Monday, March 19, 2007

Council Candidate Questions

The other day I asked for suggestions for questions to include in a questionnaire to the City Council Candidates. I have sent the questions off to the candidates this morning. The questions are as follows:

1. What is your position on Revenue Caps such as the recently gutted Prop1/Prop2 caps? Are they a good idea or a bad idea? Why?

2. What is your position on appraisal caps? Good? Bad? Why?

3. What is your position on the City of Houston's recent spate of "annexation for specific purpose" deals? Should areas to be annexed have a legal say in whether they are annexed or not? Should the city be able to "annex" an area and gain population headcount and sales tax revenue without giving those residents a vote?

4. The city currently appoints half of the METRO board. The county only appoints two of the ten. The remaining three are appointed by the "minor cities" such as Bellaire, West University, Huntwick etc. METRO's board has both taxation and condemnation authority but is not directly answerable to the voter. Is that the way it should be? or should the METRO board be an elected entity?

5. HPD is faced with a massive manpower shortage. Recent statistics show that you are three times more likely to be murdered in Houston than in New York City. How would you address that?

6. Given the above situation, do you feel that now is the proper time for HPD to be cracking down on overtime abuse?

7. What is your position on HPD's chase policy?

8. What is your position on the city's sanctuary policy?

9. What is your position on HPD's TASER policy?

10. In the wake of both TS Allison as well as 9/11/01, the city's communications systems have been cited as a major problem. The city cannot effectively communicate with police, fire, ambulance and other emergency personnel. The radio systems are old and falling apart and uncoordinated. The 911 call center has had repeated system failures. To date, little has been done beyond studying the problem. What would you do to fix this debacle?

11. The city constantly complains that they do not have enough money to adequately staff and train HPD and HFD. The Mayor has canceled an entire HPD academy class and canceled the HPD overtime program in the Gulfton area. But yet the city continues to fund day labor sites, downtown real estate development, and is even funding an Afro-American History Museum. Many people are asking "Why is it that the city can afford to spend money on these things, but cannot adequately fund police and fire protection?" What is your position on this? Should the city focus on funding adequate police and fire protection first before spending money on programs that some people question the appropriateness of the city funding them to begin with? Is the current situation showing proper priorities? How would you change it?

12. How well has the current police chief done his job?

13. How well has the mayor done his job?

14. Has the mayor overstepped his authority in attempting to impose pollution controls on industries that are not within the CoH? Is this a proper subject for the city to address or is this a federal issue?

I sent these questions to nine of the 11 candidates that I have been able to to find contact information for. The other two I have been unable to find contact information. Those two are: Anthony Dutrow and Alfred Molison. If anyone knows how to contact them I would be happy to include them in the roundup as well.


Anonymous The Dude said...


I forwarded a request for contact info for Anthony Dutrow and Alfred Molison to Anna Russell, C.O.H. Secretary. I got her name from a friend who works for the city. I'll let you know what I get back. I'll also be interested in seeing the responses of the others.

March 19, 2007 8:04 PM  

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