It’s a Clear Choice for Houston Mayor: HOUSTON’S PENSION CRISIS

king-blk-pastorsFellow Houstonians,

Credit to Greg Groogan and Fox 26 for having the audacity to air this story last night (pasted below) about the single-most important challenge facing our city on Dec. 3, 2015: THE CITY’S PENSION CRISIS – click link to see video).

As you watch this story, remember that, on March 6th of this year, Sylvester Turner stood up with Mayor Parker – who endorsed him on 12/3/15 – and declared he was heading to Austin to solve this problem

Of course, Mr. Turner frequently cites his experience and connections in Austin as a selling point for his candidacy, and Mayor Parker made special mention of that yesterday during her endorsement.

So what happened when Sylvester rode into battle to save our pensions in Austin? Well, his colleagues thought so much of Sylvester’s “leadership” that his bill never even made it to the Texas House floor.

Sylvester had his moment. He failed.

Bear in mind, Sylvester carried the original legislation for Mayor Lee P. Brown – who endorsed Sylvester earlier this week (there’s a trend here) – that created this pension crisis in the first place.

Sylvester’s unique brand of “leadership” helped create the city’s pension crisis, and his failed attempt to fix this mess – his mess – would have made the problem even worse had it passed.

Houstonians cannot afford another four years like the last six – but that’s exactly what we will get if Annise Parker’s candidate carries the day.

It’s time for people who believe in good government to stand up, get out and vote, and save our city before it is too late.


Watch the video here:  http://www.fox26houston.com/news/55621222-story

Which mayoral candidate can solve Houston’s pension crisis?

By: Greg Groogan

HOUSTON (FOX 26) – The irony was pretty powerful.

Candidate Sylvester Turner pledging to solve Houston’s pension crisis while both flanked and endorsed by Lee Brown, the former Mayor experts blame for triggering the problem by bestowing unaffordable benefits.

“We have acknowledged that the system is not sustainable and we are going to come up with something that works in the interest of all Houstonians,” said Turner.

Here are the nuts and bolts.

Analysts say Houston taxpayers will spend six times more on pensions this year than they will repairing their dilapidated roads. Even with that outlay, the City is north of $3 billion in the hole when it comes to funding it’s employee pensions, a deficit that’s getting rapidly worse.

A commonly cited example – Houston Firefighters with 30 years’ service retire at 94 percent pay with the bonus of an additional, one time pay-out of up to $1 million.

Critics like Mayoral candidate Bill King call it a formula for bankruptcy.

“There were 76 firefighters that retired last year. The average age was 54. The average benefit was a distribution of a lump sum payment of $813,000 plus $58,000 a year for the rest of their life and their spouse’s life,” said King.

Backed by firefighters, cops and municipal workers, Turner says only he can broker a solution, leveraging both his credibility with unions and the strength of his long-standing relationships in the Texas Legislature.

“If someone puts forth a plan that does not have any buy in from police and fire it is already a non-starter okay and nothing will come about,” said Turner.

“They won’t get to dictate the terms and that’s what I’m concerned with about Sylvester,” countered King.

King claims salvaging the City’s financial health demands a fundamental change – moving all new hires away from pensions and into 401-k style retirement plans.

“You cannot dodge this bullet long term,”
adds King who, if elected, says he would
honor the pension terms of all existing city employees.

Career Politician Sylvester Turner Basing Mayoral Campaign on Staff Tweets and Boats … Really

Vote for Bill King for Houston Mayor, a businessman who will return Houston to being a refuge for families and businesses!

Failure to Deliver Pension Reform, Promises to Raise Taxes Not Featured in Turner Ads

Last Friday, a mid-day TV news report said that Sylvester Turner was promising “to run a clean cambill-king-friends-on-hard-times1paign.” In reality, the career politician running for Houston Mayor had already spent tens of thousands of dollars to attack businessman Bill King personally with a bought media campaign littered with juvenile smears and outright falsehoods.

If Sylvester’s promises to the media are no good, what about his promises to city voters?

More importantly, if you’ve spent 26 years in Austin, and your campaign is based on attacking your opponent for the high crime of owning a boat, you’re out of touch, out of ideas, and running out of time.

Since Mr Turner is interested, here is a quick fact-check on Bill King and boating: 

* Growing up the son of a union pipe fitter two blocks from Galveston Bay, Bill developed a lifelong love affair with the water. As a young boy, Bill worked the shrimp and fishing boats and cleaned so many sea trout and red-fish that, to this day, he rarely eats fish.

* After becoming the first person in his family to graduate from college — from the University Houston — Bill enjoyed great financial success before losing everything during Houston’s severe downturn of the 1980’s. Rebuilding his life and business career, Bill earned enough success to buy a boat which he dubbed “Hard Times” in reference to his own life challenges.

* Bill sold that boat in 2012, but not before he lent it to dozens of charitable organizations — who, in turn, auctioned off rides and use of the boat to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for worthy causes. At least 200 groups and over 5,000 people benefited from Bill King’s generosity with his boat.

