Tag Archives: budget

Firefighter settlement officially approved

The legalities are mostly over, but there are still a bunch of items to handle. A state district court judge has signed off on a settlement between the city of Houston and the firefighter union, clearing one obstacle for a … Continue reading

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HART trouble

Not great. Harris County paused its Holistic Assistance Response Teams on Wednesday after Commissioners Court failed to reach an agreement on whether to pay the vendor operating the program. At issue is a $270,000 payment to Disaster Emergency Medical Assistance … Continue reading

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First look at the HISD budget

We’re up to $500 million in cuts. But we still don’t have any details. The multibillion-dollar question of how Houston ISD intends to balance its budget went largely unanswered Thursday night, with district administrators revealing few specifics about job or … Continue reading

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More on the improper use of funds allegations against Mike Miles

Other outlets are on this now. A state lawmaker and Houston teachers are calling for Houston Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles to be investigated after a Spectrum News report revealed that millions in Texas public school tax dollars may … Continue reading

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Is this an opportunity for cooperative cost savings?

Reading through this story about how Harris County is spending the public safety portion of its 2022 bond funds, I have a question. New Harris County law enforcement facilities are one step closer to breaking ground after Commissioners Court earlier … Continue reading

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A “WTF, HISD?” roundup

Expect more protests later this week. Houston ISD families plan to protest Saturday morning near City Hall as word of forced principal and teacher departures rip through campuses as the end of the first year since state takeover approaches. Community … Continue reading

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Mayor Whitmire unveils his first budget

Here ya go. Amid Houston’s strained financial outlook, Mayor John Whitmire unveiled a $6.7 billion budget proposal on Tuesday, announcing he does not intend to raise taxes or significantly cut city services during the fiscal year starting in July. The … Continue reading

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Multiple schools protest Mike Miles

The people are angry. Roughly 200 parents and students started their day protesting in front of Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School, one of many Houston ISD campuses sent into turmoil last week with news that their principal was … Continue reading

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More on the coming HISD cuts

I repeat, this is going to suck. An undisclosed number of Houston ISD teachers and principals received notices this week that they will be out of a job, state-appointed Superintendent Mike Miles said Thursday. Miles said principals have begun making … Continue reading

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What could it have cost for the firefighters?

City Controller Chris Hollins throws out some numbers and kicks up a fuss. Houston Controller Chris Hollins faced fierce criticism from firefighters union president Marty Lancton, after estimating that equalizing past pay for Houston firefighters with their peers in other … Continue reading

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HISD budget cuts coming

This is going to get ugly. Houston ISD’s state-appointed Superintendent Mike Miles said Friday afternoon that the school district is facing an estimated $450 million gap in funding that will largely be made up by staff reductions as federal pandemic … Continue reading

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Solid Waste study approved

Could this be the precursor to a garbage fee? Maybe. As Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department faces ongoing challenges in providing basic services, such as consistent garbage collection and recycling pickup, City Council has promised to give the department a … Continue reading

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Parking meter extended hours proposal withdrawn

Probably dead, though I suppose it could come back. Proposals to make it easier to extend parking meter enforcement hours and install speed cushions did not advance at Houston’s inaugural Proposition A committee meeting Tuesday, after both failed to meet … Continue reading

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Zombie ReBuild lawsuit returns with a vengeance

Unbelievable. Houston City Hall will have to use significantly more tax money to fight flooding with street and drainage projects, after an appeals court sided Tuesday with engineers in a years-long lawsuit over how much funding the city devotes to … Continue reading

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City workers gear up for their next contract

Believe it or not, the city has employees who are not with the police or the fire department, and they like earning a decent salary, too. Houston’s municipal employees union, HOPE AFSCME Local 123, is expected to begin its contract … Continue reading

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Parking meter extension proposal sent to Prop A committee

We sure do live in a different world now. City Council voted on Wednesday to send a proposal extending parking meter enforcement times to committee following a clash between council members who introduced the agenda item and those who expressed … Continue reading

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Still waiting on details for paying the firefighters

A lot of the same stuff we’ve heard before here, but a little bit more details. Houston Mayor John Whitmire detailed his last three months as the fourth-largest city’s top boss and outlined some of his ongoing projects in a … Continue reading

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Extending parking meter hours downtown

