News flash: Mayor White is looking out for Houstonians

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In today’s Chronicle, Mayor White has an op-ed where he says that if we don’t like his new $2 billion Metro expansion plan, don’t blame Metro — blame him.

The column is filled with utopian talk about how rapid/mass (which one is it?) transit will better the lives of Houstonians, but there is an interesting little tidbit that was news to me:

In the last 30 months, no one has talked to more Houstonians in more neighborhoods than I have. In every case, I supported expansion of all forms of mass transit. I supported the use of debt to accelerate expansion of the system before Metro did, and I supported Metro’s bond issue that was on the ballot and passed in November 2003. I believed then, and believe now, that the amount of debt authorized in the 2003 election was prudent and reasonable, based on my business and financial experience, even though I publicly shared reservations about Metro’s projections.

Did the mayor convince Metro to change from a pay-as-you-go policy?

And is that really a prudent business decision, in light of the fact that Metro subsists largely on tax dollars? I find it disconcerting (to say the least) that Mayor White supports a debt policy for Metro, based on his years of business and financial experience.

Then we get to the nagging problem of representation:

Within a month of taking office, I appointed a new team to the Metro board.


[…]to ensure the highest priority for Houston’s projects.


Houston is ready to move on.


If we improve mobility by increasing transportation options, Houston will be the winner.


Houston has about 1.5 million people of voting age[…]


I was hired by voters to get this city moving[…]


I ask all Houstonians to come together[…]

Do you think Metro-taxed, Harris County residents who didn’t get to vote in Houston’s mayoral election can get a reduction in their sales tax rate? Or, even better, how about an opportunity to vote on the NEW Metro Solutions plan.

And has anyone seen or heard from Judge Eckels?

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About Anne Linehan 2323 Articles
Anne Linehan is a co-founder of blogHOUSTON.