Tag Archives: Renew Houston

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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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

Posted in Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Latest ReBuild lawsuit dismissed

One less thing for the next Mayor to worry about. I hope. A district court judge has ruled in favor of Houston leaders in a 4-year-old lawsuit, countering allegations that Mayor Sylvester Turner and the City Council illegally shortchanged the … Continue reading

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Mayor Turner’s final budget

This is what he’s handing off. Mayor Sylvester Turner will unveil a $6.2 billion budget proposal this week, the final spending plan of his tenure and one he predicts will have enough savings to cover his successor’s first budget gap. … Continue reading

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Would you believe there’s still Renew Houston litigation out there?

This hit my mailbox on Friday. Today, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled in the City’s favor in Perez v. Turner, a challenge to Houston’s drainage fee, which provides the City with $125 million per year to pay for drainage … Continue reading

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Another ReBuild Houston lawsuit

Gotta say, this puzzles me. A pair of Houston residents filed a lawsuit against Mayor Sylvester Turner and city council Monday, accusing them of failing to follow the will of voters who approved a charter amendment last year for funding … Continue reading

Posted in Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Precinct analysis: Undervotes in the city

We’ve previously discussed non-partisan initiatives at the end of the ballot and how often people have undervoted in them in the past. Now let’s take a closer look at the two ballot items from this year. Dist A Yes A … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2018 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Endorsement watch: City propositions

The Chron says Yes on Prop A: Here’s the blunt truth: Voting “against” on Proposition A won’t cut your taxes. It will, however, open the door to more municipal debt. That is why Houstonians should vote “for” Proposition A, which … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2018 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Interview with Mayor Turner

We finish up our interviews for the 2018 election season with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and a conversation about city propositions A and B. Prop A, which has largely flown under the radar, is the update to Renew Houston intended … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2018 | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The firefighter pay parity referendum won’t be decided by the voters

it will be decided by the courts. Here’s a story out of Austin to illustrate. Former Travis County judge Bill Aleshire has sued the city of Austin in the Texas Supreme Court, challenging the ballot language of a proposition up … Continue reading

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ReBuild re-vote approved

Add another item to the ballot. City Council on Wednesday unanimously agreed to put the controversial street and drainage program known as ReBuild Houston before voters again in November, but not before tweaking the ballot language in hopes of avoiding … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2018 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

ReBuild re-vote

Sort of. It’s complicated. Eight years after voters narrowly backed the idea, the controversial street and drainage program known as ReBuild Houston is expected to appear again on the November ballot in the form of an amendment to the city … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2018 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The elections we may get in 2018

We know there are going to be a lot of contested elections up and down the ballot in 2018, both primaries and the November general, for state, county, and federal office. There are also at least four possible elections I … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2018 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

More post-Harvey ideas

From the Chron, which likens this moment to what Galveston faced after the great hurricane of 1900: 1. Establish a regional flood control authority Floodwaters ignore city-limit signs and county-line markers. We can’t adequately address drainage issues with a mélange … Continue reading

Posted in Hurricane Katrina | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Harvey and the elections

Labor Day weekend of odd-numbered years is considered to be the opening weekend of Houston election season. The filing deadline has passed, so the fields are set and people (supposedly, at least) begin to pay attention. Candidate forums are held, … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2017, Election 2018, Hurricane Katrina | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The ReBuild Houston footnote to the November ballot

The following paragraph is buried deep in the full story about what will and will not be on the November ballot in Houston. Voters also will not face a reconsideration of the 2010 vote that established ReBuild Houston, the program … Continue reading

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Mayor will take revenue cap referendum off the 2017 ballot

Not gonna lie, I’m disappointed by this. Mayor Sylvester Turner abruptly reversed course Wednesday on his plan to ask voters to repeal Houston’s revenue cap this fall, saying it now is “unlikely” he will ask for its removal. The politically … Continue reading

Posted in Local politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Bike plan finally gets approved

Long time coming. Houston has a bike plan. Though there’s no clear plan to pay for it and ongoing concerns with exactly where the planned trails and lanes will be located, City Council approved the bike plan on Wednesday morning. … Continue reading

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ReBuild re-vote?

