Proposition A: The City Pension Bond
Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, labor unions and public safety groups came together under Mayor Sylvester Turner’s leadership this year to end to Houston’s pension crisis. The legislature passed the plan and now the final approval is up to the voters.
The plan pays off the city’s pension debt, protects retirements for city workers and caps the city’s future costs. Passing the $1 billion pension obligation bond will lock in $1.8 billion in savings.
In an editorial in favor of Mayor Turner’s pension reform package, The Houston Chronicle got it right when it said:
“This deal’s importance to our city’s future cannot be overstated. Without it, Houston would’ve been headed for a fiscal calamity triggering thousands of layoffs and dramatic cutbacks in vital city services, almost certainly including the police and fire departments. Indeed, some of the smart people who studied this subject concluded pension debt could’ve driven our city into bankruptcy.”
Propositions B through E: The City Improvement Bonds
Houstonians will vote on four propositions for a total of $495 million in city improvement bonds that will make Houston safer, create new jobs and make our economy stronger. Bonds are a responsible way to pay for city improvements – without raising taxes.
Proposition B: The Public Safety Improvement Bond will provide funding for upgrades to police and fire stations and the replacement of outdated equipment. Voters are being asked to approve $159 million in public safety bonds.
Proposition C: The Parks Improvement Bond will make it possible to renovate neighborhood playgrounds and replace aging playground equipment. They will also provide funding for expanding parks, sports fields and other recreational areas. Voters are being asked to approve $104 million in parks bonds.
Proposition D: The Public Facilities Improvement Bond will fund desperately needed renovations to community centers like the Alief, Denver Harbor and Northeast Multi-Service Centers and to city health clinics, including the Riverside and La Nueva Casa health clinics. Voters are being asked to approve $109 million in public facilities bonds.
Proposition E: The Libraries Improvement Bond will provide for a new replacement for the Moody Library and new roofs and renovations for libraries including the Flores and Mancuso libraries. The Henington-Alief Regional Library will also be replaced as part of the Alief Multi-Service Center project. Voters are being asked to approve $123 million in library bonds.