What Happened To The Smart Policy Oriented Mayor That Houston Allegedly Elected?
Sylvester Turner, when elected Mayor of Houston narrowly in 2015, ran as a smart policy candidate whose long record of elected office enabled him to see through all the BS.
To his partial credit, he was able to pass a flawed, but improved, pension reform plan. Note TCR felt it was not a long-term solution and is already proving to be such. The next crisis is just around the corner.
Since then the scandals and incompetence have piled up, let's review the highlights:
- Failure to work out a deal with the firefighters begot Prop B equalizing pay for firemen and police putting the City budget further in the red.
- The pothole program has made no difference as our streets and sidewalks deteriorate due to longtime neglect.
- The misrepresentation of an alleged hiring freeze in response to losing Prop B has resulted in as of the other day, 871 new workers since the hiring freeze!
- Turner has personally approved over $400 million in new city contracts without city council vote (up to $50,000 maximum) during a budget squeeze.
- Turner continues to divert Rebuild Houston infrastructure funds to non-relevant spending.
- Theft crimes in the city are exploding with significant lower clearance rates.
- The Mayor pushed through City Council a $6.735 million contract to his former law partner, Barry Barnes, operating under the entity Limited Legal Service, not to handle legal matters, but for "outreach, intake and case management services" related to "potential" applicants for the Federal Housing Disaster money.
You probably were thinking, why does Houston really need $6.735 million of legal services, which is basically an outreach program to help identify people and assist them to file grant application forms? What happened to volunteers, an online program, and public service announcements? By the way, this will do nothing to reduce future flooding.
The City of Houston is on the wrong track and desperately needs new leadership starting at the top.