It could come to that, but it’s not clear to me that it has to. The funding scheme for ReBuild Houston, the city’s street and drainage repair initiative, remains in limbo after a state appeals court agreed Thursday that the … Continue reading

Posted in Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

City loses appeal of procedural argument in term limits lawsuit

Stay with me, because this is going to take a bit of explaining. A state appeals court on Thursday rejected the city’s procedural challenge to a lawsuit that could force Houston’s mayor and city council members to revert to three … Continue reading

Posted in Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Senate whinefest about ballot propositions

Spare me. Members of a state Senate committee called Monday for changes in Texas law to prevent cities from thwarting or blocking citizen petition drives, a key issue for conservative and tea party groups in Houston and other cities in … Continue reading

Posted in That's our Lege | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Potholing

The city’s pothole repair program seems to be going well. Faster response by city crews to resident-reported potholes has saved thousands of drivers a bumpier ride around Houston the past six months, though officials warn there’s a long way to … Continue reading

Posted in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Reimagining Lower Westheimer

This ought to be interesting. Lower Westheimer is one of Houston’s most well-known streets, but on some fronts its reputation isn’t a positive one. Narrow and bumpy, the street is both a hub of retail and recreation activity and also … Continue reading

Posted in Elsewhere in Houston | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Mayor Turner releases transition team report

From the inbox, a glimpse of what to expect in the near to medium future from Mayor Turner. Mayor Sylvester Turner has released a 17-page report that details the work of his transition team chaired by businessman and long-time civic … Continue reading

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Mayor Turner names new City Attorney

From the inbox: Mayor Sylvester Turner has announced his selection of Ronald C. Lewis as the new city attorney. Like the mayor, Lewis is Harvard educated and has run his own law firm. “I wanted a lawyer’s lawyer, someone highly … Continue reading

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The draft bike plan is out

Here it is, in all its glory. I encourage you to look at the draft plan and play with the interactive map. Then, when you start to feel overwhelmed and wish someone would explain it all to you, go read … Continue reading

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Houston Tomorrow presents its Vision Zero plan

Here you go. Following other “vision zero” programs nationally, Houston Tomorrow encouraged officials – especially Houston lawmakers – to crack down on speeding and distracted driving while investing more in rebuilding streets so that vehicles can share them safely with … Continue reading

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Senate committee whines about ballot language

Give me a break. State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, cited the wording of recent Houston referendums to lengthen term limits and on a controversial equal-rights ordinance as two examples, both of which he said could have been more clear. The … Continue reading

Posted in That's our Lege | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Will someone sue over the term limits referendum?

Maybe. Pre-election polling showed voters slightly favored the change, but not if they were told that it benefits sitting council members. Rice University political scientist Bob Stein conducted the News 88.7/KHOU 11 News election poll. “When we informed voters that … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2015 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Endorsement watch: Costello for Turner

I’m glad to see this. Houston City Councilman Steve Costello endorsed Sylvester Turner for mayor Wednesday, dealing a potential financial blow to fellow conservative Bill King as he looks to expand his donor base in the runoff. An engineer who … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2015 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Back to square one for ReBuild Houston

Here we go again. A state district judge on Thursday voided the 2010 charter referendum that enabled the city to create the ReBuild Houston program, muddying the fate of the multi-billion-dollar funding scheme to dramatically improve Houston’s streets and drainage. … Continue reading

Posted in Legal matters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

KHOU poll: Turner 19, King and Garcia 9

Our third poll result in the past week. Sylvester Turner remains the front-runner, but Adrian Garcia has lost his once firm grip on second place and Bill King rises into the top tier of contenders in the race for Houston … Continue reading

Posted in Election 2015 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Circling back to city finances

I have three things to say about this. This time, [City Finance Director Kelly] Dowe insists, the $126 million deficit he projects for the budget year that starts next summer is not going to disappear, as past projected shortfalls have. … Continue reading

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What now for road projects?

What do we do with road projects that were going to use ReBuild Houston funds now that the Supreme Court has ruled the 2010 referendum to have been illegal? A necklace of neighborhood streets encircling Hudnell’s home is among the … Continue reading

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