Please help this bipartisan group of financial professionals disseminate the critical facts on this website by advising at least ten of your friends and acquaintances of its existence and website address, and ask them to do the same. After only a few iterations of this approach, it will be possible to essentially blanket the Houston area. Thus the voters can receive these facts unfiltered by the media and state and local governments.
The Cancer Eating On The Houston Economy And Taxpayers' Wallets
There is a cancer eating on the Houston economy and taxpayers’ wallets, and it is getting ready to unbelievably metastasize in 2003, unless taxpayers become informed and get involved.
That cancer is the unbridled growth in the cost of the State of Texas and Houston area governments, whose growth, without exception, is greatly exceeding the reasonable yardstick of combined growth in population and inflation. See individual buttons on this page for facts about each governmental entity.
The growth is even more serious when one considers that in the base year none of the governments were models of efficiency.
But what can we do? Plenty.
First, become informed. Then get involved. This website will furnish you many of the facts you need to know in order to effectively pressure your state and local elected officials and 2003 political candidates regarding the absolutely critical need for fiscal responsibility.
Group pressure is usually more effective than individual efforts. So get your business groups, homeowner association, service organizations, trade association, etc. to become informed and, as a group, forcefully push this issue with elected officials of the state and local governments.
Unfortunately, Texas is one of the states where citizens are unable to legally petition to place such issues on the ballot, except in home-rule cities, such as the City of Houston.
Therefore, while pressuring your state and local elected officials and candidates for fiscal responsibility, also pressure them to get the state legislature to give Texans a ballot referendum to change the state constitution whereby Texans can petition to place issues on the ballot for not only home-rule cities, but also for the state, counties, school districts, and other local governments.
Fortunately, in home rule cities such as Houston, citizens already can petition to change the city charter, if a sufficient number (20,000 regarding Houston) of qualified signatures are obtained.
That is exactly what has occurred regarding offering voters better control over the finances of the City of Houston government.
Citizens for Public Accountability wrote a proposed change to the Houston city charter that fundamentally would require that the City obtain voter approval before increasing the City’s total revenues (whether from property taxes, water and sewer charges, or otherwise) in any given year at a rate greater than the combined increase in population and inflation. See button entitled City Rev/Cap.
The proposal has been vetted by qualified legal counsel and is properly flexible, for example, in that it makes provision for funds needed regarding federally declared disasters.
An unrelated to us non-partisan political action committee, Let The People Vote PAC, obtained approximately 30,000 petition signatures in a little over one month in 2001 to place this issue on the City ballot. Approximately 1,000 signers felt so strongly that they attached contribution checks.
Although the City Secretary did eventually certify that the petition had the 20,000 necessary qualified signatures, Mayor Lee P. Brown refused to allocate reasonable sufficient manpower to get the issue on the November 2001 ballot. Now, because another proposed city charter amendment did get voter approval at that date, our proposal must wait the legally prescribed additional two years before becoming ballot eligible.
It remains to be seen what legal maneuvers the City will take now to try to further delay voters the opportunity to vote on this issue. The measure is indexed to fiscal 2001, so one has to wonder how much of the current fiscal mess at the City could have been avoided had the City permitted the issue to be voted on in November 2001.
You should soon have the opportunity to vote on this proposed amendment to the City charter designed to put a properly flexible corral around the City’s finances. But be forewarned. It is possible that some of those doing business with the City, and others desiring to keep the status quo, may place subtly and dangerously different competing proposed amendments on the ballot. Don’t be fooled.
In the meantime, use the information on this website, and from other sources, to become informed and involved regarding the finances of the state, county, city, METRO, school district, community college, and all other local governments. Then get involved in forcing the elected officials of those entities to furnish fiscally accountable and responsible government.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! GET INVOLVED!