KHOU COULD’VE JUST RAN MY REPORT AGAIN AND SAVED SOME TIME!
KHOU recently did a poll on the Mayor’s race here in Houston. But it was two weeks ago when I went out and interviewed the first four people I could find and none of them were familiar with the candidates running for Mayor. I’ve included that report again and here’s a some of the KHOU poll results:
“The vast majority of voters are still undecided about who to vote for,” said 11 News political expert Bob Stein. “They’re simply unfamiliar with the candidates.”
In the poll, Houston Controller Annise Parker leads among the four main candidates, with 13.2 percent of respondents telling us they plan to vote for her. Former city attorney Gene Locke is behind Parker, but within the margin of error, at 9.6 percent. City Council member Peter Brown has 5.2 percent support, and Harris County Board of Education member Roy Morales has the backing of 2.8 percent of likely voters.
The margin of error is 4.4 percent.
In the poll, likely voters were asked to pick between the four major candidates or a “don’t know” response. Nearly 68 percent of respondents picked “don’t know.”
ANNISE PARKER STANDS BEHIND HER NUMBERS!
The city of Houston will be forced to make up an estimated $50 million budget shortfall with a combination of spending cuts and new revenues in what portends to be a challenging few months in the waning days of Mayor Bill White’s final term.
Sagging property and sales tax revenue estimates released in a report Friday have extended an austere fiscal climate that has loomed over City Hall for more than a year. Through a combination of slowing capital projects, borrowing and minor, across-the-board budget cuts, White so far has managed to avoid some of the more drastic measures other cities have used to stay afloat.
Full Story at: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6595994.html
HE’S FILING THE PAPERWORK TO TAKE ON JO!
The Insite ran into a Facebook friend who says he wants to make a difference in the community. That person is Carlos Obando. He is running for Houston City Council. He’d like to slide into the At-Large position 5 at the big horseshoe in City Hall. His competition in this race will be no other than Ms. Survivor herself Jolanda Jones. Obando says he is running an issues oriented campaign. Here’s more about Obando from his website:
Carlos A. Obando is a native of Bellaire, Texas, attended Episcopal High School and was a member of the Theta Chi Fraternity at the University of Kansas. Carlos studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain on his way to completing his BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies focusing on Finance.
Carlos’ work with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Kansas City led to his appointment to a national Latino organization in Washington D.C. He later moved into the private sector working for an international investment company, running all their operations in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, including part-ownership of Bianco Restaurant and Lounge and Villa Estrellas, a boutique hotel.
Along with his extensive international work experience, Carlos has traveled widely and is fluent in three languages, providing him an insight into the world of international trade and business.
More at: http://www.carlosobando.com/about.htm
THE GREAT DOG ADOPTION DEBATE!
The headline above is a question that came up in Houston’s City Council on Monday. At special committee meeting on BARC (Houston’s Animal Shelter) Council member Wanda Adams read an email from the contractor who was hired by the city to turn BARC around. He is Gerard Fusco. In that email he indicated the agency should focus its adoptions in more affluent areas. Adams says there was also a list of zip codes that were shown at council that were to be considered essentially no adoption promotion zones. One of those zip codes is where Council member Adams lives. She immediately took offense to the whole premise that BARC should not concentrate its adoption efforts in less affluent or areas where Fusco says pets are treated poorly. She says, “it doesn’t define that everybody in that area that we are bad pet owners because we live in those areas.” Fusco says he was not indicating BARC should flat out exclude poorer areas for pet adoptions. He says it’s a matter of economics. Fusco told the Insite, “in today’s economy it’s very very difficult because people can’t feed their families and so they’re turning in animals because they can’t feed them.” He went on to say the agency should focus more in areas that have been ignored or not targeted where animals have not been poorly treated. So what do you think? Should their be some could of moratorium on the poor adopting pets in this tough economy or does it matter? The Insite would love to hear your opinion!
WANDA ADAMS SAYS SHE IS OUTRAGED BY THE INVOICE FOR BARC!
UPDATE: FUSCO RESPONDS!
A Houston City Council member is hot after receiving a copy of the invoice for a private contractor who is now working for BARC. That’s the city’s animal shelter. The vendor is described as a change agent and is identified as Gerard Fusco. Council member Wanda Adams spoke with the Insite early Monday morning and she says this “ridiculous.” Adams is upset by some of the charges Fusco allegedly submitted to the health department for his contract work at BARC. Sources tell the Insite Steve Williams, who heads the health department, refused to sign off on the invoice. Adams says according to the purchase order she has received the contractor is asking to be paid for the following services at $200 a hour:
* Meeting with City Council
* Meeting with Press
* Meeting with Lisa Falkenberg (Houston Chronicle)
* Meeting with BARC Volunteers
* Growth Assessment with employee
* Meeting with Jolanda Jones
Adams says the prices charged by the vendor is totally unacceptable when the city is now facing a $100 million dollar budget shortfall. Adams went on to say, “it’s like a slap in the face to city employees.” The council member says she doesn’t feel the contractor has done anything substantial except repeat what has already been done by the current administration at BARC. As for those charges Adams says, “I don’t think he should charge to come meet with us…I want to find out if all vendors charge to meet with the council during their presentations.”
Fusco tells The Insite it was his mistake to detail his hours. He went on to say he has a very hard job to do and the city is getting his experience and knowledge in exchange for his contract. Fusco also says he’s donated $25,000 of his salary back to the animal shelter.
CITY WORKERS MAY BE ASKED TO TAKE A FURLOUGH?
The Insite has learned the city of Houston could soon be up to its neck in the red which could lead to to drastic steps from city leaders to plug the hole. Sources have said and we’ve confirmed through the City Controller’s office – Houston faces a $103 million budget shortfall for the fiscal year of 2010. Janice Evans with the Controllers office tells the Insite Annise Parker will announce the big hole this Tuesday and Wednesday to council members. This comes just weeks after the council announced a balanced budget and many bragged how Houston was in much better financial shape than most municipalities. Evans says, “Parker believes all options need to be considered (to balance the budget) but ultimately this is a decision that will be left up to the Mayor and City Council.” But our sources say one of the options out there from city leaders is a furlough of some city employees. The Insite hears it could be 1 day off each month to save the city some money. The city’s Finance department we’re told has a much more conservative estimate in the anticipated shortfall. Those numbers are being compiled by director Michelle Mitchell. The Insite tried to reach a spokesperson with the city for a response but my Sunday call wasn’t returned. Make sure you tune into FOX 26 news at 9pm tonight for more details!
FOR ALL OF THOSE BIRTHERS HERE ON THE INSITE!
I will show you President Obama’s birth certificate if you show me Sarah Palin’s high school diploma.
– Bill Maher