going to have to follow up all these words with actions, because Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick don’t care what they have to say. If you’re not working to elect better leadership in 2018, which in this case means leadership that is not actively undermining and degrading Texas’ cities, then you’re part of the problem too, and your words have no meaning. The Current and the Press have more.

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14 Responses to Mayors to Abbott: Don’t mess with our cities

  1. I disagree with Abbott. While I am not a tree hugger by any means I do believe we need to let local cities control themselves as much as possible. Just like when Mayor Parker started all this bathroom nonsense. The good citizens of Houston rejected her equal rights ordinance. Lets not forget that a Democrat City defeated it. We need to trust the Cities to rule themselves. One day we will have a Democrat Governor and a Democrat Legislature. What is Katy going to do when that Governor and Legislature says that Katy must raise taxes to pay for all kinds of progressive nonsense. I say let the cities rule themselves. Last I checked local control was a conservative principle.

  2. neither here nor there says:

    Paul – Hear-Hear

  3. Joshua ben bullard says:

    The problem with “local control” is these local mayors and local council members take huge campaign contributions and god knows how much money out the back to keep ” local control” on the following taxi regulations $$$$,building specifications, Size of how small a home can be to get power ,restaurant industry $$$$$ all of these are industries you must pay to play ,so hell no the city’s shouldn’t be doing it That’s the sole reason why The state is having to get involved, look at uber ,they knew the game was pay to play at the local controlled level,so they went to the state for relief, good for them ,I am a huge supporter of uniform state laws that cover the state with out local pay to play interference.

  4. Bill Daniels says:

    Generally, I agree with everything said here so far, but there’s an overriding consideration, and that is, what is the right thing to do when competing interests clash? Local control was George Wallace standing with state troopers at the schoolhouse door standing against US government troops.

    Local control is Sheriff Sally hiding rapists and DWI offenders from ICE. Local control is red light cameras. Local control is criminalizing plastic bags.

    Sure, all else being equal, we support local control, but sometimes it isn’t that simple.

  5. Paul Kubosh says:

    Joshua, I have nothing but respect for you. I agree with your perception of pay to play but I think it is the same in Austin. The only difference between Austin and the local cities is the price to pay. We are all doomed I tell you doomed.

  6. C.L. says:

    Yup, the Republican legislature is all about giving power back to the people unless the issue has to do with trees, a woman’s body, bathrooms, etc.

  7. neither here nor there says:

    Bill, when was she hiding rapists from ICE? Want to know who is facing criminal charges go to the District Clerk’s office they are posted. I know you don’t like Brown skinned folks who are not here legally, not sure how you feel about the legal ones, but don’t be like Trump and start spreading untruths. By hiding you mean? Do you have a source for the answer or is it opinion?

  8. neither here nor there says:

    Joshua do you think that Agua Dulce Texas needs the same regulations as Houston?

    Besides if they did not take money they could not pay people to work their campaigns, right?

  9. Bill Daniels says:


    ( — The government watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained 204 illegal alien “detainer requests” from ICE that were denied by the sheriff’s office in Travis County, Texas, and which included detainers for aliens charged with multiple crimes, including 58 DWIs, 34 acts of violence, 14 burglaries, drug possession and at least 6 firearms violations. There also were charges for three acts or threats of terrorism.

    These nice, hardworking sin papeles people (you assumed they are all brown, not me, BTW), got shielded by Sheriff Sally and released back into the community.

    WTF? I love drunk drivers, violence, burglaries, drugs, and illegal guns now!

  10. Ross says:

    So, Bill, do you think a local official should continue to detain someone who has made bail, simply because a Federal official makes a request? If the request is accompanied by a Federal warrant, sure, but absent a warrant, there’s no way I would detain someone, just because ICE said pretty please. This is the US, we don’t hold people for grins and giggles.

  11. Bill Daniels says:

    @C.L.: Let me give you a hypothetical. We all remember the plastic bag wars, local vs. state. How about the city of Houston (or Sugarland, or Katy, etc.) decides to legislate that all stores use the European model and require that shopping carts require a deposit, so that they don’t end up on the streets, in the bayous,and in rundown apartment complexes being used as BBQ grilles? Local control, right? Drive by an Aldi… works to keep not only the surrounding community clean, it keeps their parking lot free of wayward carts. Personally, I think all stores should start doing this.

    But wait, along comes the state of Texas telling Houston, et al, that they can’t restrict their businesses in that manner. Who’s rights are supreme, the businesses who pay the taxes, pay the employees, pay the rent, etc., or the cities who want to dictate how those stores do business? Does a business that doesn’t get satisfaction at a local level have the right to seek redress at the state level? At the national level?

  12. Bill Daniels says:


    Absolutely. Just arrest them for being here illegally. Do you not watch Law and Order? Bad guy gets released on bond, cops immediately arrest defendant for another crime and slap the cuffs back on.

    They can do it, and it’s soon to be criminal if they don’t do that. Sheriffs like Sally have a legitimate complaint about who pays to detain these people on the immigration charges alone, and I think ICE can do better at getting these folks into federal custody faster, especially with 10,000 new agents that are to be hired. Having said that, in the medium to long term, getting criminals out of the community and out of the country permanently is going to free up jail space in the future, so I’d argue that budget wise, even if the county had to pay a few days or week waiting for ICE to pick up an inmate, they would save more money on the back end, when the recidivism rate for those people goes to zero.

  13. neither here nor there says:

    Bill do you read only the parts you want? From the link you provided

    “Essentially, the sheriff’s office cooperates on detainer requests for illegal aliens if they have committed crimes such as murder or aggravated sexual assault.

    For other crimes committed by illegal aliens subject to a detainer, ICE must often present special warrants or judicial orders to get the sheriff’s office to cooperate.”

    Did I ask for proof of the rapes, yes!

    Has ICE told Sheriff Department to hold, when they have the wrong person? Do you know the answer?

    By the way Judicial Watch is not exactly fair and balanced, it is a hard right wing organization that has a large number of racists and bigots (my 2 cents).

    Bill just in case you get lazy and don’t want to find out if ICE makes error, here is an article, but as long as the brown people are in jail what does it matter if they are citizens and are being illegally held? They can get warrants.

  14. Pingback: War on local control update – Off the Kuff

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