City of Houston Agenda 8-1-06

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Once again, it’s time to check up on our hirelings, and see what they’re doing with the fine city we entrusted to them.

Readers are cautioned that I delete what I judge to be extraneous text, and often paraphrase in order to make the legalese a lot more readable; also that comments added are a mix of my own opinions, best guesses, snarking, and judgments, and therefore may not be entirely accurate. Such deletions may accidentally result in a key omission; if you wish to read the original text, please read the posted agenda on the city’s website. Beginning with this week, I’m dropping the practice of including both the Tuesday and Wednesday date in the title; it’s just confusing.

Public Comment, 8/1/06, 2 pm:
Citizens desiring to address the council must register in advance with the City Secretary.

This week, no fewer than nine people have signed up to speak to the council regarding the River Oaks Theater or shopping center. Nice to know that citizens understand what’s important in Houston, and that preservation of old properties is definitely important. Even movie theaters and warehouses.

Action Meeting, 8/2/06, 9:00 am:

MAYOR’S REPORT – Charter Amendment Issues

I don’t know what this is about, but since the charter is essentially the constitution of the city, the most basic of laws governing Houston, we’d better pay close attention to this because it may mark an attempt to alter fundamentally some portion of the power balance in the city. Given the last few mayors’ penchants for placing governance of the city into the hands of unelected and unaccountable boards and authorities, we should be watching this item. Given that it is at least two weeks before the minutes of any given council meeting appear, if the local media do not do their job of alerting citizens to questionable dealings at council, there’s little chance most citizens will ever notice anything in a timely manner.

9:00 A.M. – Report from city controller and the city administration regarding the current financial status of the city including but not limited to, a revenue, expenditure and encumbrance report for the General Fund, all special revenue funds and all enterprise funds, and a report on the status of bond funds and a Quarterly Investment Report by the City Controller

Head below the fold for the rest. There are some interesting items in there, as always.

Item 1: – Miscellaneous

1. RECOMMENDATION from Director Affirmative Action and Contract Compliance for approval to set Affirmative Action Goals.

Gobbledygook to adopt the federal FAA and DOT affirmative action goals as the city goals for the next year. As has been seen here, many times the contractors either don’t meet the goal or achieve waivers. Either the city meets the federal guidelines (which have recently changed) or we’re not eligible for federal funds. This is to establish that the city’s guidelines = federal guidelines.

Items 2

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Ubu Roi is a local civil servant who sometimes writes about what he sees.