Proposed Houston Budget

Mayor Parker said the current economic times are the hardest the City of Houston has faced since the oil bust of the mid-1980s.  Given her proposed budget, she is probably right.
Under her proposed $1.8 billion budget that City Council still has to approve, there will be layoffs of 747 employees, closures of 8 swimming pools (Alief, Cloverland, Finnigan, Independence Heights, Landsdale, Love, Robinson, and Taylor) and 7 community centers, and the consolidation of 7 health centers down to 4.  It also calls for closing all city-funded youth sports leagues, except for baseball (this is funded by the Astros). Youth tennis, summer food, and enrichment program will remain.  Libraries are staying open, but there will be an adjustment in hours.
Her plan does not include any tax increases and will spend overall $100 million less than the current fiscal year.  The proposal also dedicates about two-thirds of the budget to public safety.  Under a tentative deal with the police officer and firefighter unions, her plan will not layoff any firefighters/police officers. 
I have to say that I am impressed with her budget for the most part.  She said she wouldn’t raise taxes, and she didn’t.  Where others might have not worked so hard to actually balance the budget, she made the tough choices.  Mayor Parker probably angered her base by all the closures of the pools and community centers, but she knew it had to be done.  These are luxuries that we can’t afford right now.  I am curious as to what they will do with the pools and community centers.  I hope they don’t let them sit and become run down.  Hopefully they can sell them to non-profit groups who want to continue allowing the public to use the facilities for free.
The real priority should be public safety, and based on the numbers in the budget, Mayor Parker’s priority is public safety too.  The plan will surely change at least a little after City Council makes changes/deals before they vote, but it really looks like Mayor Parker made the tough choices and hard decisions that she said she would.


One Response to Proposed Houston Budget

  1. Gerrilyn says:

    Stands back from the keyboard in amazement! Tahnks!

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