Houston Mayor Annise Parker is asking City Council to place a $410 million public improvement bond package on the November ballot for voter approval, according to Guidry News:
The package includes funding for city public improvements for the next five years. The projects range from roof and foundation repairs at city-owned buildings to entirely new police and fire stations as well as improvements to parks, libraries, health, trash and recycling facilities.
“I realize many Houstonians are still recovering from the economic downturn,” Parker said. “That is why it was important to me to present a plan that does not require a tax increase. It is also the smallest bond proposal in more than 30 years. It is a fiscally responsible approach that will create jobs and improve public safety, infrastructure and quality of life.”
The city council voted to accept a letter of resignation from Council Member Michael Sullivan, who is a candidate for Harris County Treasurer. Sullivan said his resignation will be effective January 12, 2013 but will allow the city to vote on his successor in the November election. Listen
“Whether you are elected to a new position is subject to the will of the voters,” Parker noted. “You are taking steps to protect the taxpayers of Houston today by making sure that we don’t have additional costs for an election to replace you and I appreciate your offering the resignation.”
The city council voted unanimously to confirm the mayor’s reappointment of Shannon Buggs and David Ashley White to the Board of the Houston Arts Alliance; and appointment of David LaDuca, Gigi Myung and Leigh McCraine Smith to the board.
The city council voted unanimously to confirm the mayor’s reappointment of Richard J. Campo, Katy Caldwell, Thomas Deon Warner, David W. Arpin, Joe Tin, Hasmukh D. Patel, Desyre M. Morgan, David Solomon and Richard A. Rabinow to the Board of Directors of the Houston First Corporation. Campo will serve as chair.
Two items were pulled from the agenda and were not considered for action by the city council.
A $672.425 bid by Scott Technologies, Inc. doing business as Scott Safety for thermal imaging cameras for the Houston Fire Department; and
A proposed contract with Retirement Horizons. Inc. for pension actuarial consulting services.
Helena Brown cast the only vote against a professional engineering services contract with Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. for a Federal Transit Administration Earmarked Transportation Study in the Texas Medical Center. However, Mayor Parker and several council members including Stephen Costello and Wanda Adams stated that they are opposed to any connection to the medical center from Highway 288 that would take property from Hermann Park. Listen
All other agenda items were approved, but there were negative votes by Brown on several other items. Agenda
- An ordinance related to the acquisition of real property interests in connection with the public improvement project known as the Center for Texas Cultural Heritage;
- An agreement with Harris County for a port security grant;
- An amendment to the city’s agreement with CAN Corporation for professional services for the drafting of a regional catastrophic preparedness plan for the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security;
- A contract with the AIDS Coalition of Coastal Texas, Inc. providing funds for housing assistance;
- An agreement with Temenos Community Development Corporation related to construction of an 80 unit affordable housing community at 2200 Jefferson;
- A loan agreement with Villas at Colt Run, LP related to construction of a 168 unit affordable housing community at 7600 East Houston Road;
- An agreement with Watercrest at Kingwood, LP related to the construction of a 174 unit affordable housing community on the west side of Kingwood Place Drive;
- An ordinance authorizing the city to apply for grant assistance for the Shady Lane Park Playground Project; and
- A municipal setting designation ordinance prohibiting the use of designated groundwater beneath property at 6601 Harrisburg Boulevard.
Council members Melissa Noriega, Ellen Cohen and Jack Christie were absent. There will be no meeting next week.
At her news conference following the meeting, Mayor Parker answered questions related to her proposed bond issue after a brief review of weather conditions. Listen