Today Houston City Council voted on the controversial drainage fee and took a look at redistricting. The drainage fee, voted on by Houstonians in the last election (Proposition 1), will now exempt current non-profit buildings such as public and charter schools, places of religious worship, and county owned properties – with the exception of county owned revenue generating venues (such as stadiums). They also decided to keep the fee at roughly $5 a month/household as was originally proposed. Interestingly, Mayor Parker said that not exempting buildings would have lowered the fee by more than 7%, which has me wondering if the original fee was calculated as if these buildings were going to be exempt in the first place.
Council members Jarvis Johnson, Mike Sullivan, and C.O. Bradford voted against this ordinance. CM Bradford said that there are many unanswered questions, such as penalties for unpaid fees, and what to do about specific, pending infrastructure projects.
Council members also took a look at redistricting. Here is a map of the current council boundaries and a map of proposed boundaries:
More information to come with this map. One thing to note right now is that supposedly Ellen Cohen will not be in District C if this map is adopted. My guess is that she will run at large instead.