According to this TexasWatchDog.org article, Council Member Mike Sullivan threw a (much needed) fit over the plan by Council Member Jolanda Jones to add showers in the restrooms used by council members (see my previous blog about it here):
“In a June 1, 2009 email to Issa Dadoush, director of general services department at City of Houston, Sullivan said – and we think he was yelling via keyboard – ‘PLEASE tell me that we are NOT putting in a shower/bath of some sort in the women’s rest room on this floor. I am appalled at the very concept and am more than strongly opposed to the idea. I will not subject myself to the extreme criticism of the media on this, which is certain to come. Please respond by email so I have a written record.’
Dadoush responded about 30 minutes later, telling Sullivan that the shower would require the ‘removal of two toilets’ but should be a ‘small project.’
Also copied on this exchange was Mayor Bill White.
In another e-mail Sullivan sent to White’s chief of staff, Michael Moore:
1. While cost is negligible, it’s still an expense.
2. Female employees on the floor were not asked about the project. I’m not so sure they would give an honest answer, because they could be viewed as disrespecting a Council Member.
3. If a shower is going to be built for the women’s restroom, then a shower needs to be built for the men’s as well.’
4. When I tried to build a wall for my Council Office area, and offered to pay for it from my own budget, two seemingly unaffected Council Members were able to kill the project. I expect the same.
5. The media will have an absolute field day with this.
6. Last but not least, if the behavior of a Council Member is objectionable, then that Council Member should be talked to, not accommodated. That is the advice that I was given when I first arrived here.
The shower project is off the table, Sullivan said by telephone this week. But he was still a bit miffed that the idea was considered.
‘After all these cuts we have made at the city level, this was not a good idea,’ Sullivan said. ‘The rebuttal was that others would use the shower, and my feeling is that they need to work when they come to work.”‘ (entire quote from www.TexasWatchDog.org).
Thanks to CM Sullivan for looking out for us!!
In other budget news, see the Houston Chronicle article with a nice spreadsheet showing the differences between the budget last year and this year.