Open Government Project
A Government Watchdog Group
State of Texas
City of Galveston
Public Interest Groups
Will GHA Defy
by David Stanowski and
14 November 2011
"The Galveston Housing Authority will be building mixed-income!"
GHA Chairwoman Paula Neff at the 11 August 2011 City Council meeting
The vote against GHA's mixed-income scheme last Thursday re-ignited the firestorm over the actions of this rogue agency! Video highlights from the 11 August 2011 City Council meeting, shown above, make it clear that the GHA was consistently defiant during that meeting telling Council it did not matter what they wanted, or what their constituents wanted; they were going to build mixed income!
Now that the Council has actually voted against mixed-income, is there any reason to believe that the GHA will follow the orders of the Council? None that we can see. Even though Paula Neff has resigned from the Board, the new Chair, Betty Massey, has also made many comments echoing Ms. Neff's attitude, so there is absolutely no reason to believe that GHA has abandoned their obsession with mixed-income!
We are unclear how they will get their site plans for mixed-income through the system, but they must believe that Chris Gonzales can be "persuaded" to change his vote at a later date.
This kind of full scale mutiny against the elected representatives of the people by the Mayor and his GHA Board once again highlights the dire need to dissolve and disband GHA and bring the Public Housing function directly inside City government! The critical flaw in State law that allows mayors to completely control Public Housing policy is nowhere more obvious than in Galveston where Mayor Jaworski acts as the Public Housing Czar by implementing his policies through his hand-picked GHA Commissioners. Bringing the Housing Authority inside City government would at least force it to answer to the entire Council.
Our August 2010 article "It's Time to Abolish the GHA" explained that "the GHA is a public facility corporation governed by Section 303 of the Texas Code".
The article went on to say:
Section 303.101 of the Texas Code provides for the dissolution of public municipal corporations by written resolution. The Galveston Board of Commissioners created this entity by resolution in 1940, so there is no reason why the Galveston City Council, which replaced the Board of Commissioners, can not dissolve it by resolution in 2010.
If the public housing function were to become a city department, subject to the direct control of City Council, we have to believe that the decisions made about public housing would better reflect the wishes of the majority of the residents who are searching for ways to rebuild their fragile city, rather than the politicians, bureaucrats, and members of the Poverty Industry who have a completely different agenda that will halt, or at least delay, healthy growth for many years to come.
It’s time for the voters to demand that Council shut down this runaway agency, and assume the responsibility for public housing itself!
With the recent actions of the GHA Board, it's high time that Council revisit the idea of abolishing the GHA!
Take another look at the defiant attitude of the GHA Board!