Overlooked Prop A puts drainage, street fixes before voters
Lost amid a bitter campaign over whether to grant Houston firefighters the same pay as police of corresponding rank — Proposition B on Tuesday’s ballot — is Proposition A, a “do-over” on the city’s street and drainage repair program.
ReBuild Houston only narrowly passed eight years ago, but the twodecade program appears before voters this fall without its most controversial component and without a clear sense of whether the measure’s passage will produce a much different result than its failure.
The item is on the ballot again because conservative foes who opposed a new drainage fee that was part of the program convinced the Texas Supreme Court that the city’s 2010 ballot language did not make clear the initiative would include this new “rain tax,” as they call it. The court voided the election and ordered the vote to be held again.
Both sides agree, however, that the roughly $5 monthly drainage fee citizens began paying in July 2011 is not at issue this fall — that fee was implemented in an ordinance approved by the city council, not by the 2010 charter change itself. And Mayor Sylvester Turner says he will implement the program as it is being run today even if voters repeal the legal language that would force him to do so.