Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Houston is Running Out of Money

The Chronicle ran an article today about how much money the City of Houston doesn't have ... 

"In many ways, for the remainder of fiscal 2011, which ends in June, and the coming budget year, that is just the beginning. A draft of the fiscal 2012 budget, which begins in July, shows a projected shortfall of at least $118 million. For fiscal 2012 through fiscal 2015, the shortfall is an estimated $542 million."

Its even reported that some of City Council is getting a little bit 'miffed' at 'the administration.'

"The feeling is, we're going in the wrong direction," (Councilmember) Clutterbuck said.

Here's a bit more light to shed on the situation ... 

"The city has reeled for several years as revenues from sales and property taxes have declined, even exceeding worst case scenarios."

So, the City Council (Except for Gonzalez, Rodriguez, Jones, and Noriega), voted, under pressure from Mayor Parker's Office, to give a Tax Incentive, based on property and Ad valorum tax, to the biggest company in the universe ... I know, I know ... I'm a broken record, blah blah. 

But cmon now ... is this really positive public management and good decision making coming out?  All this did was take out money that could have potentially been counted on, in calendar year 2012 (The developer is aiming to open in 2012), and enable private enterprise to make more money ... at the expense of taxpayers, and now the budget of the city ... 

But hell ... in the face of $100 Million + shortfall, whats another $6 million anyway, right? 

Monday, November 8, 2010

The 'Community Action Network' Sent Out an Email

Subscribers of the 'Walmart Community Action Network' newsletter received an email in October.  The email had a subject of an article in it which read: 

Houston council OKs Heights Walmart agreement -- Houston Business Journal -- Walmart's plans to build in the Houston Heights area were approved this week!

So, Walmart claimed the 380 agreement, and called in the Heights Walmart ... The link in the email takes you to this breif news heading.   I love how it says 'Over Strong Neighborhood Objections.'  Thats funny.  Gosh, I had no idea the plans were already approved!  And I thought we had a whole permitting process and stuff to go through.  Gee willikers!

(The development has not been permitted yet, to my knowledge)

Also buried deep in the CAN (acronym!)website is the voting portion of the site ... sorry I'm a week or two late on this, but here you go anyway.  Will be interesting to see how involved they get in Houston this year ... big year coming up for the City of Houston.

Stuff Blows Up At A Walmart in Houston

News from a few days ago ...

A bottle apparently exploded at a Walmart in West Houston.   If this is the one that I'm thinking of, then I believe its in a pretty nice part of town.  Its right near Royal Oaks, and is a pretty big Supercenter.

My guess is, just some kids screwing around, but who knows ... I'm not the police.  News story says that it was placed somewhere out of site from any surveillance cameras, which makes it a bit 'fishy'.  Not saying that not having a store opened 24 hours would prevent this sort of thing, but late night hijinks would most likely be somewhat mitigated at a store that wasn't open 24 / 7.  Yes, I realize this was done at 1130pm.

Just thoughts people ...