Astrodome Hotel cheerleader resigns county position

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This is welcome news (via the Chronicle‘s Bill Murphy):

Under pressure from County Judge Ed Emmett, Mike Surface has resigned as chairman of the Harris County Sports & Convention Corp.

Surface cited “personal and professional interests” as the reason why he was stepping down after serving nine years as chairman.

He has been a supporter of the Astrodome Redevelopment Corp.’s proposal to turn the Dome into a convention hotel — a plan Emmett has questioned.

Emmett said he felt that it would be best to get new leadership on the sports corporation’s board before Commissioners Court’s next discussion of the Dome proposal in January.

New leadership that is more objective, we can hope. Recall Mike Surface’s surprising comments last March regarding the Astrodome Hotel boondoggle:

“From day one, we have always known that it is an option to do this as a publicly developed program,” said Mike Surface, chairman of the Harris County Sports & Convention Corp., which manages Reliant Park.


No property taxes would go toward the project in any case, he said.

If the county paid for part or all of the project, it would use hotel and sales taxes generated by the hotel complex and other Reliant Park revenue, such as concessions.

There is no way Surface could guarantee that property taxes wouldn’t end up propping up this monster, a point Tom Kirkendall also emphasized last March.

Good for Judge Emmett, encouraging Surface to resign. May Surface now find productive work in the private sector, where projects actually have to, you know, show a likelihood of success before they can move forward.

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Anne Linehan is a co-founder of blogHOUSTON.