Mayor Sylvester Turner, praised for his Hurricane Harvey work, scored another victory Tuesday with passage of his pension reform package.
Mayor Sylvester Turner, praised for his Hurricane Harvey work, scored another victory Tuesday with passage of his pension reform package.
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Houston Voters Support Mayor Turner's Pension Reform Plan

Not that many people turned out to vote Tuesday but the ones who did gave Mayor Sylvester Turner what he wanted: approval of his pension bond reform proposal which includes issuing $1 billion in bonds and a way for the city to climb its way back out of substantial debt.

Although it will still take decades for the city to work its way out of some ill-considered pension-management decisions made in the late '90s and early 2000s.

Turner’s measure was first approved by the Texas Legislature but lawmakers wanted the mayor to check in with voters as well, requiring Tuesday’s referendum.

To make the whole thing work, the city’s unions also had to agree to $2.8 billion in benefit cuts.

The city’s plan to put $750 million into the police pension fund and $250 million into the municipal workers fund should lower its annual payments.

Over in Houston ISD school board elections, the nail biter of the night went to incumbent Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca who defeated challengers Daniel Albert and Robert Lundin for the seat with 50.38 percent of the vote and thereby very narrowly avoided a runoff election.

Incumbents Ann Sung and Wanda Adams, now serving as president of the school board, were also re-elected. Sung defeated John Luman and Adams beat Karla Brown and Gerry Monroe.

Two other seats will be decided in a December 9 runoff election. Anna Eastman decided not to run for re-election for District I so teacher Elizabeth Santos and policy analyst Gretchen Himsl will face off for that spot.

The District III seat that had been occupied by the late Manuel Rodriguez Jr. will either be filled by assistant principal Sergio Lira or  customer service professional and radio personality Jesse Rodriguez.

City voters also decided it was a good idea to fund $495 million in public improvement bonds which will go toward parks, libraries, government facilities and public safety debt. Best of all the bonds will not require a property tax increase.

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