Open Government Project
A Government Watchdog Group
State of Texas
City of Galveston
Public Interest Groups
by David Stanowski
29 July 2011
"When you get to be Mayor, you have to make tough leadership decisions!"
Does using inflammatory language, scare tactics, and threats when you are losing the public policy debate and doing something that the vast majority of your constituents don't want you to do seem like a wise leadership decision?
Let's make no mistake about it; the debate over a regional approach to Public Housing INCLUDES the rebuilding of the 569 units lost due to Hurricane Ike. Moving to a regional approach after that, and we are hosting at least 979 units will make Galveston the Public Housing Capital of Texas. Poverty will be so highly concentrated in this city, at that point; what good will a regional approach do after that?
The three available choices are:
1. Build no public housing and issue 569 Section 8 vouchers that can be used anywhere the recipients choose to live.
2. Build 569 Public Housing units throughout the County with their locations chosen using an opportunity measuring index.
3. Build 569 Public Housing units in the City of Galveston with most of them crammed onto the former Magnolia Homes and Cedar Terrace sites; two of the worst locations in the County.
The question that this city must answer is, "Why are Councilmembers Jaworski, Colbert, and Puccetti so vehemently opposed to choices one and two?" Until Councilmember Gonzales makes up his mind, the people are stuck with what the Trinity DICTATES to the City.
Discussions like the one last night cannot leave any remaining pretense that the concerted effort to cram all the Public Housing for Galveston County into the only city where the people continue to flee has anything to do with what's best for the residents of Public Housing.
Councilmember Greenberg very eloquently stated several times that forcing all the Public Housing residents in Galveston County to live in a city with little opportunity to climb the social and economic ladder "discriminates against low-income people."
Highlights from last night's Council meeting on the following video include:
CM Colbert just can't see how forcing people who want Public Housing to return to the Island is discriminating. When CM Greenberg argues that many want to live and work on the Mainland; CM Colbert replies with how will they get back to the Island to provide the services that we need.
CM Puccetti tells the people of the City that they are dizzy and confused like a child on a "sit-and-spin"!
Mayor Jaworski refers to the language in the resolution as "code language" and "trigger language" and the whole discussion as a "power keg environment".
After you watch the following highlight video, if you see little hope for City government to resolve this issue, click on the donation button right below it, and help us with our lawsuit!