Looking For Answers

Houston Mayor Annise Parker presented to council examples of how a drainage fee would work if approved by voters in November. But as Pat Hernandez tells us, the presentation came after some council members complained about not getting answers.


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Proposition 1 is a ballot initiative that if passed by the voters will implement a pay-as-you-go drainage improvement plan for Houston. Before Mayor Parker laid out the principles during council, minority councilmembers Jarvis Johnson, Jolanda Jones, C.O. Bradford and Wanda Adams held a press conference to say they could not support Proposition 1 because critical concerns of the initiative had not yet been addressed.  Councilmember Wanda Adams spoke for the group.

“We respectfully request that our colleagues on council vote with us prior to the November 2, 2010 election, on an implementation ordinance which will provide us rules by which Proposition 1 will be governed.”

Adams says the rules will spell out who gets what, when and where and how much taxpayers have to pay. The topic provided heated discussion at council. Councilwoman Jolanda Jones told Mayor Parker:

“We’re going to be obligating ourselves for twenty years for whatever we decide on, with an option of another twenty years. This is huge, so if we don’t get it right, we’re stuck with it for a very-very, very-very, very long time.”

Other CMs like Mike Sullivan told Mayor Parker that he thought that the initiative was being rushed.

“I don’t feel, while as an elected official here, have a responsibility to maintain our assets and to provide a good environment for us to be in. I don’t feel compelled to make the initiative work. So the rush, the hurriedness, you know, trying to make it all happen because we got a pistol to our head because it’s on the ballot. To me, I can step back and say that’s not my problem.” 

But CM Edward Gonzalez reminded his colleagues that the issue will be up to residents at the ballot box.

“They’re the ones that are gonna decide, based on the information that they have on hand. I’m sure there’s gonna be a lot of advocacy on both sides of the issue. Yes, details need to be worked out, but we don’t know yet if this is even gonna pass. It might not. So I think going forward, let’s see if it passes. Let’s work through this and then if it does, then we’re charged with making sure that we’re gonna be good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars and make sure we put out a first class program for the citizens.”

The average homeowner will pay about 5 dollars a month if the drainage fee is passed.  The fee is based on a formula that you can access on  

On the upper right hand corner, type in your data to retrieve your property account. Viewing your property information, find the “PRI” data on the bottom right.

Curb and gutter street: PRI number x 1.38 x .032 = yearly fee. Divide that by 12 for monthly fee.
Open ditch street: PRI number x 1.38 x .026 = yearly fee. Divide that by 12 for monthly fee.


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