Billboard Ordinance Opposition

Houston's billboard deal with Clear Channel is coming up against some opposition. As Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson reports, a number of City Council members appear to be siding against the mayor over the new billboard ordinance.

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Mayor Bill White announced the city's agreement with Clear Channel on Tuesday. The deal would call for the removal of 66 percent of small and medium billboards. In exchange, Clear Channel would have the option to relocate many of the existing billboards to new locations. But Scenic Houston, an advocacy group, and several councilmembers questioned whether the deal would serve the best interests of residents. Mayor White says he not really surprised by the criticism of what he negotiated.

"I thought the reaction would be you ought to do more or better, because they're an advocacy group. And because I think there are some people there that sincerely believe that, but I expected that to be -- and I had also -- in a sense that's a role of an advocacy group. There's nothing wrong with that."

Although the mayor wasn't caught off guard by the opposition from Scenic Houston, he may not have been expecting nearly half of city councilmembers to raise questions. Six of the 14 councilmembers tagged the ordinance and as many as five of them could be willing to vote against it when it comes up again next week. Laurie Johnson, Houston Public Radio News.

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