Vote FOR Prop B in November
I am a Houston fire department Captain. Sylvester Turner, the mayor we got elected, used our good faith efforts against us to renege on his promises and decimate our pension.
I begged a forum of conservative voters to take their time, to write and call their elected representatives and ask them to vote against the Houston pension solution. To no avail, we lost our request both with voters, and with the elected officials.
When we agreed to 700+ million dollars in cuts, the mayor needed more to balance his books and he took closer to 1.25 billion.
We went back to the table to ask for reform on the 43rd level salary of Texas departments after the end of our benefits, we had the voter support, but were stonewalled for over a year and after a judge’s ruling the city petition for pay parity was introduced this summer.
We ask for fair pay between Houston’s first responders. Nothing more, nothing less. We do so in good faith because the curtain of “pension costs” the city has been hiding behind while we have been offered much less, nor received a pay increase in line with the cost of living, in well over 8 years.
The cost looks substantial in terms of the mayor’s projections, but not factored in is the massive amount of cost savings raided by a campaign against our retirement a year ago.
Vote for prop B. It cannot raise property taxes and will in fact push any attempt by the mayor to do so 2 years down the road. A charter amendment (which is what it would take to raise the tax cap) can only be introduced every 2 years.
The city cannot afford the cost…. that was the story we were told just a few months ago when the mayor in true political fashion lamented that 90 million (his estimate but not fact) was more than the city can afford.
A month later, during the campaign and behind closed doors a 7% raise was given to the police department at a cost of 53 million.
We are hemorrhaging firefighters to better paying departments at an astronomical rate. Unprecedented to any rate we have seen before.
Houston Police Department officers deserve every raise they receive and more so, but we hope the City of Houston taxpayers can look beyond the smoke and mirrors, and vote for Prop B, and end the discrepancy in our city’s first responders who all love our careers, and just look towards the ability of serving our citizens and providing for our families.
(Editor’s note: the writer of this post did not want his/her name published. We have verified that this person is a captain in the fire department.)