By Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner
Houston is open for business.
Our resilience as a city is grounded in the kindness and generosity of our people. Our optimism is fueled by grit and a dogged determination to continue our work of building a city that will provide a brighter future for our children and grandchildren. We have challenges ahead of us as we recover from Hurricane Harvey, but we can do more than one thing at a time – and do it well.
That’s why I am asking all Houstonians to come together on Election Day, this Tuesday, November 7, to help rebuild our city and invest in its future by voting FOR the city bonds – City of Houston Propositions A through E.
Proposition A seeks voter authorization to issue $1 billion in pension obligationbonds. It requires the city to repay the $1 billion borrowed from police and city workers’ pension systems. It protects taxpayers and ensures that promises made to retirees and current workers are met.
Proposition A is the final piece of Houston’s historic pension reform plan approved by the Texas Legislature in May. Without pension reform, Houston was facing layoffs of 2,200 police officers, firefighters and city employees and the potential closing of health clinics, libraries and community centers.
Yet, by implementing these responsible reforms, we will achieve a fully funded, sustainable and affordable retirement plan for employees that does not require a tax increase and does not increase the city budget.
The best news about Proposition A is that it will finally end Houston’s pension crisis — so we can focus on critical needs like fixing roads, improving neighborhoods and creating economic opportunity for all Houstonians.
Propositions B through E seek voter authorization for a combined $495 million to repair, upgrade and expand police and fire stations, parks, community centers, health clinics and libraries.
Proposition B, the Public Safety Improvement Bond, will provide $159 million in funding for upgrades to police and fire stations and the replacement of outdated safety equipment.
Proposition C, the Parks Improvement Bond, will provide $104 million for upgrading and expanding parks, sports fields and other recreational areas, renovating neighborhood playgrounds and replacing aging playground equipment.
Proposition D, the Public Facilities Improvement Bond, will provide $109 million for renovations to community centers, health clinics and other public facilities.
Proposition E, the Library Bond, will provide $123 million in funds to rebuild dilapidated neighborhood libraries or to make repairs such as new roofs.
Together, Propositions B through E will make Houston safer, improve our neighborhoods and enhance our quality of life.
I’ve never been more proud than I am today of being a Houstonian. Please join me in supporting Propositions A through E. Let’s remind the world that Houston is a can-do city!