Mayor Sylvester Turner is moonwalking back the proposed “disaster tax”. The Mayor announced at this mornings Houston City Council meeting the rate will be cut in half. The debris removal costs are the supposed impetus of the proposed “disaster tax”. The total costs are estimated to be 259 million dollars of which 26 million is not reimbursed by the Feds for debris removal. According to the Mayor, general contractors are being paid $11.69 a ton for debris removal, the original contract was for $7.69. Many sub contractors are involved in the process. Turner sought to blindly hand a 60 million dollar emergency item contract to an obscure contractor that has been paid 98 million dollars under an evergreen contractor with the City. The contractor is DRC out of New Orleans who owns no trucks?
Councilmember Mike Knox is the hero again pointing out that the City has a catastrophic insurance policy to cover the damages associated with Hurricane Harvey. Councilmember Knox has repeatedly asked for the policy from City of Houston finance director Kelly Dowe. Councilmember Knox has been all over this and his work has not gone unnoticed. Councilmember Knox, Please let us know what the policy covers so we can determine the amount of lying going on about the cost of Harvey.
Councilmember Dave Martin is very worried about the billion dollar pension bond and the City’s credit rating. US Attorney look here too! Council Member Martin has been a big proponent of big spending and now his major concern is preserving a fund balance so the credit rating agencies do not raise the rate for the pension obligation bonds. His time would be much better spent telling Kingwood residents that the billion dollar pension bonds will cause a tax increase and makes millionaires out of police officers and in many cases multi-millionaires. The bond does nothing for Harvey recovery, it is a direct transfer of your wealth to employees of the City. Martin is a very large recipient of campaign contributions from public employee unions.
The question of DRC as the general contractor for debris removal came up on a contract for 60 million dollars as an emergency item. The fact they own no trucks was brought up by Councilmember Kubosh. Mayor Turner was brow beating Councilmembers to vote for the contract. The councilmembers questioned the details of the contract. Turner threatened the members that they are being evaluated. Fiscal responsibility is not a strong suit of the City. Again US Attorney’s office pay attention because apparently this company is re-trading the previous negotiated deal at $7.69 per ton. DRC is a company out of New Orleans Louisiana. The item for was tagged by Councilmember Larry Green, the tag was upheld.
There was a lot of unseen politics occurring and the obvious question is where did DRC come from, who are they, and whose pockets are being lined. Again, think federal inmate Ray Nagin, now federal inmate number 32751-034, at the federal prison in Texarkana.