* Between 2009 and 2012, in fact, Bill coordinated with Rev. Leslie Smith of Change Happens! in Houston to organize eight to 10 cruises with at-risk children. Several of these Change Happens! cruises are still featured on the organization’s website:



Sylvester Turner says “We’re all in this together” on his website, but the fact is: his only interest is in dividing Houstonians by class and distracting from his failure to address the fundamental challenges facing the City of Houston. After 26 years in Austin and after more than 60 debates and forums during the course of this campaign for Houston Mayor,  Mr. Turner still has offered no plan to address the pension crisis that threatens the city’s future.

To be fair, the career politician has proposed busting the property tax cap — known as the Rev Cap — so he can raise our taxes as much as he wants and anytime he wants. Curiously, this policy position is not featured in Mr Turner’s paid ads.

EARLY VOTING: Humble ISD & Lone Star College Trustees (School Board) Elections

via Harris County Clerk, Stan Stanart’s Harris Votes

Saturday, May 11, 2013 Election

Early Voting Hours of Operation

April 29 – May 3:        8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
May 4 – May 5:             Closed
May 6 – May 7:             7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Early Voting Locations: You may vote at any of these locations. Bring your Driver’s License and Registration Card with you.

Location Addresses (links to Maps)
1 Harris County Administration Building, Room 100 1001 Preston, Houston, TX 77002
2 Lone Star College-Fairbanks Center Room 107 14955 Northwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77040
3 Lone Star College-Victory Center Room 102 4141 Victory Drive, Houston, TX 77088
4 Lone Star College-Greenspoint Center Room 107 205 N. Sam Houston Parkway East, Houston, TX 77060
5 Lone Star College-CyFair LRNC 131 9191 Barker Cypress Road, Cypress, TX 77433
6 Lone Star College-Tomball Room E164 30555 Tomball Parkway, Tomball, TX 77375
7 Lone Star College-University Park Building 11 Universe Room 20515 State Hwy 249, Houston, TX 77070
8 Lone Star College-North Harris Library Building, Room 103 2700 WW Thorne Drive, Houston, TX 77073
9 Humble City Hall Council Chamber 114 W. Higgins Street, Humble, TX 77338
10 Humble ISD Administrative Building Room 300 20200 Eastway Village Drive, Humble, TX 77338
11 Humble ISD Instructional Support Center Room 1038 4810 Magnolia Cove Drive, Kingwood, TX 77345











Early Voting By Personal Appearance means that a registered voter in Texas may vote prior to General Election Day during a period designated by state law.


General Election: During a General Election the period for early voting by personal appearance begins on the 17th day before Election Day and continues through the fourth day before Election Day, except as otherwise provided.

Runoff Election: The Early Voting Period for a special runoff election for the office of state senator or state representative or for a runoff primary election begins on the 10th day before election day.


Any qualified voter may vote early by personal appearance. No reason is needed.


Any qualified voter may vote in person at the main early voting polling place or at any other designated early voting branch location during designated times. Usually, there are 37 early voting locations in Harris County during the conduct of a countywide election.


Early Voting by Personal Appearance was introduced in Texas in the mid-1990s to make voting more convenient for the citizenry. It also provides voters who may be away from the county of residence on Election Day the opportunity to vote in person.


By law, in counties with a population of 400,000 or more, the commissioners court has the authority to establish at least one early voting site at each state representative district.


A registered voter in the state of Texas may qualify to vote a limited ballot at the main early voting site during the early voting period in a federal and state election. For more information see section 112.001 to 112.0012 of the Texas Election Code.

Lone Star College Bond Proposal: Give Me Liberty or Give Me Debt by Kyle Scott

By Kyle Scott, PhD

In 2008, Lone Star College System (LSCS) administrators and the board of trustees asked voters to approve a bond of more than $400 million. And now they are asking voters to add an additional $500 million in new debt. This would run the total new bond debt to almost $1 billion in only five years. And before any new debt is added, LSCS currently has more than $590 billion in both bond and taxpayer supported debt outstanding.

According to LSCS, the need for new revenue is in anticipation of rapid growth. But LSCS has overestimated the rate of growth it will experience in order to secure more funding. LSCS expects enrollment to reach 110,000 students by 2018 while the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board expects enrollment to only be at 81,000 by 2020.
Read more →

Community Colleges Need to Return to Their Mission by Kyle Scott

Guest columnist at Your Houston News , reprinted with author’s permission.

At the February meeting of the Lone Star College (LSC) Board of Trustees, the board voted unanimously to put a new $500 million bond issue on the May 11 ballot. This would increase LSC’s total debt to over $1 billion. Most people have become accustomed to large debts run up by our elected officials and have become numb to the fiscal irresponsibility that lies behind the debt. It would be one thing had the debt been used to increase educational opportunities for the students, but indeed it has not. Rather, the money has gone to infrastructure expansion and administrative costs that do not warrant an additional burden on the tax payer or a debt that could affect the tuition rate of students and families who are already hard-pressed to cover costs.
Read more →