The recently issued annual financial report (“CAFR”) for the City once again shows that it is continuing to cut back on street reconstruction and repair, a fact that is of no surprise to Houston drivers.
Of course, we will undoubtedly hear from Turner and others who think you are not paying enough property taxes that the voter-imposed property tax cap is at fault for this under-investment in our streets. But, of course, what the “you-don’t-pay-enough-property-taxes” crowd fails to mention is that in the last six years, the City’s revenues have increased by 29% (4.8% annual average) and property taxes have increased by 35% (5.9% annual average).
Nor will they mention that the staff in the mayor’s office has ballooned to over 102 positions, with 20 of those positions making over $100,000 per year. More on that topic later.
Managing a city is more than a photo ops in overalls. It is about the hard work of understanding the long-term financial impact of hundreds of small decisions, many of which have contributed to the mess in which the City currently finds itself. It is about prioritizing spending decisions and working to find efficiencies. It is not about grandstanding and certainly not about getting into running battles with the City’s employees, stunts which have now blown up in our faces.