Open Government Project
A Government Watchdog Group
State of Texas
City of Galveston
Public Interest Groups
by David Stanowski
16 November 2010
A bait-and-switch is a ploy in which the party trying to sell something "... lures in customers by advertising a product or service at a low price or with many features, then reveals to potential customers that the advertised good is not available at the original price or the list of assumed features is different."
Galveston is a wonderful and even magical place, but it is very fragile, because it has been locked into a long and painful decline for the last 50 years, so it simply does not have the strength to shoulder the tremendous burden of additional public housing. This is why the GOGP will continue to insist upon a policy that will place all new public housing in other parts of the County!
We do realize that the Poverty Industry is going to move forward to rebuild 569 pubic housing units, in this city, and that we may be unable to redirect any new building to the Mainland, until we can bring this matter before a federal judge. Fortunately, based on prior rulings, a court is very likely to agree that they must be built elsewhere.
This means that the GOGP will continue to pursue a two-pronged approach. First and foremost, the search for a lawyer to bring this matter into federal court will continue. Second, if the quest to file a lawsuit is unsuccessful, we need to minimize the harm caused by any additional public housing units built in this city, by insisting that ALL of them MUST follow the authentic East Lake model!
Unfortunately, after many assurances by the Mayor that the new units would be substantially better than the “Cold-War era” units that they are replacing, i.e. “first class” housing; and that “Galveston will be the model community for HUD’s 21st-century progressive policies”; it appears that the City will actually receive more of the same!
It is becoming rather obvious that GHA has absolutely no intention of using the East Lake model, for all the units, as they implied they would do. 287 units are already slated to be built as “scattered sites”; possibly the worst public housing model, and as things now stand, it is doubtful that any units will be built like East Lake. Claims that “the people of Galveston are in favor of scattered sites” are without foundation! A few people have made such comments, but they are not representative of local sentiment. What the vast majority of the voters want is no further public housing of any kind!
What makes East Lake the best option, is NOT the example set by the middle-class residents for those in the public housing units, it is the facilities that will help the public housing children receive superior mentoring, discipline, instruction, and guidance. But, the Mayor, and his GHA Board, have no plans to duplicate the facilities that made East Lake more successful than other models.
Miracle at East Lake: Video
They intend to use Galveston’s existing charter schools in a clumsy and deceptive attempt to try and duplicate what East Lake did with an on-site charter school, day-care center, after-school program, and community center, as well as private security. This is nothing but classic bait-and-switch.
569 families could easily include 800-1000 students not currently served by existing charter schools, so how could they possibly absorb them?
If this city is forced to take on this additional liability, then it must demand that GHA build ALL new units following the authentic East Lake model to minimize their burden!
Galveston Public Housing: PBS TV Panel Discussion
The Villages of Galveston
Purpose Built Communities
Tom Cousins Comments
23 October guest column by GHA Chair, Paula Neff
A Civic Hole-in-One: An Atlanta donor uses the Ancient Game to turn around the city's worst neighborhood
Creating Communities of Hope and Opportunity: The Revitalization of East Lake
How golf transformed a blighted neighborhood