Taking a cue from Nancy Pelosi’s “we have to pass the bill so we can find out what is in it” let’s take a peek at Houston’s Proposition No. 1 to “find out what is in it”, shall we?
Proposition No 1 seems innocuous enough. It makes sense to amend a city charter by removing obsolete language, right? Who would be against unequal treatment of the disabled? Who would disagree with the notion city employees should be absolved from jury duty?
No, it’s the territory annexation language and HISD references that caught my eye.
Article I, Section 2-a, annexation of territory; Article I, Section 2-b, extension of city boundaries
Article II, Sections 14 and 14a, operation of the Houston Independent School District;
The current language of Article I, section 2-a and 2-b is:
Section 2-a. – Extending City Limits upon Petition.
The City of Houston, whenever a majority of the qualified voters who are citizens of the State of Texas and inhabitants of any territory adjoining said City of Houston, desire the annexation of such territory to said City they may present a written petition to that effect to the City Council, and shall attach to said petition the affidavit of one or more of their number to the effect that said petition is signed by a majority of such qualified voters; and thereupon the City Council at any regular session held not sooner than twenty days after the presentation of said petition mayby ordinanceannex such territory to the City of Houstonand thenceforth the said territory shall be a part of the City of Houston, and the inhabitants thereof shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of other citizens and shall be bound by the acts, ordinances, resolutions and regulations of the said city. (Added by amendment October 15, 1913)
Section 2-b. – Extending Limits by Action of City Council.
The City Council shall have power by ordinanceto fix the boundary limits of the said City of Houston, and to provide for the extension of said boundary limits and the annexation of additional territory lying adjacent to said city with or without the consent of the territory and inhabitants annexed; that upon the introduction of such an ordinance in the Council after it has been reported upon by the ordinance committee and has been amended as desired by the Council for final passage, it shall be published in some daily newspaper published in the City of Houston one time, and shall not thereafter be finally passed until at least 30 days has elapsed after said publication, and when said ordinance is finally passed the said territory so annexed shall be a part of the City of Houston, and the inhabitants thereof shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of other citizens, and shall be bound by the acts, ordinances, resolutions and regulations of the said city. (Added by amendment October 15, 1913)
Here’s the link to the City of Houston 2012-2014 Annexation Plan for the Navigation District and the Jacintoport Industrial District.
The current language of Article II, section 14 and 14-a addresses (bold emphasis is mine):
- School Trustees, How Appointed, Terms of Office, etc.
- Right Of Mayor To Veto Any Pecuniary Liability
- City Treasurer Custodian of Funds
- How Funds are to be Paid Out
- Duty of School Board to Make Financial Statements
- Members of School Board not to Receive any Pay or to be Interested in any Contract or to Buy or Sell any School Warrants, etc.
- School board to furnish free school books
WHOA! Stop the presses!
…or be interested in any contract….
That reminds me…
Texas Watchdog has written extensively of HISD School Board contracting, bidding, and ethics policies involving people with close personal connections to HISD trustees Paula Harris and Larry Marshall.
And while we’re discussing the operations of the Houston Independent School District you ARE aware of a plan to use RFID chips for Texas students….ostensibly to improve the operations of the school ….er, I mean prove how many kids are in attendance each day?
I’m going to the Westin Galleria tomorrow to learn more about Proposition 1; you should too.