News from District G
  May 12, 2016

Houston City Council Member Greg Travis


Contact Information:

900 Bagby, 1st Floor
Houston, TX 77002

Mailing:
P.O. Box 1562
Houston, TX 77251-1562

Phone: (832) 393-3267

Fax: (832) 393-9571

Email:

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To our friends and neighbors in District G:
 
Proposed Fiscal Year 2017 Budget
 
Mayor Turner released his proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 operating budget on Tuesday, May 11, 2016.  The proposed budget attempts to close the projected $160 million budget deficit.  Rather than lay off over 1000 employees, the mayor is bridging the gap using both recurring and non-recurring initiatives such as collecting $19.5 million from the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones, $12.5 million from a one-time land sale, $68 million in reduced debt and transfers to capital projects and $48 million from expenditure reductions and payment deferrals.  The proposed budget will also draw down $10 million from the city's savings reserve.  To view the proposed budget, please visit http://www.houstontx.gov/budget/17budprop/index.html
 
Absent comprehensive pension reform and other structural changes, the city will continue to face increasingly large budget deficits.  Next year, if no relief on pensions is achieved, there will be major layoffs and reductions in city services.  The mayor's plan is to have agreements with the three pension unions, fire, police and municipal, by December 2016 so he will be ready to go to the legislature in January 2017.  Total pension costs in the general fund are $292 million in FY2017. 
 
The projected tax-supported general fund is $2.5 billion.  Personnel costs (salaries, benefits, pensions) are $1.5 billion; 60 percent of the city's costs are related to people.  The entire city operating budget is $5.1 billion.  This includes self-supporting enterprise funds such as the Houston Airport System and the Combined Utility (water/sewer) System.  The mayor released a preliminary general fund summary last month and hopes to pass the new budget by May 25, 2016 - a month earlier than in previous years.
 
Proposed Elimination of Sponsorship Program for Homeowners' Associations (HOAs) with Private Trash Collection
 
 
Council Member Travis speaks out against eliminating the sponsorship program:
 


Included in the mayor's budget is a proposal to eliminate the $6 per resident per month payment to HOAs with private trash collection.  The city currently pays $3.4 million to 167 HOAs covering 50,050 residences.  The cost of city trash collection is approximately $18 per residence.  If this proposal passes, it is projected some households will return to city trash collection; the projected overall savings from eliminating the program is $1.7 million.  Savings may actually be less than this or city costs may even increase depending on how many HOAs decide to return to city collection. There are 81 HOAs in District G (22,000 residences) with private trash collection.  Understanding the hardship eliminating this program will cause many HOAs and residents, Council Member Travis will be offering a budget amendment to restore the program.  Mr. Travis encourages you to contact Mayor Turner  and members of City Council  to express your opinion on this matter.  Also, if your schedule allows, please plan to speak on this subject at City Council's public session on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, at 2:00 P.M. in the City Council Chamber located at City Hall, 901 Bagby, Second Floor, Houston, TX  77002.  Sign up to speak by calling the city secretary's office at 832-393-1100, sending an email to citysecretary@houstontx.gov or coming by the office on the public level of the City Hall Annex, 900 Bagby, Houston 77002 by 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24th.

Email Addresses for Mayor Turner and City Council:
 
  • Mayor Turner: mayor.ST@houstontx.gov
  • Mike Knox: atlarge1@houstontx.gov
  • David Robinson: atlarge2@houstontx.gov
  • Michael Kubosh : atlarge3@houstontx.gov
  • Amanda Edwards: atlarge4@houstontx.gov
  • Jack Christie: atlarge5@houstontx.gov
  • Brenda Stardig: districta@houstontx.gov
  • Jerry Davis: districtb@houstontx.gov
  • Ellen Cohen: districtc@houstontx.gov
  • Dwight Boykins: districtd@houstontx.gov
  • Dave Martin: districte@houstontx.gov
  • Steve Le: districtf@houstontx.gov
  • Greg Travis: districtg@houstontx.gov
  • Karla Cisneros: districth@houstontx.gov
  • Robert Gallegos: districti@houstontx.gov
  • Michael Laster: districtj@houstontx.gov
  • Larry Green: districtk@houstontx.gov
 
The Solid Waste Management Department has issued a "frequently asked questions" document  dealing with the sponsorship program and possible transition.  Officials have indicated this information will be updated soon.  FAQs: http://www.houstontx.gov/council/g/swd_sponsorship_faqs.pdf
 
Council Member Travis will continue to fight against eliminating the sponsorship payments to HOAs and will notify you of any changes or updates as they occur.  
Energy Corridor Bike to Work Day
 
Event Name: Energy Corridor Bike to Work Day
Location : Terry Hershey Park, 15342 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77079
Date : Thursday, May 19, 2016
Time: 6:30am-8:00am
Cost: FREE
 
Celebrate the power of the pedal at the Energy Corridor's 12th annual Bike to Work Day. Cyclists of all ages and abilities will enjoy music, a free breakfast, giveaways, raffle prizes and fun!
 
The Energy Corridor District will host its 12th annual Bike to Work Day event on Thursday, May 19th from 6:30-8:00am. Designated Bicycle Champions will ride with groups along popular routes to the celebration at Terry Hershey Park gazebo where participants can enjoy a complimentary breakfast, music, giveaways, raffle prizes and fun.
 
For those new to bicycle commuting or unsure of the best route, visit http://energycorridor.org/mobility/bike-to-work  to explore routes, download maps, review rules of the road, safety tips, and RSVP online for the event and indicate the route you'd like to join. Don't see a route that matches yours? Let us know and we'll work to start a new one! Experienced cyclists are encouraged to lead others on existing routes, or start their own route.

Contact: Kelly Rector at krector@energycorridor.or r or call 281-759-3800