The 1.9-billion dollar proposal puts public safety as the city’s top priority, but Mayor Annise Parker says the spending blueprint does have its sacrifices. It comes at the expense of over 700 employees.
“More than a hundred Houston Parks and Recreation Department employees have already been given their layoff notices. The loss of those jobs will certainly have an impact and for facilities closings, the Parks Department is going to bear the brunt of that. There are eight swimming pools and seven community centers that will not be open this summer.”
She adds some public health services will be consolidated.
“Casa de Amigos, Northside, Sharpstown and Sunnyside will remain city of Houston health clinics, but other clinics where the city has been operating with non-profit partners, those non-profit partners will step in to make sure that there is no loss of health services in those neighborhoods.”
All city-funded youth sports leagues are being eliminated, but youth baseball will continue, thanks to funding provided by the Houston Astros. Mayor Parker says her proposal is still a work in progress, as consolidations, cost of service adjustments, and the sale of some real estate will be considered.
“We believe that this is a good budget, will stand us in good stead, and that the citizens of Houston will be well served by this budget, even though there’s been some belt tightening, and even though a number of our friends and colleagues have been given layoff notices through this process.”
Council is expected to approve the budget in late June.