Houston Matters

What’s Missing from the City’s New Arts and Culture Plan?

Posted on · Last week (10/14/15), the Houston City Council adopted a new Arts and Cultural Plan for the city — it’s first in 22 years. The goal? To harness all the cultural assets the city has to offer, identify the programming needs of audiences and patrons and the funding needs of institutions. While the plan passed and […]

Houston Matters

Should Police, Teachers and Others Be Paid More to Live in the Areas They Serve?

Posted on · Recently, the Houston City Council contemplated whether to pay police officers more money to live in the city and closer to the communities they serve. Council members shelved the topic after struggling to find common ground. It’s not a new concept, and not unique to law enforcement. Some propose it’s beneficial for educators to live where […]

Houston Matters

Breaking Down the 2015 Houston City Council and Controller Races

Posted on · In just a few weeks, Houstonians will cast their ballot not only for the next mayor, but also for city council members and controller. To better understand the races and what’s at stake, we talk with Charles Kuffner, who writes the “Off the Kuff” political blog, about the various races and the issues of most […]

Houston Matters

City Council Members Express Concerns Over Plan Houston

Posted on · Five members of Houston’s City Council Wednesday (Sept. 23, 2015) used the council’s tag rule to delay a vote to adopt a General Plan. We hear the concerns a pair of council members raised last week about Plan Houston, and then talk about it with Houston city planner Patrick Walsh, and Joe Webb, the Chairman of […]

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Remembering Rita and Plan Houston: Thursday’s Show (September 24, 2015)

Posted on · Hurricane Rita made landfall ten years ago today. Fearing the worst, on the heels of Katrina, officials ordered a mass evacuation, which turned out, in many ways, to be more damaging than the storm itself. An estimated 2.5 million people tried to clear out ahead of what was initially a category five hurricane. Rita weakened […]

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Mayor Annise Parker Fields Your Questions: Friday’s Show (Aug. 7, 2015)

Posted on · Annise Parker has a lot to juggle in her role as mayor of Houston: There’s management of the city, ensuring that all of its laws are properly enforced. There are ceremonial duties, as the city’s official representative at special events, ribbon cuttings, and meetings with officials and dignitaries. There are appointments to make; budgeting to […]

Houston Matters

After State’s Supreme Court Ruling, Where Does HERO Go Next?

Posted on · On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Houston’s City Council must either repeal the city’s equal rights ordinance or place it on the November ballot. That ruling follows a state district judge ruling three months ago that opponents of the non-discrimination ordinance failed to gather enough valid signatures to force a repeal referendum. The state […]

Houston Matters

Mayor Calls for Changes to the City’s Revenue Cap

Posted on · When Bill White was mayor, Houstonians approved a cap on the amount of revenue the city of Houston can amass each year. While the cap — tied to the combined rates of inflation and population growth — is designed to encourage fiscal responsibility, it’s placed the city in a bit of a bind, forcing property tax […]

Houston Matters

How Effective Have Ethics Regulations Been at City Hall?

Posted on · Late Wednesday night (6/17/15), the Houston City Council approved a $5.1 billion budget for FY ’16. It came after hours of wide-ranging discussions about ongoing union talks, deed restrictions, and a number of amendments. It was a long night for City Hall reporters too — the Houston Chronicle’s Mike Morris among them. Nevertheless, he joins us […]