In fact, some of the services like garbage pickup have suffered in our neighborhood from lack of funding.
We need more support from the city for these and other services. And the answer is for us to send in more tax dollars. Houston Mayor Turner knows that.
We regularly see complaints about taxes. And, the complaints come, not only from citizens like some of my neighbors, but especially from the well-to-do. The very folks who can most afford to pay more taxes are the ones who are the most vocal when it comes to criticizing a tax increase.
It’s time to hold the City’s feet to the fire … regarding Fireman’s pay. I realize this goes back to the Whitmire (Tootsie) administration, but it’s time for a reality check; our first responders and their families deserve to make a reasonable living. There’s no proof that a high-rise team has effective contact with the outside world in a crisis (9/11/2001?). I was in the IT business for many years, and outside communications was a serious issue in downtown buildings. I see trucks on the road every day, and hear sirens echoing every night in my neighborhood. These folks need our financial support … they put their lives on the line for us 24/7.
This editorial certainly takes a grim view by casting this as a lose-lose proposition. If our city government had anyone with creativity and problem solving ability, rather than mindless small time politicians who spring into action over “robot brothels” while ignoring true needs of the city, there could be a more positive outcome. The firefighters deserve to be paid, for their long hours and willingness to risk their lives to protect the lives and property of others. As well, they must be physically fit, whereas, the police don’t appear to have very stringent fitness requirements. Let us not forget the firefighters who were killed in the hotel fire a few years ago. Let’s ask why some petitions, such as the petition to change the dry laws in the Heights, get verified and onto the ballot instantly, but the firefighters’ petition took a year and a half to get to the ballot. The city deserves better governance, the firefighters deserve better pay.
Jonathan, I frequently read and enjoy your column. You may recall me commenting on your post previously.
There is something that does not ring true about this article. I have some knowledge on the subject because my half brother, Wesley Warnke (now deceased – bless him), had a long career with HFD. He started as a firefighter then as an EMT. He rose through the ranks and became the president of the HFD Union. He represented them in Austin and lobbied for the improved pension. He eventually rose to become a Chief of the EMT division.
Unfortunately that position is staffed by the incumbent Mayor and staff. So he was bumped down, but still enjoyed the remainder of his career through retirement.
What does not ring true is that he was very happy with the results and was very popular with the union members. At Wesley’s funeral, there were many firefighters and I talked to several of them. Almost unanimously they all expressed happiness with the greatly improved pension benefit.
Would that be true if their benefit was significantly reduced? If you need corroboration (popular word recently) I can link you to the lawyers that worked with Wesley on these issues, although if they know which way you are leaning, they might not be very cooperative.
Expanding Shepherd and Durham is a terrible idea. The fact that an unelected TIRZ is making these decisions is an admission that our elected officials are not capable of doing their jobs in terms of infrastructure planning.
Fixing the drainage would be great, but adding more lanes of traffic would only bring more motorists who will all get the idea that this will be the fastest route. The additional cars will quickly bring the same traffic snarls that we have now.
As well, these type of projects always mention that pedestrians and bicyclists will benefit. It’s hard to see how walkers and cyclists will be better served by more lanes of traffic. I never see the people quoted in the article biking or walking around the neighborhood. The article does state that the intention is for the bike lane to be separated, which would be an improvement. Anyone who has ridden in the existing bike lanes knows that these lanes are narrow, full of debris (since Houston never sweeps streets), prone to flooding and puddles, with drain grates just waiting to snag road bike tires. This project is not what we need.
Don’t touch that dial – new TV season lineup influenced by recent events
This is a great bit of satire, however, let’s just say that in a few paragraphs it continues to play upon the media’s overwrought Russia fantasies and President Trump’s amoral behavior, which is actually rather minor and certainly pales in comparison to the lecherous acts of Bill Clinton, which Mrs. Clinton helped to conceal.