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Houston Economy Still Highly Dependent on Oil & Gas

Houston Economy Still Highly Dependent on Oil & Gas

Some of the Houston chamber-of-commerce boosters frequently claim that the area’s economy has diversified away from oil and gas.  While there has been some nascent diversification, University of Houston economist Bill Gilmer reminded us last week how dependent our...

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Book Review: Factualness

I recently completed Factualness. It was written by Hans Rosling, a Swedish physician. It is an absolute must read.[i] Rosling worked for decades on world health issues, personally traveling to hot spots of epidemic outbreaks, like the Ebola virus. Through his work he...

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Turner Broken Promise No. 3: Zero-Based Budgeting

I cannot even guess at the number of times I heard Sylvester Turner promise to implement zero-based budgeting on the 2015 campaign trail. Here is one such instance during a KUHF radio interview. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=663cfKkbrxQ&feature=youtu.be The...

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A Plan for Fixing City Permitting

I cannot even guess at the number of times I heard Sylvester Turner promise to implement zero-based budgeting on the 2015 campaign trail. Here is one such instance during a KUHF radio interview. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=663cfKkbrxQ&feature=youtu.be The...

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Spend Every Penny of the Drainage Fee on Drainage

A joint City-County project that could significantly reduce flooding in Spring Branch is being delayed by Turner’s insistence that his cronies get more of the work. The neighborhoods in the vicinity of Neuens Road have repeatedly flooded due to poor, outdated drainage...

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The City Does NOT Have a Balanced Budget

This week Channel 13’s Ted Oberg reported that early in the Turner administration 126 doctors and executives with Kelsey-Seybold Clinic made campaign contributions of nearly $90,000 on the same day. Kelsey, which is one of our City’s outstanding medical institutions,...

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The Sleaze Just Keeps on Flowing from City Hall

About this time two years ago, many Houstonians were stranded in flooded homes, desperately awaiting rescue. Social media was overflowing with individuals begging for help. Many were forced to flee to any nearby high ground, including freeway overpasses. Some waited...

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Turner’s Imaginary Memorial Detention Project

This week Channel 13’s Ted Oberg reported that early in the Turner administration 126 doctors and executives with Kelsey-Seybold Clinic made campaign contributions of nearly $90,000 on the same day. Kelsey, which is one of our City’s outstanding medical institutions,...

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A Plan to Mitigate Flooding in Houston

There are a number of areas around Houston that chronically flood. One of these is south of the Katy Freeway near Memorial City. The City for years allowed intensive development along the freeway without requiring sufficient detention. As a result, neighborhoods to...

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Four Years Late and $435 Million Short

The city’s chief recovery officer/flood czar Steve Costello made this stunning admission this week: “When people ask us today if we’re more prepared now than we were prepared for Harvey, the answer, unfortunately is no. . .” It is hard for me to get my brain around...

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Bill King’s Seven-Point Ethics Reform and Transparency Plan

On the campaign trail this year I have consistently heard complaints from Houstonians about the difficulty in getting building permits from the City. The complaints mostly centered on exceedingly long delays. Many reported waiting as long as nine months to get a...

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Is HCAD Going to Pile on Harvey Victims?

Is HCAD Going to Pile on Harvey Victims?

At an LGBTQ forum earlier this year Tony Buzbee told those in attendance that he did not vote to repeal the HERO ordinance that was on the ballot in the City election in November 2015 and that he wants to bring the controversial ordinance back.Technically, what Tony...

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City Population Growth Grinds to a Crawl

Some of the Houston chamber-of-commerce boosters frequently claim that the area’s economy has diversified away from oil and gas.  While there has been some nascent diversification, University of Houston economist Bill Gilmer reminded us last week how dependent our...

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The First Pay-to-Play Endorsement Is In

  As you probably know, Sylvester Turner sent layoff notices to 67 fire fighter cadets to help pay for the implementation of Proposition B.  Those layoffs will save the City $1.6 million. What you probably don’t know is that Turner has quietly hired, at least,...

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Turner’s Pothole Misinformation Campaign

Turner’s Pothole Misinformation Campaign

Sylvester Turner told City Council members last week that he intends to lay off 400 firefighters and trigger the layoff of another 100 employees in other departments to pay for the increased cost of Proposition B.[i]  Turner claims there is no other way to fund...

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City Continues to Skimp on Street Spending

City Continues to Skimp on Street Spending

  We now have audits for the City and its three pension plans for the first full year of operation under the pension changes made in 2017.  The results clearly show that, other than making a one-time reduction in the pension liability by cutting benefits and...

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City’s Net Assets Plunge by over $1 Billion

City’s Net Assets Plunge by over $1 Billion

  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. The CAFR shows that the amount of asphalt used in street...

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Rapes in Houston Up 121% in Last Four Years

Rapes in Houston Up 121% in Last Four Years

  We now have audits for the City and its three pension plans for the first full year of operation under the pension changes made in 2017.  The results clearly show that, other than making a one-time reduction in the pension liability by cutting benefits and...

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