I’m okay with this. Houston City Council will vote to extend the time residents will have to pay city parking meters on Wednesday. The current ordinance requires drivers who park in metered spots to pay between 7 a.m. and 6 … Continue reading

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Controller Hollins puts firefighter settlement tab at up to $1.3 billion

That’s once you factor in interest payments over the life of the bonds that will be issued to cover this. Houston Mayor John Whitmire’s proposed settlement with the firefighters union could cost significantly more than previously advertised, City Controller Chris … Continue reading

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We return to the question of “how will we pay for the firefighter agreement” question

Gonna keep asking it until we get a full answer. Mayor John Whitmire’s administration is weighing all options, including hiking the city’s property tax rate and charging residents a garbage collection fee, to help pay for its landmark settlement with … Continue reading

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We’ll see what City Council makes of the firefighter pay agreement

There’s a bit of pushback happening. Mayor John Whitmire’s administration and officials from the Houston firefighters union are hoping to get final approval in May or June on a massive settlement deal to end their nearly decade-long contract stalemate. The … Continue reading

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Price tag for firefighter back pay revealed

From the inbox: Mayor John Whitmire and the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association announced today a historic deal to end an eight-year impasse. The $650 million settlement to finally resolve the city’s looming liability addresses longstanding pay issues dating back … Continue reading

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In which I learn about our use of “Dataminr”

I have three things to say about this. The Houston Police Department will stay in the ranks of law enforcement agencies around the country using software to monitor social media for information on criminal activity following a City Council vote … Continue reading

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More on the HPD dropped cases

Mayor Whitmire wants some answers. Houston Mayor John Whitmire on Wednesday called for an independent investigation into the Houston Police Department over how and why more than 264,000 cases were declared suspended for lack of personnel. “I trust and believe … Continue reading

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It’s budget cut proposal time

A familiar ritual. Facing a projected budget shortfall and costly settlement with the firefighters union, Mayor John Whitmire has directed most city departments to identify potential 5% budget cuts for the coming fiscal year. Finance Director Melissa Dubowski said Wednesday … Continue reading

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Firefighter back pay update

Just tell me what the bill’s gonna be. The city of Houston and its firefighters are nearing an agreement to resolve their bitter, yearslong pay dispute, with specifics expected to take additional weeks or months to finalize, according to city … Continue reading

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The Mike Miles “efficiency report”

I’m going to reserve judgment on this for now, but it is fair to say that I start out with a nontrivial amount of skepticism. Nearly a year into the state takeover, appointed Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles says he … Continue reading

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Mayor Whitmire working with the firefighters

We’ll see what we get. In another step toward settling its years-long conflict with the city, the firefighters union met with Mayor John Whitmire’s administration [last] Friday morning to discuss the city’s first proposal for raises and back pay, with … Continue reading

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On HISD’s budget issues

They’re Mike Miles’ problem now. It would be nice if he shared with us how he intends to deal with them. Last fall, when Houston ISD’s new superintendent, Mike Miles, first laid out his expensive plans for Texas’ largest district, … Continue reading

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HISD Board declines the use of chaplains

Good call. Houston ISD’s Board of Managers voted unanimously Thursday to approve a resolution preventing chaplains from serving as hired or volunteer school counselors in the district. Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 763 in June, which requires each school … Continue reading

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On hiring more cops

Not as easy to do as you might think. Halfway through his inaugural speech, Houston Mayor John Whitmire said the city made it far too hard for people to join the Houston Police Department. As an example, Whitmire pointed out … Continue reading

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Mayor Whitmire wants to add Metro cops to HPD

On its face this makes sense. Mayor John Whitmire said he’s negotiating with Metro to combine its almost 400 public safety employees with Houston’s Police Department under Chief Troy Finner. The transit group’s police department, with a budget in 2024 … Continue reading

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HISD presents its longer-year calendar options

See if you have a preference. After months of speculation over potential changes to Houston ISD’s academic calendar, district officials are considering four options for 2024-25 that would each move up the first day of classes and increase the number … Continue reading

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We return once again to the subject of a garbage fee

Maybe this is the time it happens. Maybe not. Who can say? For many residents, Houston’s unreliable garbage collection is a familiar issue — and it’s one that even the city’s newly elected mayor apparently must confront. In his inaugural … Continue reading

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