It looks like the Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club is holding up well after recent change in leadership. President Sophia Mafrige and VP Alvin Walker continue to have a great lineup of guest speakers. The speaker this past Thursday was former Houston city council candidate and now mayoral candidate, Eric Dick.
You remember Eric’s last campaign, right? Signs, signs, everywhere a sign – even in places where they weren’t supposed to be! During his introduction of Eric, Clyde Bryan mentioned the sign issue and noted that he got to know Eric very well because they had a common attorney, Paul Kubosh. Eric played off of this introduction, saying that the current regime will go after conservatives and Republicans but gave Democrats a pass on their signs. He also asked a pertinent question – has any candidate ever had to pull a permit to put signs out?
Then he got going, stating that Mayor Parker doesn’t get along with anyone, including city council. He wants to be a mayor for all of the people, not just a select few.
He also ridiculed the notion that a Republican can’t win in Houston. He used the Orlando Sanchez campaign of 2001 as a model, stating that Sanchez got 112,000 votes in 2001 and Parker only got 60,000 in her last election. Eric says that it is all about turnout and if Republicans join together and turnout, they can win.
Is he on to something there? Perhaps. Think about a perfect storm happening in November that will bring Republicans to the polls. In addition to the mayor’s race, you have the possibility of another boondoggle $200 million bond issue to “renovate” the Astrodome (more on that dumb idea later). Then you have HISD wanting to raise their tax rate by $0.02. Plus you have the move to more than double the Harris County Department of Education tax rate. It could be a storm.
But will Eric Dick be the beneficiary of that storm?
During his talk, he stated that the City of Houston will be insolvent next year. I asked him to explain what he meant and what he would do about it. He claimed that the city will be unable to make a $20 million payment to the pension fund. To counter that, he will cut the Department of Neighborhoods, which has a budget of $13 million. He will also cut the budget for the office of the mayor – he claimed that Parker increased it from $4 million under Bill White to its current $12 million. He will pull it back to $4 million or less.
He said he wouldn’t be a surgeon when it came to the budget, he’d be a butcher. Heh.
If there is any one thing that Eric will bring to this race, it will be that he isn’t afraid to say what is on his mind. The debates are going to be fun! No beating around the bush with Dick, no siree!
tired dog says
If signs could vote, Herschel Smith would have won in ’97.
Don’t worry about the unsustainable pension schemes, we’ll just float another couple hundred million in pension notes and let the grandkids worry about it.
Noted the last legislature did not address needed changes to allow CoH to renegotiate with hfd. HFD pension is the most unsustainable of the lot, but wth, we can’t deny our heroes lifetime bucks for all they do…like buying and selling shifts for instance.
City Hall will spend 5 billion in the next budget. Seems so long ago that a (now former) councilcritter told me I should run for council as they got to spend 2.5 billion. Amazing.